I'm having a hard time concluding my essay, and I was wondering if someone could review the rest of it? There are no word limits, and any possible suggestions you could make are greatly appreciated :)
Choose an issue of importance to you-the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope-and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.
Something that I looked forward to in middle school was the summer I was old enough to travel to El Paso's sister city, Juárez, Mexico, with the high school youth group at my church. They would go to a little impoverished community within the city for a week to build bunk beds, and have Vacation Bible School crafts and stories to entertain the children. The summer of 2007 was the summer going into freshman year, and I was finally old enough to attend the mission trip I had looked forward to for years. We left very early on a hot Monday morning to beat the daily traffic crossing the Stanton Street Port into Mexico. It was a whole new world to me. By the time we got out to our work area, it was high noon, and about 110 degrees. We were introduced to the four families we would be helping out, and we got to work. There were two shifts, setting up the bunk beds, and working Vacation Bible School. My first shift was Vacation Bible School, where I soon fell in love with this barefooted three year old girl named Karina. I was helping her use some scissors and trying to converse with her in my broken Spanish when I realized that we were there to improve her life, even if it was just giving her a bed of her own to sleep in.
A couple of hours later, it was time to switch shifts. We carefully picked our way across an unpaved dirt road filled with glass shards and cigarette butts. We were approached by feral dogs covered in fleas, searching for morsels of food. When we finally arrived at the work station, the homes caught me by surprise. I am still not quite sure what I was expecting, but I was shocked to see that these "homes" were one room spaces made from dried mud, cardboard, and sheets of plywood. They had no windows, no bathrooms, their front doors consisted of a piece of PVC pipe and an old ratty shower curtain hanging from it. Their kitchens were just a little open flame in the corner of the house near the door. After getting over my initial shock, the real work began. We lugged large pieces of wood into the homes and very carefully maneuvered ourselves around to assemble the beds. After about an hour of fussing with screwing pieces together, and squeezing in and out of the stuffy room, we had successfully assembled our first bunk bed. The expression on the young mothers face brought tears to my eyes. She was so thankful that we could help her growing family without anything in return. This was the moment that I decided helping people was definitely something I enjoy doing and something that I could continue doing for the rest of my life.
Throughout the rest of the week, we saw many heartbreaking scenarios. There were families of eight living in broken down school buses, many people walking around in the Mercado without shoes, and elderly just sitting on the side of the dirt roads, waiting for a miracle. By the end of the week, I knew that this trip had changed me. I wanted to come back as often as I could to make their quality of life just a little bit better.
Unfortunately, a couple months later, the violence in El Paso's sister city began when the Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin Guzman and the Juárez cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes began fighting over drug routes. Since then, in Juárez alone, there have been 2,550 drug-war related deaths. There are bullets constantly flying, and the police and local officials are too corrupt to stop it. The Mexican military is doing their best to manage the drug trade and the violence now, but the issue was ignored for too long to easily bring it under control. To the "drug lords", life has no value. They have resorted to kidnapping innocent citizens, robbing banks, and carjacking. Their bullets do not recognize Mexicans or Americans, nor children, teens, students, parents, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters. All they are concerned with is their personal profit. Hundreds of refugees have crossed the U.S. border to escape the domestic misery of violence, failed economic policy, poverty, hunger, joblessness, and the mindless cruelty and injustice of a criminal state. I always wonder if little Karina is now living happily in the states, or if she is suffering in her broken and corrupt state.
The violence that is fifteen miles away from my house, has significantly affected me because I live in the United States' second safest city. The border is very secure, but stray bullets have traveled far enough hit the University of Texas at El Paso and our City Hall. I am not able to travel across the border anymore because most missionaries do not dare to. From the safety of the United States, I am still able to do little things like donate items to the Juárez orphanages. When the drug-war is finally resolved, I would like to resume missionary activities to help them restore their communities.