Have you ever wanted to go to a faraway land to experience something new and do something special? You can do just that this summer with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program in Honduras! No special construction skills or language abilities are required for this adventure—just a positive attitude and a desire to help others. If this sounds like a plan, please read on.
A child is pictured outside of the shack where he lives with his family in San Isidiro, Honduras.
Honduras is the second-largest Central American nation after Nicaragua. It borders the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Nicaragua on the north, and borders the Gulf of Fonseca (North Pacific Ocean), between El Salvador and Nicaragua on its south side.
The climate is subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains. Honduras’ main language is Spanish but there are also many Amerindian dialects. The Roman Catholic Church is the officially recognized church in Honduras, with 97 percent of the population identifying themselves as Catholic.
About Habitat for Humanity Honduras
Since its founding in 1988, Habitat for Humanity Honduras has built more than 10,000 houses, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 35,000 Hondurans in need of stable housing construct earthquake-resistant houses made with concrete floors, block walls and corrugated zinc roofs.
Habitat for Humanity’s work in Honduras began in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Cortés in the Yure River Valley in 1988. As evidence of its growth, there are now regional offices reaching more than 50 communities.
A typical Habitat Honduras house has a polished, cement floor, block walls reinforced with steel, corrugated iron roof and doors and shutter windows made of wood. Houses include a kitchen, one to three bedrooms and a bath. Families are offered two house models, one measuring 48 square meters and the other 36 square meters. The first model has been used for almost 14 years, and the second was recently introduced with great success, as it allows Habitat to reach families with even lower incomes.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will help with house improvements, finish/conclusions, repairs and additions/expansions.
Once on the work site, a technical advisor and a supervisor will guide the volunteers through the construction process. On the first day, they will explain the construction system used in Honduras and provide written construction goals each day. There will be designated resting zones with drinkable water, as well as portable bathrooms with water and soap for the volunteers to use.
Day 1 (Arrival day, typically Saturday): Greeted at airport by Habitat Honduras staff; transported to host program; orientation.
Day 2 (Sunday): Optional church service; additional transportation depending on project location; free day in the community.
Days 3-7 (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; dinner of typical Honduran food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Travel to departure city depending on affiliate location; cultural activity day and closing activities; final team dinner.
Day 9, Final day (Sunday): Departure day.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, such as cultural experiences with affiliate staff, traditional dances, agricultural and architectural tours, typical food preparation, etc. There is also a walking tour of host city and a farewell ceremony.
Hotels are simple and basic and typically located near the project site. Rooms sleep two to four people and include a private bathroom, although bathrooms are occasionally shared. All facilities are screened by HFH staff to ensure they are safe, clean and well-maintained.
Special housing needs (private rooms, air conditioning, first-floor rooms, etc.) can usually be arranged, though may result in additional fees.
(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!
My name is Thomas Saylor. Since 2007 I’ve traveled on six occasions to Central America, including four Global Village trips – to Nicaragua and Honduras (twice) as a team member, and in 2012 to El Salvador as team leader. In my everyday life, I’m professor of history at a small liberal arts college in Minnesota; I enjoy helping people learn more about, and appreciate, everything the land and people of Central America have to offer. Beyond getting dirty on GV builds, I keep busy with cycling, photography, writing and my family. Want more information about this trip? Please email me at the account I’ve set up for our trip: GV14218@gmail.com