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El Salvador

April 17, 2010 to April 25, 2010

Here is your chance to travel the world while making a difference!

Join a Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip to El Salvador, where we will work side-by-side with Habitat El Salvador and local families to help eliminate substandard housing. If you are adventurous and dream of helping others while seeing the world, then this trip is for you.

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 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 built more than 5,000 houses, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 25,000 Salvadorans. HFH El Salvador works with the central office in San Salvador and six regional offices in Santa Ana, Sonsonate, Usulután, La Paz, San Vicente and San Salvador.

The earthquake-resistant Habitat 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 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$2,750) or a 30-square-meter construction area (US$2,100).

For more information, visit

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-size contact card, plus emergency and evacuation plans.

Standard itinerary
(9-day itinerary)

Day 1, typically Saturday (arrival day)
: Greeted at San Salvador airport by Habitat El Salvador staff; transport to accommodations.
Day 2, Sunday
: Free time to rest; orientation and welcome.
Days 3–7, Monday–Friday (work days)
: 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; final team dinner.
Day 9, Sunday (final day)
: 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 and 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.

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 leaders
Jennifer Filipski has been involved with the Global Village program for four years and has participated in builds in New Zealand, Hawaii, Romania, Portugal and Fiji. This will be her second trip as a team leader (She led her first trip to Kauai, Hawaii in 2009.), and she is very excited to take a group to El Salvador to explore a new corner of the world and make a difference in the fight against substandard housing!

Kathryn Petrovich has been involved with Habitat for about a year. She participated in her first trip to Kauai, Hawaii, where she met her now co-leader Jennifer Filipski!

Jennifer and Kathryn are looking for team members who are flexible, have a sense of humor, consider themselves adventurous, are team players with a positive attitude and willingness to learn and have a desire to help others less fortunate. No construction experience is required!

If you are interested in meeting new friends and experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity, or have any questions about the trip, please contact Jennifer by e-mail at or Kathryn by e-mail at

They are excited to lead this trip together and are thrilled to share this worthwhile journey with others.

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

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