Do you have a sense of adventure and a passion for travel? Are you looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a difference and have meaningful impact on the lives of others? Are you ready to work hard and get dirty with a diverse team of volunteers? Then Habitat for Humanity Paraguay is for you! Working in partnership with Habitat Paraguay on this build will offer you a unique way to experience a foreign country. Along with your team, you will become part of the mission to secure simple, decent and affordable housing for all.
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 two 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!
Caitlin Lamb is a Habitat for Humanity International employee with a love of adventure, service-learning and travel. During the summer she leads youth participants on builds across the United States and internationally. This past summer included builds in West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Romania. If you are interested in a life-changing experience contact Caitlin at email@example.com.