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Twenty-Five Law Students Build Homes in Mexico

Twenty-five Pepperdine law students spent the Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend building homes for needy families in Tecate, Mexico. 2010 marked the third year that Pepperdine law students participated in this service project.

Third-year student Greer Illingworth, working in collaboration with San Diego-based Amor Ministries, has facilitated the trip for the past three years. This year, twice the number of students than last year embarked on the trip. The students worked for two and a half days to construct the outside of two homes without the use of power tools or electricity. "You saw every piece of lumber, you nail every nail…it's very real," said Illingworth of the experience.

Due to increased participation this year, the students constructed two single family homes. The final product was two-room homes, minus a bathroom and wiring, similar to many other houses in the semi-rural area. "When you hand the keys over to the families, it's the best moment," explained Illingworth.

Courtney Echols (JD '08), director of alumni affairs for the School of Law, has participated in the trip for the past three years. "It's a good experience for Type A personality students because you can see the effect of what you’re doing right away," said Echols. She called the trip a humbling experience that shows students that there is more to life than law school.

Learn more about Pepperdine's Global Justice Program.