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Long An, Vietnam

October 19, 2012 to November 1, 2012

Join us in Vietnam for a “vacation with a purpose.” We are looking for adventurous people to join us on this exciting and challenging mission to help build homes for people in need of decent housing. During this trip you’ll be immersed in the rich culture and hospitality of Vietnam while doing hands-on building alongside future homebuyers in Long An. You will feel a sense of global community, spiritual enrichment and accomplishment. No previous construction skills or experience is required.


Country profile


About Vietnam
Vietnam (“Viet Nam” in Vietnamese), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the eastern most country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, bordering China, Laos and Cambodia. It is a country of divine contrasts. The scene changes from the bustling and chaotic streets of Hanoi in the north, down 3,450 kilometers of coastline to the tranquil rice paddies and tropical islands in the south.

The country has experienced significant economic growth in the past two decades as the country shifted to a market style economy. A driving force for the future is Vietnam’s strongly motivated and educated population – the country boasts a 90 percent literacy rate. But while Vietnam has the second-fastest growing economy in Asia, it is still one of the poorest countries in the region. A 2004 census estimated 19.5 percent of Vietnamese lived below the national poverty line. Substandard housing in Vietnam ranges from overcrowded urban units to shacks constructed from scraps or natural materials that need frequent replacing.

Long An is a Mekong River Delta province in southern Vietnam. Tan An Town is the capital town of the province, 55 km from Ho Chi Minh City. The province population is approximately 1.4 million. Geographically, Long An is divided into numerous smaller areas by a complex network of rivers and canals. The terrain is quite flat except for some hills in the northern part of the province, and this fertile environment has traditionally favored agriculture including rice, pineapples and mangos.

About Habitat for Humanity Vietnam
Habitat’s work in Vietnam is undertaken through the Habitat for Humanity Vietnam national office that was established in October 2002. Currently, Habitat has projects in the southern provinces of Long An, Kien Giang, Tien Giang, Dong Nai as well as Ho Chi Minh City.

To learn more about Habitat Vietnam, visit

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on existing home renovations and/or complete home construction. Volunteers may help with some, but not necessarily all, of these activities: transporting materials; filling foundations with dirt stone and sand; compacting floor; mixing mortar; laying bricks; and cleaning and painting windows and doors.

Standard itinerary
(14 day itinerary)
Day 1 Friday, October 19: Depart for Vietnam.
Day 2 Saturday, October 20: Travel day.
Day 3 Sunday, October 21: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City ; free time; dinner; overnight in hotel.
Day 4 Monday, October 22: Travel to Long An; orientation with local staff member; visit project site and families; welcome dinner.
Days 5 -8 Tuesday-Friday, October 23-26: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner and time for team activities.
Days 9 -10 Saturday – Sunday, October 27- 28: Free days: cultural activities and local site seeing in the local area.
Days 11-12 Monday – Tuesday, October 29-30: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at house; time for team activities.
Day 13 Wednesday, October 31: Work from 9 a.m. – noon; farewell lunch with families; travel to Ho Chi Minh City; free time for local activities; team celebration dinner.
Day 14 Thursday, November 1: Departure day.*

Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, including cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as market tours, museum visits, historical sites, etc.

*We will be arranging for an optional, post-build three-day R&R adventure for those who would like to continue to explore Vietnam for several more days (November 1 – 3). This post-build trip is for fun! It is completely optional and there will be an additional cost – details TBD.

Teams typically stay in a local hotel with A/C and will share double-occupancy rooms with private bath. If not provided at the hotel, both laundry and internet/Wi-Fi facilities will be available locally.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel. Lunch will be local food provided on the work site prepared by local restaurants that are located near the work site. Dinners will be in local restaurants. Snack and water is included, as well as the cost of welcome and farewell dinners.

Program cost:

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

Share.Build.Impact: Join the GV challenge!
Habitat 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 to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story, building hope and impacting the world!

Team leader:
I’m Linda Sultan and I’ve worked in nonprofit organizations for the past 20 years. My expertise is in fundraising, program management and helping nonprofit boards become effective in their role as volunteers and fundraisers. My career includes four years in Georgia working for Habitat for Humanity International as women build director and then U.S operations director. I recently retired from Physicians for Human Rights based in Cambridge, MA in order to devote more energy towards piano, art, educational courses and volunteer work. I’ve participated in Habitat builds throughout the U.S. as well as Global Village trips to Argentina, Chile, Cambodia and Nepal, and I co-led teams to Botswana and Viet Nam. I’m a former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda; I’ve lived/worked in Africa, the Middle East and Europe and have traveled in many South American countries. I find GV trips so satisfying because we’re able to truly connect with the local people in such a meaningful way. Last year’s build in Vietnam was so incredible that I can’t wait to go back. I’m delighted to lead another great team to Vietnam, which, in addition to the build, offers the opportunity to experience incredible cultural opportunities! Email me at

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

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