Steamboat Springs There are three vans leaving Steamboat Springs tonight headed for Chihuahua, Mexico, to help victims of drought, famine and poverty.
The Steamboat Christian Center has organized its eighth mission trip to the area to offer items and services donated by local businesses and residents. The group has a lot planned for the nine days it's gone.
This year, the group is venturing farther into Mexico than ever before. "We've always dreamed of going up into the mountains, about five hours west of Chihuahua City, into the Sierra Madres on the rim of Copper Canyon," said Troy Lewis, pastor at Steamboat Christian Center. "This is where the Tarahumara Indians live, and from what I hear, is as Third World as it gets."
Their destination is Coreache, a village of about 450 people. There is a children's center there with a dorm where children can stay during the week. The group plans to fix up the school and the school director's home.
"This year we have a medical team and a construction team going with us," Lewis said. The teams are made up of people from across Routt County with various skills and backgrounds.
There are six people on the medical team who will set up a clinic for the week to treat minor ailments such as colds, cuts, burns and broken bones.
Pam Nettleton, a nurse at Yampa Valley Medical Associates, spent the past few months collecting spare supplies to take on the trip.
"I'm hoping we can offer a little something that can bring comfort to someone who needs help," Nettleton said.
The construction team will build the second floor of a school, and the 10 teenagers in the group will spend their time painting and playing games with children.
"I'm hoping we can reach out to them, even though we don't speak the same language," Caitlyn Berry, 15, said of her second mission trip to Mexico with Steamboat Christian Center.
"Last time, it was such a reality shock to see kids at the orphanages with no parents. I never see kids without parents. I was so grateful to come home to a family," Caitlyn said.
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