About El Salvador
El Salvador is located in Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras. It is the smallest and most densely populated of the Central American countries. Two volcanic chains run down its center, rising from fertile plateaus that otherwise characterize the countryside.
The country’s climate is tropical; with a rainy season (May to October) and dry season (November to April). It is tropical on the coast and temperate in uplands. Daytime temperatures vary little, reaching around 86 degrees F in November and 93 degrees F in March and April.
About Habitat for Humanity El Salvador
Since 1992, Habitat for Humanity El Salvador has provided more than 10,300 housing solutions, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 51,500 Salvadorians. HFH El Salvador works with the central office in San Salvador and seven regional’s offices in San Miguel, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, Usulutan, La Paz, San Vicente and San Salvador.
The earthquake-resistant houses are made of concrete blocks and structural steel reinforcement. The roofs are made of fiber-cement sheeting, and the floors of cement brick. They have two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and a latrine or toilet. Windows are shutter type, protected by steel bars in order to provide adequate lighting, ventilation and security.
For families who are unable to afford the standard model, there is another housing option called the “Progressive Model.” Depending on the family’s future resources, these houses may be extended and improved in stages. This model is available in two sizes: a 40 square meter construction area (US$8,000) or a 30 square meter construction area.
For more information, visit www.habitatelsalvador.org.sv.
Types of construction for volunteers
Global Village volunteers may work in all stages of construction, from digging foundations to painting the houses. Regardless of what stage the house is in when the team arrives, responsibilities will likely include: carrying bricks, mixing cement, compacting dirt and moving materials.
On the work site, volunteers will find portable bathrooms and designated resting areas with drinkable water. The team will be supervised by technical advisors and construction experts and they will present written construction goals every day. Each volunteer will be provided with a pocket-sized contact card plus emergency and evacuation plans.
Day 1 (Arrival day, typically Saturday): Greeted at San Salvador airport by Habitat El Salvador staff; transport to accommodations.
Day 2 (Sunday): Travel to affiliate location; free time/cultural activity; orientation and welcome.
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; free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Salvadoran food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Travel to San Salvador; free time/cultural activity; final team dinner.
Day 9 (Final day, Sunday): Departure day.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week: cultural experiences with host program, such as traditional dance, agricultural and architectural tours, typical food preparation – as well as a farewell activity.
Habitat El Salvador will determine the best lodging option for Global Village teams. Work teams usually stay in hotels, retreat centers or dorm-style accommodations that are basic, safe and clean. The team will stay two to four people per room. Typically rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, though in some locations, only shared bathrooms are available. Volunteers are not required to bring any bedding, but will need to pack a towel.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Share your story and keep Habitat building
You’re building 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. Fundraising your program cost will be easy, and additional funds you raise will keep Habitat building after your team returns home.
Have questions? Ready to join the team? Thomas Saylor will lead this team in the field and would love to speak with you.
Since 2007, Thomas has traveled on seven occasions to Central America, including five Global Village trips, working in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. This will be his third time leading a Global Village team. In Thomas’s everyday life, he’s professor of history at a small college in Minnesota. He enjoys helping people learn more about, and appreciate, everything the land and people of Central America have to offer. Beyond getting dirty on GV builds, he keeps busy with cycling, photography, writing and his family.
For more information about this trip, please contact Thomas at GV15230@gmail.com.