Big Island of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona)
Come join our Global Village trip for a distinctive experience in Hawaii while it’s early winter in many other locations. Help build sustainable housing and learn some new skills. No previous know-how is needed, just willing hands and a willing heart. Make new friends, enjoy the rich Hawaiian history, culture and beaches of the Big Island of Hawaii, tour an active volcano and know that you will forever change the lives of at least one family and possibly more.
About the Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is the youngest island in the Hawaiian chain and is also by far the biggest (4028 Sq. mi.), providing a vast canvas of environments to discover a variety of unrivaled natural wonders. This is the home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea), the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet (MaunaKkea), the most massive mountain in the world (Mauna Loa) and the largest park in the state (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park). All but two of the world’s climate zones generate everything from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts, snow-capped mountaintops to beautiful black sand beaches.
The main economies on the island are agriculture and tourism, with tourism centered around the Kohala resorts and the town of Kailua-Kona, both on the west side of the island. An ethnically diverse population consisting of native Hawaiians, Japanese, Micronesians, Filipinos, Portuguese, and Caucasians provide a rich cultural environment.
The median income across the area is $55,300, and more than 16 percent of families live at levels below the poverty line. Amongst single-parent families, more than 32 percent live below the poverty line. The median age is 40-45 years. Elderly individuals with a disability make up 39 percent of the population.
Homelessness remains a reality for a considerable number of individuals and families in the County of Hawaii, and has been increasing at a rate of 6 percent per year. In some areas, financial hardship is compounded by the need to commute long distances from home to access employment.
The median house price in West Hawai‘i is $275,000, which is not affordable to most of the local workforce. Moreover, even if a family could afford a market-priced home, escalating energy costs make it financially unsustainable in the longer term.
In the most rural areas, (Ocean View), almost 20 percent of the dwellings listed by the Community Development Corporation in a recent survey consist of tents, yurts, lava tubes and cargo containers.
About Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii
The mission of Habitat West Hawaii is to empower families and build community and hope through home ownership. Granted affiliation with Habitat for Humanity International in 2002, our small affiliate just completed our 19th house as of early fall 2012. Five of those homes were completed in a very successful “Blitz Build” in September whereby we built five homes in 10 days, using more than 1,200 volunteers. We have an ongoing relationship with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, through which we receive a variety of leasehold property, operating grants and construction loans. We are starting in earnest on a neighborhood revitalization initiative. By 2014, we hope to have in place an outreach program for veterans via The Veterans Administration.
To learn more about Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii, please visit: www.habitatwesthawaii.org
Saturday, January 4: Arrive at Keahole Airport; greeted by team leader; travel to lodging, have team introduction, meeting, and dinner with team.
Sunday, January 5: Free day for local team recreational and/or cultural activities.
Monday, January 6: Orientation by HFH West Hawaii; work day.
Tuesday, January 7: Work day.
Wednesday, January 8: Work day.
Thursday, January 9: Work day.
Friday, January 10: Work day; farewell lunch or dinner.
Saturday, January 11: Work half day and/or additional time for local team recreational/cultural activities.
Sunday, January 12: Departure from Keahole Airport.
* Standard itinerary is subject to change, depending on weather, urgency of different aspects of the build situation and needs at the time.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.
Charlie Cocores was a high school AP psychology teacher and also ran a psychology based outdoor education program. He is now the Educator in Residence and the Certification Officer in the Education Department at Connecticut College. He also teaches psychology at other area colleges as well. He has participated in Habitat builds in Honduras and Guatemala and has led or co-led Habitat trips to Portugal; Kauai, Hawaii; Molokai, Guatemala; John's Island, S.C.; and Taos, N.M. We’ll have a great experience! Charlie can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.