Drug cartel violence and other criminal activity in Mexico is on the rise, and it's causing dozens of local students to change their Spring Break tradition for the first time.
Although Texas has been issuing a warning for the past three years for residents not to travel to Mexico, this group went last year.
The threats have continued for years, but it never stopped Jeremy Lewis, and about 40 students from the Central Baptist Church in College Station, from reaching out to those in need until this year.
"It's disappointing we can't go and do the things we do in the past, but it's exciting to see the opportunities we have here too,” said Lewis who is one of the youth group organizers.
Dozens of students have been doing exactly what they would do in Mexico, but just on US soil.
"We are doing yard work, feeding homeless, feeding immigrant workers, collecting can goods, you name it. There's just a ton of things to do throughout the city,” Lewis said.
This day in particular students were at the Jordan Loop in Bryan, playing with children from low-income homes, giving them food, and a chance to learn something new.
Although traveling more than 300 miles south of the border to Piedras Negras, Mexico for the past 7 years isn't a tradition they continued, staying in the Brazos Valley has turned out to be a success.
"I think we should make an impact in our own home before we try to make an impact on other places we've never been before, so I think this is a great idea,” said Steven Alcala, one of the volunteers.
The youth group plans to spend the next year helping those in need right here at home.