Eight Chi Alpha students served people in Mexico City.

Eight Chi Alpha students served people in Mexico City during spring break.

Like many Winona State students, eight Chi Alpha students went on a trip over spring break. However, on March 5, they embarked on a mission that has set their trip apart from many others. Instead of lying on a beach over spring break, these eight students chose to spend their “break” serving and enjoying the people of Mexico City. Having wished I had gone on the trip myself, I decided to interview one of my friends who went to get an inside scoop of what his personal experience was like. Travis Salo, a sophomore at WSU, described his experience in Mexico so well that I could not have worded it better myself. Here is a Q & A with Travis…

Travis and a child he worked with in Mexico City.

Travis and a child he worked with in Mexico City.

Q: What did you do in Mexico?

A: We went on a missions trip and got to help the local church. That included putting on a VBS for the younger kids as well as playing street hockey, soccer, and football with the kids. We also did puppet shows, arts and crafts, and songs with the kids.

Q: What was your favorite memory?

A: My favorite memory of the trip was definitely meeting Jesus. He was a young kid who had a ton of energy, but he had the best attitude and always enjoyed playing street hockey.

Q: What was a shock to you (culture wise)?

A: One of the biggest shocks to me was how polite everybody was. People would listen to what you had to say and then tell you to have a good day. Here [in the United States], most people will just ignore you if you do not know them.

Q: What challenged you the most?

A: The most challenging thing for me was the language barrier. I wanted to communicate with the people, but there was not always a translator nearby.

Q: How was the food?

A: The food was amazing! We had a family in the church make us home cooked meals for dinner each meal. You cannot get more authentic than that. It is amazing how they do not waste any part of the animal as they do in the United States. They made us a different meal each night that reflected what a typical family would eat. Random side note, I ‘out spiced’ some of the Mexicans. [In other words] I could eat hotter food than some of them were comfortable with.

Q: What impacted you the most on this trip?

A: The thing that impacted me the most was probably the relationships we were able to form with the kids even though there was a language barrier between us. We still keep in contact with many of them over Facebook!

By sharing this interview between Travis and I, it is my hope that you, the readers, realize and appreciate the sacrifice these WSU students made over spring break to improve our world. It is inspiring to hear about the difference they made in many lives in Mexico City, as well as the change it brought to their own lives. It is certain that the students who went on this trip will never be the same again. Their eyes were opened and their hearts were broken as they experienced a different and new way of life. Thanks, Travis Salo, for sharing your experience in Mexico City with the WSU community.