Ana González leads 1MISSION’s work in the community of Miguel Alemán, near Hermosillo, Mexico. As you’ll read in this Q&A, Miguel Alemán is geographically close to where Ana grew up but it can sometimes feel like a totally different world.
You grew up in Hermosillo, Mexico, and still live there. Tell us about it.
Growing up and living the majority of my 26 years in Hermosillo (“the city of the sun”) has been a source of pride for me. Hermosillo is the capital of the state of Sonora, just three hours from the border with Arizona.
Before the pandemic began, we’d spend Sunday afternoons at the cathedral square, listening to the church bells, the birds, and the sounds of children’s laughter, while enjoying a treat of shaved ice, elote, or churros. Hermosillo is famous for its food. We have the best burritos, carne asada tacos, and seafood.
Around the city, I enjoy hiking mountain trails with friends where we can take in views of the city at golden hour. A short drive away, we have beautiful sunsets where the desert meets the Sea of Cortez.
I don’t know if will live in Hermosillo all my life, but for now, I’m very happy to be here.
How did you first get to know the Miguel Alemán community? And what does your work there mean to you?
Before I started working with 1MISSION, I visited Miguel Alemán with my church’s youth group to serve among the Triqui people there. I returned home from my first visit with a heavy heart from seeing so much injustice and poverty, both material and spiritual.
I couldn’t believe the housing conditions I saw, especially for people who work so hard, such long hours in the fields of big farms. It was hard to believe I was seeing cardboard walls, dirt floors, and canvas roofs just an hour from where I grew up.
Five years ago, I began sensing that God was calling me to do something in that community, helping to address some of the social problems there, like illiteracy, lack of opportunities, lack of public services, as well as addictions, and teenage pregnancies. I’ve been reading When Helping Hurts along with our local team. We long to see this community transformed with an everlasting impact and our discussions about that book have helped us rethink some aspects of our work.
Miguel Alemán is a unique place because it is made up of people from various ethnic groups from Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Morelia, and elsewhere in Mexico. This means a great diversity of customs and traditions, which I’ve been learning about, little by little.
From the beginning, community members have received me well, showing me love and care. When my truck gets stuck in the mud, people from the community come get me out. The work 1MISSION does in Miguel Alemán is made possible by local leaders – heroes without a cape – who do their part to change the world on a daily basis.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
On days when I go into the Miguel Alemán community, I leave home around 7:30am with coffee in hand and a good playlist with my favorite worship and country songs. Once I get there, I meet with my local construction team who do amazing work every day, including when I’m not there. I also visit families whose houses are under construction. I especially enjoy this part of my job, just talking with people about the process of earning hours and whatever else is going on their lives.
A few times a month I speak at community workshops about issues related to our programs. When I know I’ll be in the community all day, I look forward to having lunch at a small home restaurant called San Isidro, which has the best meat with chili.
On days when I stay in Hermosillo, I work at a coworking space where there’s a great community of people from other companies and organizations. From there, I respond to emails, take Zoom calls, communicate with our Mexican volunteers and supporters. I also place orders for house materials, do expense reports, and whatever else has to happen.
As the only full-time 1MISSION team member in Hermosillo, my job includes a little bit of everything. For me, this is more than a job. I really love what I do and am blessed to get to do something I’m passionate about.
When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
I have a hard time sitting still so I always find a way to be busy. I’m always doing something. When I’m not working, you might find me at a local coffee shop, writing or reading and enjoying an iced coffee.
I love going out for brunch with friends. I value time with my family, going to church, cooking together, watching a good thriller or vintage movie. I love road trips too – especially long drives to new places with a good playlist.
Oh, and I recently started a diploma on fighting human trafficking, so the last few months in my free time I have been studying and reading about the subject that I’m committed to – fighting to bring freedom and purpose to other people’s lives.
Want to learn more about our team members? Meet them here.