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Pokhara, Nepal

December 6, 2013 to December 22, 2013

See the world. Open your mind. Get your hands dirty. Make a difference. Join this Global Village team as we travel to central Nepal, an area rich in history and natural beauty, at the foothills of the highest mountains. We will work side by side with local families and experience the culture, food and landscape of Pokhara through building and other activities during the week. This will be a very active 16-day trip. No construction experience is necessary – only a willingness to listen, learn, work and play. 

At work on a bamboo-built house in Nepal

About Nepal
Located in southern Asia and couched between India and China, Nepal contains eight of world’s 10 highest peaks – including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world’s tallest and third-tallest, respectively.

Nepal is as ethnically diverse as its terrain. The Nepalese are descendants of three major migrations from India, Tibet and central Asia. Nepali is the official language, but more than 100 regional and indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country. Religion is also diverse in Nepal; Nepal is roughly 81 percent Hindu, 11 percent Buddhist and 4.2 percent Muslim.

About Habitat for Humanity Nepal
Nearly 90 percent of Nepal’s 22 million people live in the rural plains and mountain areas, primarily as subsistence farmers. Forty-five percent of Nepal’s population lives below the poverty line, with one infant in every 10 dying before the age of five. A lack of employment and poverty has forced one in 10 of the rural population to migrate to the capital, Kathmandu, and other cities – resulting in a shortage of adequate housing in towns and cities, crowded living spaces and the growth of substandard housing.

Habitat for Humanity Nepal builds in every major geographic area of the country, providing an affordable and decent house using the resources available in each location. This may mean mud-and-brick, bamboo or “green” clay bricks. These houses replace the thatch, straw, mud and bamboo houses that are now just pieced together. HFH Nepal also partners with other nonprofits to help teach families how to build homes, provide disaster-response help to communities affected by flooding and to provide clean water and proper sanitation to families in need.

About Pokhara
Scenic Pokhara, with a population of 200,000 people, is Nepal’s third largest city. Lying just 827 meters above sea level in a valley floor, it is an area of ancient caves and tranquil lakes nestling at the foot of the awe-inspiring Annapurna range of mountains. Pokhara is home to an international museum of mountaineering.

The city is also a base for trekking, kayaking, ultra-light flying and paragliding, mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits. The region, however, still faces many of the same challenges as the rest of the country.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on new construction or renovation of homes. Construction materials depend upon locally available materials: bamboo, brick, stone, cement blocks, sun-burnt brick, etc. The construction tasks will vary depending on the stage of construction.

Standard itinerary
Day 1 Friday, December 6: Depart from home.
Day 2 Saturday, December 7: Travel day.
Day 3 Sunday, December 8: Travel day; arrival in Kathmandu.
Day 4 Monday, December 9: Fly to Pokhara ; welcome by host staff and general orientation.
Days 5-8 Tuesday, December 10 –Friday, December 13: Breakfast at the hotel; construction and safety orientation; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Days 9-10 Saturday, December 14-Sunday, December 15: Free days; cultural activities or day trips.
Days 11 -14 Monday, December 16-Thursday, December 19: Breakfast at the hotel; construction and safety orientation; work from 8 a.m.-4p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 15 Friday, December 20: House dedication; farewell lunch; fly back to Kathmandu; free time and overnight there.
Day 16 Saturday, December 21: Depart for home.

Lodging will be provided in a local hotel with participants sharing double-occupancy rooms and shared bath. Breakfast will be provided at the hotel, as well. Lunch, snacks and bottled water will be taken on the worksite. Dinner will be eaten either at the hotel or a local restaurant.  

Program cost
(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 leader
Maris Grossman is figuring out what’s next! After eight years of working as a strategist at an innovation consulting firm in Chicago, she’s excited to try something new. She loves taking photos, editing film, living in the city and hiking through the mountains. She got involved with Habitat while studying architecture in college and has learned through leading Global Village trips to Guatemala, El Salvador and Thailand, as well as participating in a trip to Alaska, that there is no better way to volunteer and travel the world. You can reach Maris Grossman by email at

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

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