What do retired visitors do when they come to Puerto Peñasco? They golf, they shop, they explore our great restaurants and entertainment; AND, they volunteer.

Some folks come specifically to build houses in the barrios, many bring food for Barb’s Dog Rescue and supplies for Casa Hogar, the shelters and orphanages. Many have taken time to help at local churches, including St. Joseph’s/San José in La Cholla.

Four couples who were staying at Playa Bonita RV Park recently stepped forward and asked if there was a project they could help with at the church. “I showed the men our to-do list,” said St. Joseph’s sexton Bob Keller, “and they got excited about helping us to build additional pews for the church.”

Keller headed off to Los Pinos to buy the lumber and hardware they would need. The men arrived at the workshop early the next day and two days later, two new pews were ready for use.

“We were thrilled to have the two new pews, but it didn’t stop there,” Keller said. “They said they wanted to build two more. I bought the lumber and with experience under their belts, they built two more in just one day’s time.”

The volunteers were Ken Stockwell, Dale Englund and Don Kramer from Cody, Wyoming and Tom Lillie from Utah. “These men could have spent those three days doing a dozen different things, including just relaxing,” Keller said. “We are extremely grateful for their generous donation of time and talent.”

Last month another visitor reached out and offered to help. Gina Bruner from Montana said her husband Rich was going golfing and she wanted to do something constructive. The Kellers recruited her to help faux paint the upper windows in the church.

“We’re not able to put stained glass in the church at this point,” Keller said, “but our ‘artists’ did a great job of creating a stained-glass look using house paint and their creativity.”

St. Joseph’s/San José offers the only bi-lingual Mass in Peñasco, each Sunday at 8 a.m. All are welcome. To reach the church, take the road past the Sandy Beach resorts and out past Wrecked at the Reef. As the road winds into La Cholla, the church is on the right and is clearly marked.

For more information about the church, which is under the umbrella of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Peñasco, contact sexton Bob Keller at (928) 706-6928 or by e-mail at bob@keller.net.

Visitors (Seated L-R) Ken Stockwell and Dale Englund, (standing) Tom Lillie and Don Kramer recently constructed four new pews for St. Joseph’s church in LaCholla, volunteering their time while on vacation in Peñasco.

The half-round windows at St. Joseph’s in La Cholla now have faux paint, giving them a stained glass look and adding color and dimension to the church.