I served in a small village in Southern New Mexico with a 98% Mexican population. It was a copper mining area and the people we worked with had been on strike for a long time. Our work was community organizing and teaching English.
After nine months, we were chosen for special government program and were transferred to Grand Junction CO to work with migrants. The time in VISTA was life altering, as it gave me a respect for the people we worked with and a connection with people who were born with a lot less material goods than I was used to. We were received with kindness and had our eyes opened by the resilience of many of the people we worked with.
I still visit the area where I was in New Mexico and it will forever be part of who I am. Since that experience I have always been and will continue to be a volunteer in many ways.