Buenos Aires, Argentina
“The purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made a difference.” – Leo C. Rosten
We are looking for 12 hardworking and adventurous individuals who want to make a difference in the world. It is a chance to immerse yourself in a unique cultural experience to build homes for families who are in desperate need of decent and affordable housing. No building experience is necessary, just a positive teamwork attitude and a desire to have fun! Come join our team for this extraordinary trip to Argentina that will profoundly change your life!
Argentina lies in the heart of South America, bordered by Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile. There is enormous geographic contrast between the expansive eastern plains and the Andes mountain range to the west. Unfortunately, there is also an enormous economic and social contrast. Despite breathtaking landscapes and modern business centers, today, of a total Argentinean population of about 40 million, more than 25 percent live in inadequate housing conditions, giving a total of 3,386,606 homes being inadequate and more than 10 million people suffer from inadequate housing.
About Habitat for Humanity Argentina
Hábitat para la Humanidad Argentina was officially constituted as a Civil Association in 2002.
In 2003, HPHA initiated the project “Rebuilding Santa Fe One House at a Time” to assist families affected by severe flooding in Santa Fe that year. In collaboration with a local university, construction began on March 1, 2004. Just one day later, the first foundations were also set in the city of Luján.
The national organization has built in Buenos Aires, Luján, Santa Fe, Salta, Ingeniero Jacobacci and Cañada de Gomez. Currenty the active built locations are Buenos Aires and Santa Fe. HPHA’s projects include: Seed houses, Incremental Improvements, Assisted Rentals, Financial literacy, Legal literacy and Little Bricks (for children).
In 2006, HFH Argentina began hosting Global Village teams, and has provided international volunteers with an opportunity to experience its culture through elaborate welcome and farewell activities with community members and Habitat partner families. During the trip, our team will be provided with educational tools about the housing needs in Argentina that will help us learn more about the families and the context we will be working in.
For more information on the Argentina program, visit our website http://www.hpha.org.ar/ or join our Facebook HPHArgentina or Twitter @HPHArgentina.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will work side by side with the partner families on their seed houses, housing improvements, finish/conclusions, repairs and additions or expansions. Tasks might include: digging holes, preparing cement, moving material, cutting and bending rebar, sanding, painting, cleaning and organizing the construction site. To guarantee the safety of the team members the National Office will provide safety elements and train the volunteers on safety measures, as well as provide an emergency contact card. At each worksite there will be designated rest areas and the volunteers will be using the family’s restrooms facilities.
No experience is necessary, however you should be in good health and able to walk to worksites that might be in parts of the neighborhood not accessible with transportation.
Additional engagement activities could include work in community development projects with Habitat partner organizations; advocacy and social projects aimed to improve the lives of those in need of housing and education in Argentina; and other unique activities as identified by Habitat Argentina.
Day 1 (Friday): Depart from home.
Day 2 (Saturday): Arrival in Buenos Aires; greeted by Habitat Argentina staff; transport to hotel in Buenos Aires; free afternoon to rest; team dinner.
Day 3 (Sunday): Welcome and orientation meeting with HFH Argentina staff at the national office; share a typical Argentinean meal of empanadas for lunch or dinner; travel to host affiliate.
Days 4–8 (Workdays, Monday–Friday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work; dinner of typical Argentine food; time for team activities.
Day 9 (Saturday): Travel to Buenos Aires; free time for local activities; evaluation meeting with HPH Argentina
Day 10 (Sunday): Departure. (Flights from Buenos Aires are typically in the evening, with next-day arrival to home city.)
This group will stay in hostel accommodations with bunk beds and four people to a room.
Breakfast and dinner will likely be served at the hotel or nearby restaurant. Lunch will be prepared by the hostel 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.)
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.
The team co-leaders for this team will be Cindy Reagan and Penny Mock.
Cindy Reagan has spent the majority of the last 25 years as a stay-at-home mom while volunteering with various organizations. For a number of years, she worked as a volunteer coordinator with a nationally funded literacy program in Denver. She is presently an art class facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association. Cindy became involved with Habitat in 2001, participating in a Women’s Build Blitz, building five houses in eight days. In 2005, she joined a Global Village trip to Portugal where she realized what a life-changing experience it was. Since then, she has helped build homes in Argentina, Tajikistan, Romania and Costa Rica.
Penny Mock is a retired special educator and now works part time as a student teacher supervisor at Portland State University. She has volunteered at HFH Portland for several years, many times with students from an alternative high school. She has participated in GV trips in Portugal and Vietnam. Penny is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and has traveled extensively in Africa, South America, Europe and Antarctica. She says, “I really appreciate Global Village trips because I get to know people of another culture in a much more real way than I do being a tourist. I also enjoy the teams because they are usually a group of very dedicated people.”
In 2009, Cindy and Penny led their first team to Costa Rica and are very excited to lead again. Having met as team members in Portugal, both have traveled together extensively, most recently walking 475 miles on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. You can contact them for more information at GVargentina2013@gmail.com.