Participating in Habitat Global Village builds is an unforgettable way to see and learn about other cultures. You will not be a tourist, however you will have the experience of a lifetime helping build homes with a community in this small country near the middle of South America. Because Paraguay is not a common tourist destination it provides a wonderful opportunity for meaningful personal interactions with the people and communities while helping improve their living conditions. Team members with varying experience with building, from novice to skilled, are welcome.
Paraguay is located in the center of the southern half of South America, just northeast of Argentina. Gently mountainous areas, natural reserves of dense subtropical forests, extensive palm forests and countless rivers, streams and lagoons all make up the Paraguayan landscape.
Paraguay’s population of more than 6.8 million is distributed unevenly throughout the country. The vast majority of the people live in the eastern region. More than 58 percent live in Paraguay’s urban areas, with 2.3 million people crowded into two of Paraguay’s 17 districts. The Chaco, a region in northwest Paraguay that accounts for about 60 percent of the territory, is home to less than 2 percent of the population. Ethnically, culturally and socially, Paraguay has one of the most homogeneous populations in South America. About 95 percent of the people are of mixed Spanish and Guarani Indian descent.
About Habitat for Humanity Paraguay
Habitat for Humanity was established in Paraguay in 1998. Over the course of its first decade, Habitat Paraguay built more than 900 houses, providing decent housing for more than 4,500 people. Each Habitat for Humanity housing project is unique and adapts to the needs of the families and communities where Habitat Paraguay builds.
All of Habitat Paraguay’s housing solutions—traditional homes, "progressive" homes, additions and repairs or improvements—are simple, economical and use highly durable materials, such as clay bricks, cement floors and Spanish tile roofs. Using a variety of approaches to improving families’ housing situations – from new home construction to simple improvements for existing homes – Habitat Paraguay is able to serve more families and increase the availability of simple, decent, affordable housing.
Fifty percent of houses in Paraguay are in substandard condition. In addition, 50 percent of the urban population and less than 40 percent of the rural population has access to water service. Only 34 percent of Paraguay’s total population has access to garbage disposal.
Types of construction for volunteers
Global Village volunteers in Paraguay will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of different tasks on the construction site, including mixing, pouring and carrying cement; laying bricks; transporting materials; leveling foundations; digging holes for septic tanks; cleaning the construction site; painting and more. The use of volunteer labor helps to keep home costs at a minimum and is effective in building simple, decent, affordable homes for families.
Day 1 (Typically Saturday): Depart for Paraguay.
Day 2 (Arrival day, Sunday): Greeted at the airport in Asuncion by Habitat Paraguay staff member; transfer to lodging; orientation.
Days 3-7 (Work days, Monday–Friday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; welcome ceremony with families and Habitat staff (first day of work); work from 8 a.m–4 p.m. with lunch on-site or at the hotel; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Note: Special events throughout the week may include dances, traditional meals, tours, sporting events, slum visits or other educational activities. A farewell ceremony will also be held on the final day.
Day 8 (Saturday): Cultural activity, farewell event.
Day 9 (Final day, Sunday): Departure day.
Habitat Paraguay will determine the best lodging option for the team, taking into consideration group size as well as proximity to the construction site. Work teams usually stay in hotels or retreat centers that are simple, safe and clean. Generally, teams stay two to four people per room. Rooms typically have a private bathroom, but are sometimes shared. All accommodations will have hot water.
Breakfast and dinner will usually be served where you are staying or at a nearby restaurant. Lunch will be eaten at the work site.
(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!
Lee Taylor grew up in Northern California and spent 15 years in the New York Metropolitan area before moving to Spokane, in eastern Washington. He is a director of a nonprofit organization that helps deliver medical services to low-income uninsured people. Lee was a team member on two builds in Guatemala and one in Costa Rica. He led his first team to Santiago, Chile in 2010. Lee and his wife Paula will co-lead this team to Paraguay. Lee will manage the details of the trip and make sure it is enjoyable and very meaningful for all. Paula is a doctor who will help make sure that everyone on the team stays safe and healthy. If you want to learn more about this trip, contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.