Feel the joy of giving a family a home of their own. Treasure the experience of touching the lives of people half a world away. Make lifelong friends by joining this team of active and energetic folks from diverse backgrounds and ages.
Portugal is situated on the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. It became an independent kingdom in 1143, and it is one of the oldest existent nations in Europe. It was the Portuguese sailors who, in the 15th century, discovered the ocean routes to India, Brazil, China and Japan, changing the way people understood the world around them.
Portugal has a temperate climate, which is cool and rainy in the north and warm and dry in the south.
Housing is a major concern for Portuguese families, with 65 percent of the population living in dilapidated housing and 8.5 percent in shacks. One of the biggest challenges of HFH Portugal is a common dependency on government subsidies. The Governmental Social Housing program has been relatively effective in re-housing families that were living in poor conditions. However, support for the families that have been relocated does not exist. Social problems such as alcoholism, illiteracy, exclusion, lack of basic care and the creation of “social ghettos” are not solved with this kind of assistance. Only by promoting community-building and inclusiveness, and through educational and social programs, is it possible to break this poverty cycle.
About Habitat for Humanity Portugal
Poverty housing in Portugal is spread throughout the country, with two distinctive kinds of housing: “hidden poverty” (typical Portuguese houses with a small orchard that hides the poor housing conditions) and the obvious shacks of the big cities. Since the 1970s, Portugal has been the destination country for immigrants from the former Portuguese colonies and Brazil and more recently for immigrants from former Soviet Union countries. Thus, the need for housing is growing, especially in the urban areas of the country.
The first Habitat house in Portugal was built in 1999 in the town of Vieira do Minho. The following year, HFH Braga began to build in Palmeira and Cunha, and has served 28 families as of October 2008. In 2002, the organization began to renovate and repair existing homes and apartments and continues to find ways to serve more families. Learn more about Habitat Portugal at www.assoc-habitat.pt.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on new construction of single-family homes and apartment and single-family home renovation and repair.
The homes are made of traditional Portuguese materials: bricks, red roof tiles, shutters on the windows, and ceramic tiles inside the houses. They have two to three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and bathroom and are between 66–108 square meters.
Day 1 (typically Saturday): Depart for Portugal.
Day 2 (Sunday): Arrive in Porto, Portugal; travel to Barcelos; welcome and orientation with Habitat host program staff member; dinner.
Days 3–8 Work days (Monday–Saturday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner in local restaurants; team activities. Farewell dinner on day 8.
Note: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, walking tours, etc.
Note: Thursday can be an optional cultural activity day or work day.
Day 9 (Sunday): Travel to Porto; free time; final team dinner.
Day 10 (Monday): Departure day.
Hotels are simple and basic, and typically located near the project site. Rooms sleep two people and include a private bathroom. All facilities are screened by HFH staff to ensure that they are safe, clean and well maintained.
(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!
Linda Bauer has been on 11 Global Village trips, nine as team leader, and is especially excited to be traveling to Portugal for the second time. She is retired from the federal government, where she was a senior executive managing environmental cleanup projects. She and her husband Jim have a blended family of five, and have three delightful grandchildren. They enjoy golfing, camping and traveling, and Linda quilts. Linda builds diverse teams, focusing on complementary interests among team members and she has many repeat participants, including Jim. You will work and play with equal gusto on her team. For more information on this trip, please contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.