Are you curious about the world around you and do you want to see it from somewhere besides the couch? Do you yearn to get to know others in meaningful and some surprising ways? Do you have love and energy to share with friends as yet unknown? Does your soul sing (or at least hum in tune) with the chance to make a difference? Do you want to see the world from a new perspective?
Habitat in Guatemala will enrich and challenge you as you build, live and grow. Participate in a build to give to others and you will find how much you learn and gain in the process. Team members need big hearts, a willingness to get dirty and a desire to laugh and be changed.
Guatemala is located in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean between El Salvador and Mexico, and bordering the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize. Volcanic peaks, scenic coastlines and a forested mountain interior shape the brilliance of the Guatemalan landscape.
It is a small country, with an estimated population of 12.7 million. Guatemala has a tropical climate along the lower elevations and cooler weather in the mountains. The country is full of rich indigenous culture and Spanish traditions. However, Guatemala also has a nearly 80 percent poverty rate, and a housing deficit above 1 million units.
About Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Since its founding in 1979, Habitat Guatemala has built more than 25,000 houses, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 140,000 Guatemalans in need of stable housing. HFH Guatemala constructs earthquake-resistant houses made with concrete floors, block walls and corrugated zinc roofs. Habitat has a presence in all Guatemala’s departments, working with more than 205 local committees in 260 communities.
For more information, visit www.habitatguate.org.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will be involved in new construction and repair work. During construction days, the team will be trained in the use of construction tools and the types of housing solutions they are going to be working on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present every day on the work site to guide the construction.
To guarantee the safety of all team members, the national office will provide safety goggles and hard hats, as well as written emergency and evacuation plans at every work site. There will also be portable bathrooms with water and soap and designated resting areas with chairs and drinkable water near every build site.
Day 1 (Arrival day, typically Saturday): Greeted at the airport by Habitat Guatemala staff; shuttles to Antigua if team arrives before 5 p.m., if not stay in Guatemala City.
Day 2 (Sunday): Orientation with Habitat Guatemala staff member; travel to project site; welcome ceremony with families and Habitat staff; dinner.
Days 3-8 (Work days, Monday-Saturday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site (in the rainy season or hot areas the work days will start earlier); free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Guatemalan food; time for team activities.
Note: Cultural experiences with affiliate staff included throughout the trip, such as traditional dances, market tours, boat rides and walking tours.
Day 9 (Sunday): Free time in local community.
Days 10-11 (Monday-Tuesday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site (in the rainy season or hot areas the work days will start earlier); free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Guatemalan food; time for team activities. Farewell ceremony on day 11.
Day 12 (Wednesday): Travel back to Antigua; free time; overnight in Antigua.
Day 13 (Thursday): Free time; cultural activities; overnight in Antigua.
Day 14 (Final day, Friday): Departure day.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, including cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as traditional dances, market tours, boat rides, etc., plus a walking tour of host city and farewell ceremony.
Hotels are simple and basic, and typically located near the project site. Guatemala’s climate is humid, and the rooms in some areas may smell a bit musty. Hot water is typically provided; however, the water heating systems may not work as well as in the volunteers’ home countries. In most cases, hotel rooms will be cleaned and maintained daily and are screened for safety.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
After having her life changed and enriched building with Habitat, Joan seeks to help others experience that wonder. A deep love for the families and team members of Habitat keeps Joan plugging along at her building specialty- an experienced pack mule - and, if houses can be built with her lack of construction finesse, you probably have something to offer to a team as well.
Joan has led and participated in Global Village teams across the hemispheres and is excited to be returning to Guatemala the location of her first Habitat build.
To find out more, contact Joan at firstname.lastname@example.org.