Habitat for Humanity International’s volunteer and institutional engagement’s advocacy unit is leading a Build Louder Global Village trip, which will include education and advocacy in addition to building. The trip will be an opportunity to work on a home within a broader social context to achieve a deeper understanding of the issues that many residents of the country face. Did you know that more than 1 billion people, one-sixth of the world’s population, lives in slums and that the number is going to double by 2030? What if I said that more than 20 percent of the world struggles, on a daily basis, to stay in their houses or on land where they live? Secure tenure, or the ability to live without fear of eviction, is instrumental in breaking the cycle of poverty and a prerequisite for the physical, economic and psychological benefits that come with adequate shelter. Participants will not only learn about secure tenure and other poverty housing issues, but be able to build on a work site, participate in training sessions on advocacy, meet with government officials and local NGOs, and visit an informal settlement to meet people who are dealing with issues like tenure insecurity and poverty housing every day.
Nicaragua is bordered by Honduras to the north, Costa Rica to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The country is a tropical area with rich ecosystems supported by its climate and topography.
Climates in Nicaragua are dependent on the area of the country however temperatures remain fairly constant through most of the country averaging 70-75 F. Rainfall can vary between 40 in. annually in the highlands to as much as 255 in. in the Caribbean lowlands with a rainy season of May-October.
Nicaragua is home to almost 6 million people, with an estimated 2.5 million people living in Managua and surrounding areas making this capital city the second most populous city in Central America.
About Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua
Habitat for Humanity began working in Nicaragua in 1984 in the community of German Pomares of Chinandega. Since then, families in Jinotega, Matagalpa, Estel, Leon, Chinandega, Managua, Bluefields, Carazo and Rivas have built their homes with Habitat assistance.
Learn more at Nicaragua’s country profile.
Types of construction for volunteers
Habitat Nicaragua builds homes of steel-reinforced cement block walls and roofs of galvanized zinc sheeting. The designs vary from project to project. Each house will have a mason and the future homeowner family doing construction in addition to volunteers.
Volunteers will aid in whatever skilled or unskilled work is needed. Some tasks include digging foundations, laying block, mixing mortar, moving materials or cutting and tying rebar.
December 1: Arrival in country and orientations. National Office will provide an orientation as well as an introduction to local advocacy issues and strategic interests of the national program.
December 2: A guided visit to a local slum and/or informal settlement; meeting with the community leaders and debriefing thereafter; introduction with local HFH personnel and families; tour of Managua.
December 3-4: Build days (house construction and water/sanitation projects in La Gallina, 45 minutes away from Managua); BuildLouder build ‘n learns during lunch.
December 5: Half-day build; during the afternoon the team will have an opportunity to visit the Masachapa improvements projects and local economic activity.
December 6: Trip to Managua; meeting special guests for networking and discussions
December 7: Meetings with Governmental representatives and agencies, including discussions.
December 8: Cultural activity to Masaya volcano, handcraft market and Granada; final team dinner.
December 9: Departure.
Work teams usually stay in hotels, retreat centers or dorm-style accommodations that are basic, safe and clean. The team will stay two to four people per room. Typically rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, though in some locations only shared bathrooms are available.
(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!
Before coming to Habitat, Jose Quinonez worked in the refugee camps in Southern Mexico, for the Guatemala Justice and Peace Commission, and in the Balkans with internally displaced people and refugees. He joined Habitat for Humanity as associate director of advocacy training in 2007 and now serves as the director of advocacy in the volunteer and institutional engagement department. To contact Jose, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.