Volunteer in Bolivia! I am seeking 12 adventurous individuals to be part of our team that will build a home for a deserving family. Our team will work alongside Bolivian volunteers digging foundations, laying bricks and more in Cochabamba, which is hailed as the city of magic charm. You don’t need prior construction experience, just the willingness to work hard and an open mind to new experiences. Let’s do more than sightsee, let’s help a deserving family achieve the dream of a decent, affordable home.
Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia is a landlocked country of 424,165 square miles. The Andes Mountains, which run north-south through the country, climb to more than 21,000 feet are permanently covered with snow. The famous Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world lies on the north end of the Altiplano.
Bolivia's population of roughly 9.2 million is growing at about 1.4 percent annually. About one-third of the population lives in rural areas. La Paz has more than 1 million people and Santa Cruz has about the same number. Nearly 60 percent of the total population is of indigenous ancestry, some 25 percent of the people are criollo (or mestizo), who are of mixed indigenous and European heritage.
Statistics also show that out of the total population, 58 percent of Bolivian families live in huts that do not meet the minimum living conditions, lacking basic services and sanitation. Thirty-one percent of homes accommodate three or more people per bedroom.
About Habitat for Humanity Bolivia
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia was established in 1985, in the Alto Beni community in La Paz, with the purpose of eradicating subhuman housing in Bolivia by building simple, adequate and affordable housing. Habitat Bolivia works in eight locations throughout the country: Alto Beni, El Alto, Oruro, Tarija, Cochabamba, Chimoré, Santa Cruz, Ichilo and San Julián.
For more information, visit www.habitatbolivia.org
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will be involved in new construction and repair work. During construction days, the team will be trained in the use of construction tools and the types of housing solutions they are going to be working on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present every day on the work site to guide the construction.
To guarantee the safety of all team members, the national office will provide safety goggles and hard hats, as well as written emergency and evacuation plans at every work site. There will also be portable bathrooms with water and soap and designated resting areas with chairs and drinkable water near every build site.
Day 1 (Departure day, typically Friday): Departure day from home country.
Day 2 (Saturday): Arrival at Cochabamba.
Day 3(Sunday): Day 3: Welcome ceremony with Habitat staff
Days 4-8 (Work days, Monday-Friday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Bolivian food; time for team activities.
Day 9 (Saturday): Cultural activities and tour to the city of Cochabamba.
Day 10 (Final day, Sunday): Departure from Cochabamba to home country.
Note: Trip includes including cultural experiences with affiliate staff.
HFH Bolivia will choose the team’s lodging taking into consideration our group’s size. Teams usually stay in basic, safe hotels, with team members staying two to four people per room, sometimes in dorm-style accommodations.
Breakfast and dinner will likely be served at the hotel or nearby restaurant. Lunch will be prepared by the hotel and eaten at the work site, where snacks and water will also be provided.
(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
Chris Sebilia has traveled abroad with Habitat several times to Thailand, Honduras and Haiti. His most recent trip was to La Ceiba, Honduras in April of 2012.The hands-on experience of the build gives Chris a satisfying tangible experience, while the opportunity to meet people from around the world always expand his horizons. For him, a trip with Habitat is more than an adventurous vacation; it’s a chance to give back. In addition to volunteering, Chris enjoys backpacking, rock climbing and improv. Chris is currently working as a structural engineer in Austin, Texas.
If you are interested in applying for this trip or finding out more information, please email Chris at HabitatGVBuild@gmail.com.