Second Annual Nautical Enterprisesí Mexico House-Building Project
To remind us all of our common humanity and so we don’t forget those in this world that we share, for whom luxury is a tarpaper roof, the daily adventure of finding enough to eat, the horizon of a dusty street, and family pleasures of a day in church on a hard bench and an empty stomach, we want to tell you about the employees and owners of Nautical Enterprises (parent company of H&S Yacht Sales and Southwestern Yachts) who took their third trip (second annual) to the slums of Tijuana to build two homes for families whose poverty almost defies description. Both young families with several children had lost what little they had due to fire.
H&S Yacht Sales/Southwestern Yachts became involved in this humanitarian relief project a year ago when Doug Ament, president and owner, heard about the good work of the Baja Christian Ministries, which builds 200-250 houses each year for some of Mexico’s most impoverished families.
Chosen by local pastors, deserving families are proposed to the charitable organization, founded in 1992 to serve Mexico’s poor. The criteria by which families are judged are humbling:
“I heard someone in our group say that it is great to give, but even better to give to someone who cannot return the favor. The experience made us realize the importance of the simplest things in life and that the biggest gift is serving others, especially those who live in poverty.
“It was great to see our team out of their usual element and working together for these families. There is something wonderful about taking our focus off ourselves and putting our time and energy into focusing on others.”
The two families, who were the beneficiaries of H&S Yacht Sales, Southwestern Yachts, and Baja Christian Ministries’ humanitarian effort, were living in an improvised house of scrap wood and salvaged boards. Unfortunately, an electrical fire completely destroyed both dwellings, which sat next to each other.
Thankfully, both families escaped unscathed but lost what little they had. While the house was provided with basic electrical service (for which they paid), there was no running water, no kitchen, no garbage collection, no paved roads, and no sewer system in the entire community.
The dry creek that ran between their homes and the road became a rushing torrent of dirty water, garbage, and human waste when it rained.
Although for quite a few of us this was not our first trip to build homes for the poor in Mexico, the degree of poverty is still hard to imagine. Nothing in the U.S.A. could prepare you for what you can see just beyond the border.
And, it looked as if there were many more families in dire need of shelter. It really reminded us of all we had, of our good fortune, and how blessed we truly are. It made us want to do something special for these families.
The manpower was a gift from the 42 employees, family members and owners of Nautical Enterprises, two local contractors, and four others from the ministry. Our group built two simple 16 x 20 houses in 9 hours.
Both houses consisted of two small bedrooms and a common dining area with a loft above the bedrooms. Each room had a small window and a front door that locked, as well as a circuit breaker and light switches.
When we say “bedroom,” we’re talking about a room about 8 x 8, not much bigger than a bed. Fifty percent of the cost of the buildings was donated by the employees of Nautical Enterprises, with Nautical Enterprises Corporate providing the other 50 percent.
We’ve now made this an annual event for Nautical Enterprises. To build one house is a great experience and changes the lives of all involved. Now multiply this times, six, or 10 or 20 and imagine what can be accomplished!
We may not be able to help everyone, but we can make a huge difference to these families. And, this difference lasts a lifetime! If your company would like to make a huge difference in the lives of those less fortunate, don’t hesitate. It will change your life.
We thank our friends at the Baja Ministries for providing us the opportunity to help others who desperately need a helping hand. We hope through our telling of this uplifting story that we can spread the news about the great things being done by Baja Ministries and to motivate others to help those who are less fortunate.
About Nautical Enterprises, Inc.
NEI, parent company of H&S Yacht Sales and Southwestern Yachts, opened its doors in 1989 and has grown into one of the largest yacht dealers in the West and is the largest sailboat dealer in the world.
With six locations throughout Southern California, NEI represents and services both motor and sailing yachts specializing in the 30 to 70 foot range from such builders as Silverton, Fairline, Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter, Navigator, Lagoon, Californian, Catalina, Doral, and MacGregor.
Editor’s Note: Baja Christian Ministeries (bajachristian.org) — Founded in September 1992, by Bob Sanders, Baja Christian Ministries is a non-denominational Christian organization dedicated to serving the spiritual and physical needs of Mexico. BCM’s extensive building ministry provides no-cost housing for the poor, church buildings, and orphanages. For more information or to make a donation of time or money, please visit the Web site.