Help build houses while experiencing the beautiful area of Solola. Volcanic peaks, scenic coastlines and a forested mountain interior shape the brilliance of the Guatemalan landscape. Learn about Guatemalan culture as you work alongside partner families, and prepare to be changed by this small corner of the world.
Guatemala is located in Central America between El Salvador and Mexico and borders the North Pacific Ocean. It also borders the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize.
Guatemala is a small country in Central America, with an estimated population of 12.7 million. The country has 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 above one million.
We will be working in the area of Solola for this Global Village trip. Solola means “elder water” in the Mayan Kaqchikeles language. The Solola landscape features Lake Atitlan and magnificent volcanoes. In the north, mountains mix with valleys, and the climate varies from warm to cool. In the south, the landscape declines to Lake Atitlan. This lake is particularly special because it does not have a visible outlet, and in its center are thermal, sulfuric springs. Along its banks lie most of the Mayan towns, many of which have names from the Bible, causing some to call them the 12 apostles.
About Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Since its founding in 1979, Habitat Guatemala has built more than 25,000 houses, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 140,000 Guatemalans in need of stable housing. 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.
For more information, visit www.habitatguate.org.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will be involved in new construction and repair work. During construction days, the team will be trained in the use of construction tools and the types of housing solutions they will be work on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present every day on the work site to guide the construction.
Day 1, typically Saturday: Arrive in Guatemala; greeted at the airport by Habitat Guatemala staff; stay in Guatemala City.
Day 2, Sunday: Orientation with Habitat Guatemala staff member; travel to project site; welcome ceremony with families and Habitat staff; dinner.
Days 3–7, Monday–Friday (Workdays): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. with lunch on site (In the rainy season or hot areas, work days will start earlier); free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Guatemalan food; time for team activities; Friday afternoon travel to Antigua.
Day 8, Saturday: Free full day in Antigua.
Day 9, Sunday: Departure day.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, including cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as traditional dances, market tours, boat rides, walking tour of host city, farewell ceremony, etc.
Hotels are simple and basic and typically located near the project site. Guatemala’s climate is humid, and the rooms in some areas may smell a bit musty. Hot water is typically provided; however, water heating systems may not work as well as in the volunteers’ home countries. In most cases, hotel rooms will be cleaned and maintained daily and are screened for safety.
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. Some of 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).
Carol Landry and Jan Royer are excited to bring a diverse team of dedicated, hard-working, compassionate, fun and interesting people to build houses with the wonderful people in Guatemala!
Carol works part time, helping to run a health office. This will be her sixth trip to Guatemala but her first as a team leader. Jan is a teacher. She has led four trips to Guatemala. Both Carol and Jan served for several years on a local Habitat board, have a sense of adventure and love to introduce new people to the joy and camaraderie only experienced on a GV build!
For more information on this Global Village trip to Guatemala, contact Carol and Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org.