Stu Piddington - Timaru, New Zealand. 2016
Travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia for 20 days with 15 students was always going to get everyone out of their comfort zones. It was a fantastic time. Diana had things superbly organised and her social justice contacts in both countries made the trip memorable for everyone. It was a trip will not only live long in our memories but will has changed the girls' outlooks on life in a very positive way.
Rebecca Dowdle - Auckland, New Zealand. 2012 & 2014
I have been on the Break Free trips to Vanuatu (2014), Mexico (2012) and Cambodia & Vietnam (2014) and I would still like to go to Peru, Fiji and possibly back to Vanuatu and Mexico. I have all enjoyed all of them but it is hard to pick a favourite as they are all quite different. If I had to chose one it would be Mexico because this was my first trip and we worked alongside the family to build the house. It was a ply house so it was "easy" to build, paint and furnish. The people who were part of the Break Free team were awesome too.
The best thing about Break Free trips is the difference you can make to people's lives in a short amount of time and seeing how grateful they are for something that took only a little sacrifice of money and time on my part. Getting to experience the real culture of a place rather than just from a tourist's perspective.
The most challenging thing about Break Free trips is the feeling there is always more you can do for others. Also it can be hard coming back and adjusting to the NZ way of life in which we have so much but always want more.
The highlights for me on all of my trips have been working alongside the local people to build the houses. Sharing a laugh while building despite not being able to communicate verbally. Usually handing over the keys is pretty special too.
David & Anne Taylor - Melbourne Australia. 2011 & 2012
Why Build A House In Mexico?
People often ask why not just donate money,maybe it will be used more efficiently? If we had of thought that we wouldn't have experienced the poverty Mexican's live in (usually only 1 toilet per street if you're lucky!), the joy on the families face at seeing their new house, the comradeship of sharing the experience and the emotional experience of visiting orphanages and feeding the homeless. We returned one year after our first trip to see the house being used as a home. Its amazing seeing how a relatively small amount of our money changes a families life.
That's all the reasons why we may return for the third time...
Jo Hambleton says (25/12/2013 12:06:23):Went on the Fiji trip 2013.
It was great. Meet wonderful people, which I still keep in contact with.
The highlights were being able to bless people and share Gods love.
Diana runs these trips so well, I felt safe and a part of a team, which I love.
She is so well organised and lets you know what's happening. Which I found helpful.
Thank you to Break free Expeditions for a wonderful opportunity to bless others.
Kirsten Blyde says (08/12/2011 05:54:14):Loved the trip. had a great time .met some amazing people. particularly Hector. a real inspiration. a quiet humble hard working man. loves God with all his heart. he made a real impact on me. Kirsten Blyde. NZ.
Kirk Hodgson, New Zealand says (08/12/2011 05:53:34):Life changing and can't wait to return! Kirk Hodgson. NZ.
Rebekkah Fe'ao, New Zealand says (08/12/2011 05:52:54):This is definitely a trip of a lifetime. The only catch is that you can't do it once! I really enjoyed making new friends, seeing a need met and being happy with those who weren't happy. Transformations are happening in Mexico! Rebekkah Fe'ao. NZ.
Suzanne Smithers, New Zealand says (08/12/2011 05:51:56):It was an awesome time for all who came with us, we want to go back and will be saving our $ and have a few people that want to come. It was great thank you for an amazing time. Suzanne Smithers. NZ.
Lisa Hooker says (16/11/2011 04:43:43):Break Free Expeditions trips are an opportunity to stretch yourself in lots of ways while making a lasting contribution to a community in desperate need. The trip was very well organised and suitable for people of all ages. You can expect to work hard, but have a great time and make lots of new friends while doing it! Before we left it was hard to imagine that our group could complete a school and house within a week, but we made it and have the photos to prove it! I would encourage you to not let financial worries stop you from going on this trip. Once you are there you will understand what real poverty is. This trip is an opportunity to invest into the lives of others, and trust me, you won’t regret it! We met so many amazing Mexican people. I found their faith and generosity inspirational. I went on this trip to help make a difference in peoples lives, but have found that my own life has been changed in equal measure. Just be warned…once you have gone you will want to go back again!
Lorna Gray, New Zealand says (16/11/2011 04:40:06):The way these trips are run for groups simplifies everything. Whether you are a practical handyman, a nuturer of others, a practical sorter, or someone who loves working with children, there's something really worthwhile for you to do in Mexico. As someone who has taken teams overseas several times, this trip was fantastically organised. An experience not to be missed, and as a group we can't recommend it highly enough.