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Chiang Mai, Thailand

February 16, 2013 to March 1, 2013

Do you want adventure in the great, wide, somewhere? Do you enjoy traveling and immersing yourself in the community you visit? Are you willing to contribute time and energy to build a home alongside 17 team members and the local homeowner? We welcome you to join us on a journey to Chang Mai, Thailand!

No construction experience is required. We have no skill or age requirements; simply bring an open heart and the willingness to learn.


Country profile


About Thailand

Thailand (or Prathet Thai to locals) is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Myanmar (Burma). Laos and Cambodia also border Thailand to the north and east.

The climate in Thailand is tropical, with a rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon season (mid-May to September) and a dry, cool northeast monsoon season (November to mid-March). The southern isthmus is always hot and humid.

Thailand’s population is relatively homogeneous. More than 85 percent speak a dialect of Thai and share a common culture. Theravada Buddhism is the religion of about 95 percent of the country’s people. The government permits religious diversity, and other major religions are represented. Spirit worship and animism are widely practiced.

The population of Thailand was estimated at more than 65 million in 2008. Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and one of the world’s largest cities by population with more than 8.1 million residents (2008), but due to large unregistered influxes of migrants from northeastern Thailand and of many nations across Asia, the population of greater Bangkok is growing.

Chiang Mai is where Habitat established its first resource center in northern Thailand, and serves as Habitat’s base of operations for work in the region.

About Habitat for Humanity Thailand
The government’s National Housing Authority estimates some 8.2 million people live in substandard housing. Problems are particularly acute in Bangkok as the capital has grown into a major metropolis, dwarfing other cities in the country. Migrants face high rents for small rooms and often live in overcrowded areas plagued by a lack of proper sanitation facilities. Squatter settlements are commonly seen along railway lines or near port and industrial areas.

Habitat for Humanity Thailand began operations in 1998 in Udon Thani. Since July 2006, HFH Thailand has been operating through Habitat Resource Centers (HRCs) in Bangkok in the central area, Chiang Mai in the north, Udon Thani in the northeast, and Phang Nga province in the south.

HFH Thailand’s tsunami-reconstruction program has served more than 1,500 families as of 2008 and is being transformed, as planned, into a regular program. The move reflects the continuing strong need for affordable housing in the south of the country.

For more information, visit An English language version is available.

Types of construction for volunteers
HFH Thailand’s houses are typically 36 sq. m. each in size and the design features the use of concrete interlocking blocks or concrete hollow blocks with a tiled roof. On-site volunteers can expect to move dirt, move blocks, dig septic tanks, bend rebar, mix concrete, pour concrete and lay block under the supervision of a local foreman. No previous construction skill or experience is required.

Standard itinerary
(14-day itinerary)
Saturday, February 16: Depart the U.S.
Sunday, Feb. 17: Travel day.
Monday, Feb. 18: Arrive in Bangkok; dinner and overnight in arrival city.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: Travel to host program; welcome and orientation with local staff; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Wednesday – Friday, Feb 20-22 (Wednesday- Friday): Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Saturday – Sunday, Feb 23-24: Free day; local activities and site seeing
Monday – Wednesday, Feb 25-27: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Dedication and farewell ceremony with community is on day 12.
Thursday, Feb 28: Travel to Bangkok; free time; dinner and overnight.
Friday, March 1: Depart for home.

Note: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences such as market tours, or visits to museums, orphanages, sporting events, schools and historical sites.

The team can expect lodging in a local hotel or guesthouse with participants sharing double-occupancy rooms and shared baths. The trip cost also includes three meals per day, including traditional Thai lunches on the build site, as well as snacks and bottled water.

Trip cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village trip 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!

Team leader – Becky Murray
Becky spends most of her time volunteering with Windy City Habitat for Humanity. Last summer she traveled across America, visiting 20 states and volunteering with local Habitat affiliates. She loves art, running, reading and writing. Her most treasured attribute is the ability to laugh at herself (because she can be slightly goofy).

Michael Feinglass works at a private equity firm that he has helped cultivate and expand for the past eight years. He is an avid traveler and adventurer, attempting both bungee jumping and skydiving, with hopes to cliff dive and base jump in the future. He loves biking, sawing and basketball – particularly coaching. His most treasured attribute is the ability to solve problems with the combined efforts of his enlarged heart and mind.

Becky and Michael reside in Chicago, IL and are looking to escape the windy city winter. They have each participated in five Global Village builds – three together. This will be their first time leading. Fear not; if nothing else, it will be an adventure.

For information, please email

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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