Written by Shuli Lo
Edited by Jiali Liu
Translated by Ariel Chan
Edited by Andrea Barkley
Tzu Chi USA’s great love spreads to every corner of the world, and there will always be volunteers in blue wherever assistance is needed. Far away in Tijuana, Mexico, there is a group of guardians of vulnerable and sick residents. They spread Tzu Chi USA’s love and kindness here to heal the minds and health of local impoverished and ill residents.
Sihong Wang is a Tzu Chi USA volunteer who has long lived in Los Angeles, California. He retired from being a Chinese medicine doctor and pursued charity as his career. He and Kunrong Xie, who lives in San Diego and is proficient in Spanish, established the Mexican Care Mission USA to relieve low-income people. Vulnerable groups are provided with medical, financial, and food assistance.
For 17 years, Sihong Wang has been taking six-hour drives back and forth between Tijuana and Los Angeles every week. He would stay in Tijuana for three or four days a week, using acupuncture and origin point therapy to help sick and impoverished residents get relief. He would also train new volunteers so that they could serve residents together.
Over the years, Sihong Wang has abided by the ideal of compassion advocated by Tzu Chi USA to overcome difficulties. In 2022, the Mexican Care Mission USA returned to the Tzu Chi Foundation. Inspired by good thoughts and Tzu Chi USA’s ideal of compassion, Sihong stayed dedicated to his original goal. Now, his dreams and plans have finally come true.
Sihong Wang shared in the interview: “I like to see others happy, and I like to help relieve other people’s pain. After I came into contact with Tzu Chi USA, it inspired me. Having been to Mexico several times, I felt the suffering of the people there. That’s why I planned to volunteer in Mexico and pass on the compassion.”
Tzu Chi volunteer Kunrong Xie married Guangzhou in the United States at 17. After their marriage, she followed her husband to start a business in Mexico and lived in Tijuana. Kunrong Xie quickly learned to speak Spanish fluently at that young age. After seeing the suffering of vulnerable children, she was committed to the goal of helping these individuals once she had enough resources.
When Sihong Wang came upon Kunrong Xie, they cooperated seamlessly in no time due to their shared goals and passion. They volunteer in churches in vulnerable areas, tirelessly contributing to their ideals. The residents well recognized their selfless spirit. A patient, moved by their enthusiasm, donated land as a base for charity work. Today, they have established clinics there.
Sihong Wang and Kunrong Xie transferred a lot of medical supplies and distribution supplies to Tijuana bit by bit. They used every space to fill up the stores. Usually, Sihong Wang leaves at six in the morning and drives for two or three hours straight from Los Angeles to Kunrong’s house in San Diego. Every time he goes out, he fills the car with supplies needed for charity. And Kunrong Xie will drive from San Diego to Sihong’s house every two months to bring some donated materials back to Tijuana.
Tzu Chi USA volunteer Xiuyun Cai was one of the founders of Tzu Chi in the United States and the wife of Sihong Wang. Both Sihong and Xiuyun share the same ideals for philanthropy. Xiuyun expressed that she especially admires her husband Sihong’s seriousness and compassion. Husband Sihong often makes special brown sugar steamed buns, while wife Xiuyun likes to make friends with everyone. Xiuyun usually distributes steamed buns to everyone or provides delicious steamed buns for Tzu Chi USA’s activities as a token of gratitude to the donors and volunteers.
Sihong and Kunrong have worked hard for more than ten years in Tijuana. Nursing homes, homes for the homeless, and AIDS villages are all under their care. In addition, they provide scholarships for struggling children to help them complete their studies with peace of mind. The medical subsidy allows patients to get good treatment and recover their health as soon as possible.
Tijuana still has a long and arduous journey to escape mass-scale poverty. But this city will also become a vast land of blessings in time. The more volunteers who join, the stronger we can cheer on Tijuana!