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Dixie High Senior Donates School Bus, Supplies To Mexican School

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A Dixie High School senior is donating a school bus and supplies to a school in Mexico so students can go home every day, instead of choosing between hours of walking home or staying at school until the next day’s classes.

“I’m just excited for it,” said senior Dylan Ence. “This has been my four-year school bus project.”

It’s normal to see school buses parked outside Dixie High School in St. George, but one bus was different Friday night. It wasn’t so much the colors or even the size; instead, bus No. 65 was different because of where it was going.

Four years ago as a freshman, Ence visited a school the small remote Mexican village of Patamban Michoacan. Ence said the trip changed his life.

“Their education and their school were lacking,” Ence said. “The kids there, they had to stay there all week and it hurt inside. I just wanted to help them out so they could travel home to their families.”

That’s how he got the idea for a bus, so students could go home every day instead of deciding between walking several hours to get home or staying at school until classes the next day.

“When I saw those kids, I just wanted to help them out,” he said. “I felt, like, why does the United States have to be superior and have all this nice stuff? Why can’t we provide them with some of our nice stuff so they can have it, too?”

So, for the past four years, Ence has been raising money for a bus.

He and his family found one in Minnesota and drove it back to St. George.

Ence also raised money to buy school supplies for the students in Mexico.

“Composition books, pens and pencils, paper, lots of books,” he said while going through a box of supplies in the back of the bus.

This Christmas break, he and his family will drive the bus to that same village and give it all to them.

“The school and the school district is going to meet us at the border in Mexico,” Ence said. “They’re going to kind of escort us down and hopefully we don’t have too much trouble when we get down there because they say it’s not really safe to travel to Patamban Michoacan and through Mexico if you’re an American.”

Even with the risks, Ence’s mother is proud of him and all the effort he has put into raising money and getting the proper paperwork and documentation to make the trip into Mexico.

“I think if everybody everywhere did a small gesture, that our world would be a better place,” Ilona Ence said. “He has a soft heart and he wants to make a difference.”

It has been a long project, but it will be completed in a few months if everything goes well.

“I’m going to look back on it probably my whole life thinking, man, I pulled that off,” Ence said, with a smile.

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