Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Spend the first week of 2014 in Guatemala and come back reinvigorated and centered for the New Year.
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, scenic coastlines 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.
•Saturday: Arrive in Guatemala, meet up with your team and enjoy a city tour.
•Sunday: Travel to Alta Verapaz. Habitat staff tells about their work in Guatemala, and introduces you to the partner family.
•Monday-Friday: Build each day, with free time and a cultural activity in the evening. On Friday, enjoy a dedication ceremony with the partner family.
•Saturday: Travel to Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site, and spend the day exploring the local markets.
•Sunday: Your journey in Central America may continue independently, or you may depart for home.
Habitat for Humanity prepares travel arrangements inside Guatemala, including accommodations, meals, transportation and insurance. Your cost includes an important donation to Habitat for Humanity so that we can continue building safe, decent housing after you return home. (For more details about what is included, visit Global Village program cost.)
Share your story
You’re doing something exciting with Habitat, so tell people about it! Create a page on Share.Habitat to tell friends, family and coworkers about your Global Village trip. Share photos and videos, even updates from the field. It’s a great way to raise support for your program cost, and anything extra goes as donations to build Habitat’s impact. Together we can improve shelter conditions and end poverty housing.
Contact this leader
Have questions? Ready to join the team? Kayla Sanders will lead this team in the field and would love to speak with you.
Kayla says, “During one group reflection time one of the volunteers spoke to the team with tears streaming down his cheeks. With a wavering voice he said, ‘I’ve lived a long and happy life, and this time with you all will be one of the happiest moments of my life.’ I love being involved with Global Village because of moments like these.”