Big Island of Hawaii (Kailua-Kona)
Come experience a trip to Kona led by someone who lived there and knows the area well. It will be rich in cultural experiences and provide superb opportunities to build with a dynamic and productive host affiliate. No previous construction experience is necessary, you need only to bring is a positive attitude, a fun loving generous spirit and sturdy pair of boots.
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 Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mauna Kea, the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet, Mauna Loa, the most massive mountain in the world and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the largest park in the state. 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, such as 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. And, 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
Monday June 2: Arrive at Keahole Airport (KOA).
Tuesday June 3: Orientation and work day.
Wednesday June 4: Work day.
Thursday June 5: Work day.
Friday June 6: Work day.
Saturday and Sunday June 7-8: Off day for local recreational activities and cultural activities.
Monday June 9: Work day.
Tuesday June 1h: Work day.
Wednesday June 11: Farewell and departure to airport or hotel if you are extending your trip.
* 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.)
Share your story and keep Habitat building
You’re doing something exciting with Habitat, so tell people about it! Create a page on Share.Habitat to tell friends, family and coworkers about your Global Village trip. Fundraising your program cost will be easy, and any additional funds you raise will keep Habitat building after your team returns home.
Bob Valenta is a native of New Jersey who now resides in Boulder, Colorado. This will be his fourth build trip as a Global Village team leader and the second in Hawaii. Bob has also been a team member in Kauai and Guatemala. Bob lived in Kona, Hawaii, from 2006-2008, travels there frequently, and subsequently knows the area quite well!
Bob says, “I love Hawaii and its people, the flora and fauna, especially the volcanoes and dolphins along with the amazing Pacific Ocean. I hope you join us on this home building opportunity, creating much joy while, being of service to a family and our world in community.”
For questions or to discuss interest in this trip, please email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.