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Building better lives together

Find out what Art Green, TV reality star & host, thought of his 2018 Mexico Volunteer Build

In 2018 I decided to sign up for a trip with Volunteer Build to build a house for a family in Tijuana, Mexico.

I signed up because I wanted to have an adventure and to make a meaningful change in the lives of some people less fortunate than myself. Upon landing in LA, I joined 10 other strangers who were in the same boat as me – no one had any experience but we were all keen to get stuck in. We piled into a minivan and headed south to the Mexican border. Over three days we built a house for a family of seven, who before then were living in a one-room make-shift shack made of bits of wood and plastic and anything else they could find. The dad worked full-time as a plasterer and brick-layer and only earned $100/week to support everyone. I had had zero experience building before this trip, so it was all very new to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. All materials were pre-cut so it was like we were just hammering all the pieces in place, lining the walls, plastering, sanding and painting. I was amazed at how quickly we were able to build the whole house. Seeing the smiles and tears of joy on the family members’ faces when we handed over the keys was a truly humbling moment. I think the magnitude of what we had done for them really hit home when I watched the mum’s face as she walked into her new home for the first time. It put things into perspective for me and made me appreciate how good we have it in New Zealand. It also reminded me that happiness is not found in money and things, but in health and family. The other members of my group are now good friends. I couldn’t recommend this experience more highly! A huge thanks to Diana and the incredible work she does with Volunteer Build.

ping out at a Volunterbuild House build
In 2018 I decided to sign up for a trip with Volunteer Build to build a house for a family in Tijuana, Mexico. - Art Green