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Guatemala Earthquake Recovery Project

October 19, 2013 to October 27, 2013

Change Guatemala, change your life. Habitat for Humanity is sending three special Global Village volunteer teams this October to help rebuild San Marcos, Guatemala after last year’s devastating earthquake—and you’re invited.

Saturday: Greeted at the airport by Habitat Guatemala staff; dinner; stay overnight in Antigua.

Sunday: Travel to San Marcos; welcome ceremony with partner families and Habitat staff; dinner.

Monday-Friday: Breakfast; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work; dinner of traditional Guatemalan food. One afternoon the team will work alongside neighbors to rebuild a community resource.

Saturday: Travel back to Antigua; experience local culture via a city tour, market visit, or other activities; celebration dinner with partners; overnight in Antigua.

Sunday: Depart Guatemala or begin independent travel.

Teams will stay in basic, clean, secure hotels with double-occupancy rooms. Access to hot water will be limited. Teams will eat family-style meals of traditional Guatemalan food.

Join this team of volunteers and give a family a hand up into a new home. You will bring the community new security, safety and hope. You’ll also get an insider’s glimpse of how disaster recovery works. Hear stories and ask questions of local government officials, NGO staff and the San Marcos community.
You will leave San Marcos better than you found it. You will leave with new experiences, new knowledge and new friends, too.

Apply now to this team

Our project

Build homes
Your team will build at least two homes for earthquake-affected families. These homes will be structurally sound and better able to withstand the next earthquake or flood.

Get an insider’s glimpse of disaster recovery
Local government officials will show teams how the earthquake affected families and infrastructure. Habitat Guatemala staff will also show you how we partner with local organizations to respond to disasters and develop communities.

Rebuild community spaces
Join with neighbors to rebuild a community space. You’ll see your team’s efforts improve the whole town.

Rebuild hope
When you volunteer with Habitat instead of just sending money, you partner with the community and provide them encouragement and support. Safe, decent homes improve the lives of each family, and so will the relationships you build.

About the disaster
On November 7, 2012, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit San Marcos in the western highlands of Guatemala. The damage was intense; 52 people lost their lives, 1,019 families lost their homes and nearly 1,200 additional homes saw severe damage.

What’s more, vital community resources such as schools and meeting centers were lost. The people of Guatemala are still coping with the trauma.

Who we’re serving
Teams will build with families who were impacted by the earthquake. Habitat Guatemala selects families according to income, readiness and performance of sweat equity, which may include construction on others’ houses or community service.

Program cost
US$1,970 per person. Of this cost, $1,250 is a donation to Habitat’s continuing work in Guatemala disaster recovery and global housing solutions.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Meet the team leader, Jim Douglas
Motivated by the desire to combine service and international travel, Jim Douglas has been on 13 Global Village trips. His destinations have included Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and El Salvador. He was in the Peace Corps in Somalia (a long time ago) and has done other service travel, including picking cotton in Nicaragua in the early ‘80s. 

This will be the eighth GV team he has led, and he is excited to share a rewarding and culturally interesting trip.  

For more information about this Global Village trip to Guatemala, contact Jim at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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