Would you like to visit one of the most fascinating countries in the world? Would you like to meet a group of interesting and adventuresome people? Would you like to visit a country where you become part of a family instead of just a tourist?
Together we can experience the beauty of Thailand, learn about a new culture, have some fun and enjoy some fabulous Thai food while helping build or improve houses for local families.
On this Habitat for Humanity trip, we will be staying in Rayong, Thailand which is about two hours southeast of Bangkok (capital of Thailand) on the Gulf of Thailand. Rayong is well known for its pristine beaches and fishing industry, as well as the production of shrimp paste, fish sauce and delicious fresh tropical fruits.
Thailand (or Prathet Thai to locals) is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Myanmar (Burma). Laos and Cambodia also border Thailand to the north and east.
The climate in Thailand is tropical, with a rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon season (mid-May to September) and a dry, cool northeast monsoon season (November to mid-March). The southern isthmus is always hot and humid.
Thailand’s population is relatively homogeneous. More than 85 percent speak a dialect of Thai and share a common culture. Theravada Buddhism is the religion of about 95 percent of the country’s people. The government permits religious diversity, and other major religions are represented. Spirit worship and animism are widely practiced.
About HFH Thailand
The government’s National Housing Authority estimates some 8.2 million people live in sub-standard housing. Problems are particularly acute in Bangkok as the capital has grown into a major metropolis of about 10 million people, dwarfing other cities in the country. Migration from rural areas has placed a strain upon on the supply of affordable land. Migrants face high rents for small rooms and often live in overcrowded areas plagued by a lack of proper sanitation facilities.
Habitat for Humanity Thailand began operations in 1998 in Udon Thani. Since July 2006, HFH Thailand has been operating through Habitat Resource Centers in Bangkok in the central area, Chiang Mai in the north, Udon Thani in the northeast, and Phang Nga province in the south.
Through 2008, Thailand’s tsunami-reconstruction program had served more than 1,500 families and is being transformed, as planned, into a regular program. The move reflects the continuing strong need for affordable housing in the south of the country. Habitat builds in Thailand using several different models – including the Save & Build program and the “Building in Stages” model.
For more information, visit www.habitatthailand.org. An English language version is available.
Types of construction for volunteers
HFH Thailand’s houses are typically 36 sq. m. each in size and the design features the use of concrete interlocking blocks or concrete hollow blocks with a tiled roof. Habitat also builds wooden stilt houses with metal sheet roofs in southern Thailand. These houses replace makeshift structures composed of canvas, cardboard, leaves and wire mesh walls and patched together with rusted scrap metal and wooden planks.
On site, volunteers can expect to move dirt, move blocks, dig septic tanks, bend rebar, mix concrete, pour concrete and lay block under the supervision of a local foreman. No previous construction skill or experience is required.
Day 1 Saturday, July 27: Depart the U.S.
Day 2 Sunday, July 28: Travel day.
Day 3 Monday, July 29: Arrival in Bangkok, free time, dinner.
Day 4: Tuesday, July 30: Travel to host program; welcome and orientation with local staff; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 4-8 Wednesday, July 31-Friday, August 2: Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities.
Day 9 Saturday, August 3-Sunday, August 4: Free days; local activities.
Days 10-13 Monday, August 5-Thursday, August 8: Typical work days: breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free time after work to clean up; dinner; free time for activities. Dedication and farewell ceremony with community on day 13.
Day 14 Friday, August 9: Travel day.
Note: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences such as market tours, or visits to museums, orphanages, sporting events, schools and historical sites.
The team can expect lodging in a local hotel or guesthouse with participants sharing double-occupancy rooms and shared baths. The trip cost also includes three meals per day, including traditional Thai lunches on the build site, as well as snacks and bottled water.
(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!
Bernie Reeves has led nine GV trips along with her husband Dave. They have enjoyed our past trips to Vietnam, Sri Lanka (six trips), Cambodia and the Philippines. They are looking forward to doing our 10th trip to the amazing country of Thailand.
Dave Reeves enjoys traveling, photography, reading, working with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, working on projects around the house and teaching part time at the local community college.
Bernie Reeves enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, photography, visiting with her children and grandchildren, walking her dog on the beach and teaching part time at the local community college.
We both taught overseas for 11 years and visited more than 50 countries. We have visited Thailand several times before and find it a very special place and are looking forward to doing a Habitat build there.
If you would like to join us, please email Bernie at email@example.com.