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March 17, 2010 to March 26, 2010


Paraguay’s country profile

Join a team of like-minded people and travel to one of South America’s less-traveled treasures! You will be part of a team that goes to a region in great need of housing. The experiences and memories of working alongside the local family will last far longer than any souvenir could. Join in the effort that Habitat for Humanity Paraguay is undertaking to eliminate poverty housing in their country.

About Paraguay
Paraguay is located in the center of the southern half of South America, just northeast of Argentina. Gently mountainous areas, natural reserves of dense subtropical forests, extensive palm forests and countless rivers, streams and lagoons all make up the Paraguayan landscape.

Paraguay’s population of more than 6.8 million is distributed unevenly throughout the country. The vast majority of the people live in the eastern region. Over 58 percent live in Paraguay’s urban areas, with 2.3 million people crowded into two of Paraguay’s 17 districts. The Chaco, a region in northwest Paraguay that accounts for about 60 percent of the territory, is home to less than 2 percent of the population. Ethnically, culturally and socially, Paraguay has one of the most homogeneous populations in South America. About 95 percent of the people are of mixed Spanish and Guarani Indian descent.

About Habitat for Humanity Paraguay
Habitat for Humanity was established in Paraguay in 1998. Over the course of its first decade, Habitat Paraguay built more than 900 houses, providing decent housing for more than 4,500 people. Each Habitat for Humanity housing project is unique and adapts to the needs of the families and communities where Habitat Paraguay builds.

All of Habitat Paraguay’s housing solutions—traditional homes, progressive homes, additions and repairs or improvements—are simple, economical and use highly durable materials, such as clay bricks, cement floors and Spanish tile roofs. Using a variety of approaches to improving families’ housing situations—from new home construction to simple improvements for existing homes—Habitat Paraguay is able to serve more families and increase the availability of simple, decent, affordable housing.

Fifty percent of houses in Paraguay are in substandard condition. In addition, 50 percent of the urban population and less than 40 percent of the rural population has access to water service. Only 34 percent of Paraguay’s total population has access to waste disposal.

Types of construction for volunteers
Global Village volunteers in Paraguay will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of different tasks on the construction site, including mixing, pouring and carrying cement; laying bricks; transporting materials; leveling foundations; digging holes for septic tanks; cleaning the construction site; painting and more. The use of volunteer labor helps to keep home costs at a minimum and is effective in building simple, decent, affordable homes for families.

Standard itinerary
Day 1, Wednesday
: Depart for Paraguay.
Day 2, Thursday
: Arrive in Paraguay; greeted at the airport in Asuncion by Habitat Paraguay staff member; transfer to lodging; free time and overnight.
Day 3, Friday
: Orientation with Habitat Paraguay staff member; travel to work site.
Days 4, Saturday
: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; welcome ceremony with families and Habitat staff; work from 8 a.m–4 p.m. with lunch on site or at the hotel; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 5, Sunday
: Visit Habitat houses; church service; see local attractions, dinner.
Days 6–8, Monday–Wednesday (workdays)
: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m–4 p.m. with lunch on site or at the hotel; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 9, Thursday
: Travel back to Asuncion; free time; overnight in Asuncion.
Day 10, Friday
: Departure for home.

Note: Special events throughout the week may include dances, traditional meals, tours, sporting events and other educational activities. A farewell ceremony will also be held on the final day.

Habitat Paraguay will determine the best lodging option for the team, taking into consideration group size as well as proximity to the construction site. Work teams usually stay in hotels or retreat centers that are simple, safe and clean. Generally, teams stay two to four people per room. Rooms typically have a private bathroom but are sometimes shared. All accommodations will have hot water.

Breakfast and dinner will usually be served where you are staying or at a nearby restaurant. Lunch will be eaten at the work site.

Trip cost
Trip cost includes: donation to the Habitat host program and HFHI; meals; accommodations; transport (excluding trip participant air fare); medical emergency evacuation and trip cancellation insurance; some local cultural activities and team coordination and orientation materials. The team leader’s trip cost and estimated air fare may be included in the trip budget. The trip cost does not include trip participant air fare, R&R activities or visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).

Team leader
Bruce Merges hopes to help you make this a rewarding experience of a lifetime. Bruce has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia. He has been involved with Habitat for Humanity since 2005 and has helped build housing in Romania, Portugal and Tajikistan.

Bruce is knowledgeable in construction but loves to learn the unique and unusual building techniques of other cultures. He hopes to assemble a team of adventurers who are fond of doing something special for others.

For more information about this GV trip, contact Bruce via e-mail at or call 603-860-1783.

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

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