DPR Puts Building Skills to Use in Volunteer Effort for Baja Challenge

DPR San Diego employees’ construction skills, along with their generous spirit of volunteerism, were put to good use on a recent community service endeavor. The project: building a house for a family in need as part of the 2015 Baja Challenge.

About 15 DPR employees along with friends and family members traveled across the border on Oct. 3 to Tecate, Mexico, where they set about building a home for a preselected family. It was DPR’s 15th year participating in the home building effort that is sponsored and organized by Project Mercy, a not-for-profit relief and development agency that promotes education, healthcare and other community development projects. The annual event relies on participation from San Diego based real estate and construction companies like DPR who are looking to make a difference.

DPR’s San Diego office donated funds for materials, then brought their own tools and supplies to completely assemble and finish the prefabricated, 16x20 foot house during one long day of construction.

While the project’s physical location is only about 50 miles from San Diego, the area’s lack of basic infrastructure such as electricity and plumbing and its high poverty level set the two regions seemingly worlds apart.

“Having the opportunity to interact with and lend a hand to the families living in this area really puts the things we take for granted into perspective,” said Sam McAllister, DPR San Diego office employee who helped lead DPR’s work on the project.

An array of DPR employees, from craftsmen and project engineers to carpenters and senior management, participated in the build day. They gathered early in the morning and then caravanned down to the jobsite where they put in a long day constructing, painting and finishing the house for one very grateful family.

Photo credit: Matt Pranzo

Emily Robertson, who helped organize the volunteers, said the Baja Challenge is an event that resonates with everyone involved. “It really hits home with a lot of folks,” she commented. “We’re so close, but you go over the border and find many people are pretty much living in cardboard shacks. We’ve got a lot of resources that can go toward something like this. It’s a great opportunity for us to use our skills sets to improve the community.”