Linking Arms in Cancún

Oct 23, 2015

Ben Riggs

Momentum built as mission trip participants worked tirelessly in the summer heat to complete the Community Center of Tres Reyes in Cancún, Mexico. The energy, commitment and enthusiasm of mission trip participants was palpable as teams made incredible progress on the property, driving crucial projects to completion. In total, over 175 guests contributed to the project during the course of the summer. Ultimately, the community center will allow Back2Back to holistically serve families in Tres Reyes by offering critical social services, while also providing a place for families to gather, play, learn, worship and grow together.

Sparking a Passion for the Arts

Childhood art education and creative expression contributes to visual learning, fine motor skills, inventiveness and cultural awareness. Each Tuesday afternoon, more than 50 children attend hands-on art classes at the community center. The classes are fostering a passion for the arts and also providing children with a creative outlet to express their feelings. This year, mission guests worked alongside the children as they had the opportunity to create their own masterpieces.

Celebrating Families

The Judy Morand Center of Hope is nearing completion thanks to the efforts of dedicated mission trip guests, staff and donors. Grout work, interior painting, carpentry and electrical and plumbing work were completed this summer. In July, Back2Back used the kitchen space for the first time, while hosting a family picnic for children and parents who attend a weekly Bible study. Together, we celebrated the work of countless mission trip guests, local volunteers and staff members who have joined together to create a space to support and strengthen the Tres Reyes community.

Kicking Around

Mexico’s most popular sport is soccer. The children, who are accustomed to playing soccer in the streets, are thrilled to have access to a regulation-size soccer field complete with artificial turf – the only one of its kind in the area. As the children play soccer, a hand-painted mural reminds them of the spiritual promise “Nothing is Impossible with God.” The property also includes a full basketball court and playground, valuable resources to an area with no community parks.

Nutrition Classes

In June, staff hosted a class to introduce mothers to basic health and nutrition principles for families. Attendees were eager to understand the material, fully engaging with the instructors and asking questions throughout the session. Upcoming classes include topics such as healthy cooking on a budget. Additionally, each child will receive a nutritional assessment this fall.

The Palapa is Ready for Worship

The large palapa is now finished! This beautiful gathering space is the largest palapa on any of Back2Back’s sites and provides a serene setting for guests, mission trip participants and staff to gather for nights of worship, prayer and community.

Ben and his wife Emily Riggs are site-staff with Back2Back Cancun. He serves with missions teams, Back2Back's Child Sponsorship Program, and tries to keep up with the stories God is writing in Cancun. He's baffled by the grandeur of words, story, and their Author. He's also overly attached to coffee, Charlie Brown, conversations, and story-based blogs.

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