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Santa Cruz, Bolivia

November 16, 2012 to November 25, 2012

What better way to spend Thanksgiving than helping a family build a better home? If you are adventurous, open minded, flexible, hardworking and interested in experiencing a different culture, then our trip to Bolivia might be perfect for you

About Bolivia
Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia is a landlocked country of 424,165 square miles. The Andes Mountains, which run north-south through the country, 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, 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

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.

Standard itinerary
(10-day itinerary)

Day 1 (Departure day, typically Friday): Departure day from home country
Day 2 (Saturday): Arrival at the Viru Viru Airport by Habitat Bolivia staff; shuttle to the hotel where volunteers will stay the whole week.
Days 4-7 (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 8 (Saturday): Cultural activities and tour to the city of Santa Cruz.
Day 9 (Final day, Sunday): Departure day.
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.

Program cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world.

Team leaders
The team leader for this trip is Paul Van Ast. Paul has lead GV teams to Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, South Africa, Colombia and Argentina. He has also participated in five other GV trips as a team member. He enjoys travel, art, hiking, biking, yoga and mixing cement with a shovel! If you are interested in being considered for his team, please contact him at

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

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