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Braga, Portugal

December 12, 2009 to December 21, 2009

Skip the winter blahs and holiday stress this December by giving of yourself to build homes and hope in Portugal! If you are eager to break out of tourist travel and connect with people and places, this is your chance. Make a difference, make friends, get your hands dirty and change lives—maybe even your own!

If you are flexible, enthusiastic, patient, adventurous, open to learning new things and spending time with new people, this trip is for you. No previous construction experience is necessary, just an open mind and the desire to make a difference.


Rosa Coelho praises God that she no longer has to live in the shack visible through the window behind her in Cunha, Portugal.
Country Profile

About Portugal

Land of seafarers and explorers, Portugal is a country whose striking landscapes and cultural wonders lure visitors hoping for a shot of the old world mixed with a vibrant modern flair. Known for its beach resorts, port wine vineyards and olive groves, Portugal’s valleys and the Serra da Estrala mountain range offer some of the best panoramas in Europe, with local color to be found in its many fishing port towns.

Portugal has long been burdened with one of the poorest economies in Western Europe, with the gap between rich and poor widening. Substandard housing that lacks basic amenities, such as indoor plumbing or electricity, can be found in rural areas and in shantytowns surrounding the coastal cities.

HFH Portugal was formed in 1996. HFH Portugal builds houses in traditional style, with red tile roofs.

Standard Itinerary
(10-day itinerary)

Day 1 (typically Saturday): Depart for Portugal.
Day 2 (Sunday):
Arrive in Porto, Portugal; travel to Braga; welcome and orientation with Habitat host program staff member; dinner.
Days 3–8 Work days (Monday–Saturday):
Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner in local restaurants; team activities. Farewell dinner on Day 8. Note: Thursday can be an optional cultural activity day or work day.
Day 9 (Sunday):
Travel to Porto; free time; final team dinner.
Day 10 (Monday):
Departure day.

Note: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, walking tours, etc.

Hotels are simple and basic and typically located near the project site. Rooms sleep two people and include a private bathroom. All facilities are screened by HFH staff to ensure they are safe, clean and well-maintained.

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
Hello future teammates! I am Jill Wiles, and I look forward to building a team of caring, flexible people to make a difference in the lives of families in Braga.

Traveling, building, laughing, reading, writing and helping are some of my biggest joys in life. Luckily for me, Habitat for Humanity Global Village trips combine all of those things and more. I am a former Habitat for Humanity International staff member, and I have co-led teams to Fiji, Tanzania and Hungary and am eager for you join me on an adventure in Portugal. I now live and work in the beautiful city of Chicago.

For more information about this trip, please contact me at

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

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