Join this exciting trip to Bolivia! We will be building in Cochabamba, an area with a population of more than 600,000. No building experience is necessary, just flexibility and an open heart. We’ll work hard, learn a lot, meet great people and experience what it means to be part of a “Global Village.”
Cochabamba is also called the “City of Eternal Spring” for its fair weather, and we’ll be there during its actual spring season. The area boasts a diverse economy, from traditional crops like grains, coffee, sugar cane, cocoa, fruit and tobacco (plus, yes, coca leaves) to cosmetics and concrete.
Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia is a landlocked country of 424,165 square miles. The Andes Mountains, which run north to south through the country and climb to more than 21,000 feet, are permanently covered with snow. The famous Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world, lies on the north end of the Altiplano.
Bolivia’s population of roughly 9.2 million is growing at about 1.4 percent annually. About one-third of the population lives in rural areas. La Paz has more than 1 million people and Santa Cruz has about the same number. Nearly 60 percent of the total population is of indigenous ancestry, while some 25 percent of the people are criollo (or mestizo), who are of mixed indigenous and European heritage.
Statistics also show that out of the total population, 58 percent of Bolivian families live in huts that do not meet the minimum living conditions, lacking basic services and sanitation. Thirty-one percent of homes accommodate three or more people per bedroom.
About Habitat for Humanity Bolivia
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia was established in 1985, in the Alto Beni community in La Paz, with the purpose of eradicating subhuman housing in Bolivia by building simple, adequate and affordable housing. Habitat Bolivia works in eight locations throughout the country: Alto Beni, El Alto, Oruro, Tarija, Cochabamba, Chimoré, Santa Cruz, Ichilo and San Julián.
For more information, visit www.habitatbolivia.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 are going to be working on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present every day on the work site to guide the construction.
To guarantee the safety of all team members, the national office will provide safety goggles and hard hats, as well as written emergency and evacuation plans at every work site. There will also be portable bathrooms with water and soap and designated resting areas with chairs and drinkable water near every build site.
Day 1 (Departure day, typically Friday): Departure day from home country.
Day 2 (Saturday): Arrival at the Viru Viru Airport and from there take a 30 minute flight to Cochabamba in the afternoon.
Day 3 (Sunday): Welcome ceremony with Habitat staff.
Days 4-8 (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 Bolivian food; time for team activities.
Day 9 (Saturday): Cultural activities and tour to the city of Cochabamba.
Day 10 (Final day, Sunday): Early departure flight and flight back to home country.
Note: Trip includes including cultural experiences with affiliate staff.
HFH Bolivia will choose the team’s lodging taking into consideration our group’s size. Teams usually stay in basic, safe hotels, with team members staying 2-4 people per room, sometimes in dorm-style accommodations.
Breakfast and dinner will likely be served at the hotel or nearby restaurant. Lunch will be prepared by the hotel and eaten at the work site, where snacks and water will also be provided.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village trip cost.)
The team leaders for this group will be Chris Goodrich and Ana Maria Madaio.
Chris has led or co-led Global Village teams to El Salvador, Honduras, India, Mexico, Kenya, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic and has also attended GV trips to Guatemala and Paraguay. Chris has participated in two Jimmy Carter Work Projects in New York and South Africa as well. He is the author of four books, including one on Habitat entitled “Faith is a Verb,” and lives in Connecticut. When not traveling, he teaches, writes, volunteers and gives his three children (ages 15, 18 and 21) a hard time.
Ana Maria Madaio lives in New England, but was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and brings her international travel, Habitat build experiences, Spanish fluency and a positive attitude to the team. Having done three wonderful Habitat builds in Kentucky, South Carolina and Kenya, Ana is very excited to visit Bolivia for the first time. Her most recent GV experience in Kenya (with co-leader Chris Goodrich) inspired her to become a GV leader herself. She remains very encouraged by the immense positive impact that Habitat and tis volunteers have on so many families in need. After working in graphic design, Ana now enjoys being a full-time mother and wife, playing ice hockey and sharing Habitat experiences during life-changing builds.
Ana and Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.