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The North Bend Eagle


Hines spends break building in Guatemala

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 4/6/11

Drew Hines, a 2009 graduate of North Bend Central, had no real plans for spring break. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln sophomore was planing on coming home to stay with his parents, Mark and Patrice Hines of Morse Bluff, and enjoy family time and home cooking.

This all changed when a Sigma Episilon fraternity brother, Trevor Taylor, approached him about gong to Antigua, Guatemala, to build houses for the poverty stricken.
UNL administrative dean Deb Mullen had friends involved in Constru Casa, a nonprofit organization that helps build houses in Guatemala. She got Taylor and three other young men to sign up. Their fund raising was so successful they had enough for a sixth person. About three weeks before spring break they invited Hines to join them. Mullen had the idea to get them all involved.

“It was a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Hines said. “Honestly my dream spring break trip - to go build houses for those that didn’t have one in a different country!”

The group arrived in Guatemala Sunday (March 20) night. They worked at the house site for the next four days. Their task was mostly basic labor, with native masons as their guides. Hines said it was a lot of fun interacting with them.

“We were there for the very beginning of the construction,” Hines said. “We dug the trenches for the foundation. The basic materials of the house were cinder blocks, rebar and wire. I want to say it was like 1,000 cinder blocks, and we moved those quite a bit.”

They stayed with a host family consisting of a mother and two kids about their age. The mother, Anabelle, made their meals and they all had beds to sleep in.

“In the spare time I did a lot of walking around and bartering with the locals,” Hines said. “It was a lot of fun. As we were building the house, we got to meet the family we were building it for and that was really something. The language barrier was a little difficult, but their emotions were pretty visible.”

Hines said he learned a lot from the experience.

“Being there was a constant reminder of the difference between wants and needs,” he said. “We have a lot of things we don’t need, whereas this family was struggling with basic needs, and by struggling I mean they don’t have them. And it’s easy to say, ‘Oh we are lucky and be thankful,” when we get back to the states, but it helped change my perception of what I need and what I want. Because comparatively, I ‘need’ about 1/100 of the things I have.”

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