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By Julia J., Age 15

The one hundred thirteen degree weather was especially harsh in the barren town of Reynosa, where there wasn’t shade in sight. However, the motivation to provide shelter for my new friends compensated for any discomfort caused by the Mexican climate. As Ramón Lopez came towards me I immediately noticed his brown calloused feet walking on the rocky dirt road. He smiled and called out “trabaja!” while handing me his cement-mixing shovel, and then sat down to rest with his two younger brothers. I watched them, marveling at how well they got along, and wondering at what time in American society it had become unacceptable for teenagers to enjoy the company of their younger siblings. I then regained my focus and began the arduous task of mixing cement manually in order to lay the floor for the Lopez’s first legitimate house.

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