El Progreso, Guatemala
Join us for an amazing opportunity to help eliminate poverty housing in Guatemala! No special skills required! All you need is an open mind, a willingness to work hard, and a desire to make a difference for a well-deserving family in need. This trip is sure to be an experience you will never forget!
Guatemala is located in Central America. It borders the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize. Volcanic peaks, sceniccoastlines and a forested mountain interior shape the brilliance of the Guatemalan landscape.
Guatemala is a small country in Central America with an estimated population of 13 million. It hosts a tropical climate along the lower elevations and cooler weather in the mountains. The country is full of rich indigenous culture and Spanish traditions. However, Guatemala also has a nearly 80 percent poverty rate and a housing deficit of about 1.5 million units.
About Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Since its founding in 1979, Habitat Guatemala has built more than 33,000 homes, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for Guatemalans in need of housing. Structured as a community organization that includes the participation of more than 700 local volunteers, Habitat specializes in working with families that have no access to the national financing system (banks, cooperatives, etc.) and who are living in inadequate conditions.
HFH Guatemala constructs earthquake-resistant houses made with concrete floors, block walls and corrugated zinc roofs. Habitat has a presence in all Guatemala’s departments, working with more than 205 local committees in 260 communities.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will generally be involved in full home constructions. At times, volunteers may be involved in improvements, finish/conclusions, repairs and additions/expansions. During construction days, they will be trained to use the basic construction tools provided, and they will learn the types of housing they are going to be working on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present everyday on the work site to guide the construction. They will provide construction goals every day and verbal reports of the progress made.
To guarantee the safety of all team members, the national office will provide an emergency and evacuation plan at every work site. There will also be bathrooms with water and soap and designated resting areas with chairs and drinkable water near every build site.
Day 1 (Arrival day, Saturday): Greeted at the airport by Habitat Guatemala staff; shuttles to Antigua if team arrives before 5 p.m., if not stay in Guatemala City.
Day 2 (Sunday): Orientation with Habitat Guatemala staff member; travel to project site; welcome ceremony with families and Habitat staff; dinner.
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 (in the rainy season or hot areas the work days will start earlier); free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Guatemalan food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Travel back to Antigua; free time; overnight in Antigua.
Day 9 (Final day, Sunday): Departure day.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, including cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as traditional dances, market tours, boat rides, etc. Walking tour of host city; farewell ceremony.
Hotels include double- or triple-occupancy rooms and are simple and basic and typically located near the project site. Guatemala’s climate can be humid in some areas, and so rooms in some areas may smell a bit musty. Hot water is typically provided; however, the water heating systems may not work as well as in the volunteers’ home countries. Hotel rooms will be cleaned and maintained daily and are screened for safety and comfort.
(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.
Team leaders - Tina Galante and Hilary Trudell
Hilary and Tina met while serving as AmeriCorps members in 2010 at the HFHI headquarters in Americus, Ga., where they planned and co-led four Learn and Build trips for high school students to Mississippi and Tennessee.
Tina currently lives in Boston, Mass. She holds a master's degree in nutrition and currently works as a researcher in the field of international nutrition and food aid. Her travel experience includes a mix of backpacking, working, and volunteering in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as leading three successful GV trips to Honduras, El Salvador and India.
Hilary lives in Washington, D.C., where she works for the Human Rights Campaign in volunteer management. Her leadership experience includes serving as a team leader in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps where her fearless team took on a myriad of projects including disaster relief, rebuilding communities and elementary education. Hilary holds an MPS from the Clinton School of Public Service and loves to travel, meet new people and have fun while serving the global community.