“Where were you five years ago? How about earlier this year?”
Each year marks significant accomplishments for an athlete. Tournaments and travel teams, success and failures, injuries and recoveries - every season is marked by the memories it leaves behind.
If you were to ask Rogelio and Lizeth and their five children, or Moises and Karla and their family, those same questions, they wouldn’t hesitate in answering:
“Watching our homes burn to the ground.”
Both of these families experienced the devastating loss of their homes to fire. One fire was five years ago in Rosarito, Mexico. The other happened recently in San Jose, Costa Rica.
These tragedies tore through not only their homes, but their families as well. In Rosarito, Rogelio and Lizeth’s daughter suffered burns over 80% of her body. The only way to pay for her treatment and recovery was to sell their land. Even after receiving help from a non-profit based in the USA, their family struggled for years to recover.
Moises and Karla share a similar story. Their family escaped the fire unharmed. Yet chronic unemployment forced them to make a difficult decision. Karla moved to Nicaragua to work with her family. Moises stayed in Costa Rica with their children. Their family torn apart, they longed to rebuild their destroyed home.
“Where were you this summer?” Ask this question to two specific groups of athletes, and they’d respond with the same answer:
“Building a home for a family in need.”
In the summer of 2022, Hope Sports led two teams to rebuild these fire-ravaged homes. Regis Jesuit High School’s baseball team served in Rosarito, Mexico. A group of athletes from Baylor University traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica for their home build trip.
Both teams served alongside Hope Sports volunteers to build new homes for these families so affected by tragedy. The families worked hand in hand with the teams. Cross-cultural bonds were formed that surpassed any language barrier. Neighbors watched as two families regained a permanent anchor in their communities.
The sacrificial generosity of these athletes built homes and hope. Hope Sports inspires athletes to generosity. Athletes unify around a cause that’s greater than themselves. In doing so, they refocus their efforts from achievement to purpose.
“Where will you be in a year? How about five years?” It’s hard to answer those questions, whether you’re an elite athlete or a family subsisting in poverty. Yet even an unknown future can be filled with hope when generosity opens destiny’s door. There is a long road ahead for Rogelio, Lizeth, Moises, Karla, and their families, but hope is there to hold the door open wide.