Girl Scouts build House during Spring Break vacation

Girls finished, final cleanup, goodbyes given. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BOB PURSLEY

Bob Pursley


For several years Girl Scout Troop Leader Amy Kastner has been taking girl scouts to Mexico to help build houses for people in need, and those girls always seem to want to return. This year, a different older troop of 13 girls, primarily from Troop 391 (but augmented by other area troops as well), made the decision to go all in and do it also.

For the past year, they have been holding fundraisers, selling cookies, washing cars -- earning money to fully fund a spring break construction in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. Early this year, the girls were given the option to upgrade the designed small home to include a kitchen and indoor bathroom, so they scurried to raise the additional funds and succeeded with cookie sales and donations.

The girls headed to Acuña on the first weekend of Dripping Springs High School's spring break. They stopped over in Del Rio, Texas, and met with local Girl Scouts, sharing ideas. They crossed the border on early Monday morning, 12 March, and were met by their guide and taken to the host church, Rios de Agua Viva, of Acuña . The host church provided sleeping, bathing (cold showers), and meals, which the girl scout troop fully funded.

The schedule the girls had was pressing: nine hours of labor each day. They started with bare ground, laid forms, poured the foundation, erected wall framing, roof joists, roofing, electric wiring, wall insulation, ceiling insulation, light fixtures, drywall, and stucco on the outside, all in four days. The girls have hired a contractor to pipe the kitchen and bathroom next week.

When asked, several of the girls said they want to do it again next year. On the last afternoon of work, the group leader, Amy Kastner, wrote, “We are now wrapping up stucco, roof and drywall done, interior is cleaned, switch plates installed, trim painting almost done, and only an hour behind schedule. Unbelievable! The bathroom will be built next week and this precious family will have plumbing and electricity, and solid shelter over their heads. We had five kids fall ill during the trip and a couple of them powered through even with fever. I’m unbelievably proud of their attitudes, their hard work, and their willing hearts this week!“

One of the girls was interviewed before leaving, and when asked what she hoped to accomplish, she stated, “I hope to meet new people of a different culture, help them, and really improve their lives. ” In this project, a needy family has truly been impacted positively, with something they truly can use: They will have plumbing, electricity, and a solid roof over their heads from now on.

The girls re-entered the US at Del Rio after lunch on Friday, 16 March, well worn, very tired, and looking forward to hot showers in Dripping Springs, but

they were made of better stuff than when they left on the trip.

Girl Scouts of Dripping Springs, an operating unit of Girl Scouts of Central Texas, has 360 girls, of all ages, all active, looking toward a better world for now and the future. Girl Scouts is the leading United States girl organization dedicated to growing leaders.

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