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Trinidad and Tobago

March 2, 2013 to March 10, 2013

I am looking for eleven folks to help make a difference in this small island nation. No experience is necessary -  just a willingness to work hard and adapt to whatever we find. Of course, the weather, culture and food are included!

About Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a two-island republic in the Caribbean Sea, just seven miles off the coast of Venezuela. Trinidad is the larger island at 1,864 square miles, while Tobago is just 116 square miles. Trinidad has some hills and low mountains but is mostly covered by plains. Tobago is a volcanic island of mainly hills and low mountains, with a narrow strip of plains running along the coast.

The nation has a tropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 78 F (25.5 C). Temperatures remain relatively stable all year, but the islands experience a dry season from January to early June and a wet season from late June through December. During the wet season, rainstorms are frequent but usually short.

About Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago
Community leaders in Trinidad and Tobago received approval to open a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in 1996. Shortly afterwards, the keys to the first Habitat house were handed to a family in Sangre Grande. Since then, Habitat houses have been constructed in other communities: Mayaro, Rio Claro, Penal, Point Fortin and Couva.

Habitat houses are built using the culturally preferred materials for construction – concrete blocks and galvanized roofs. HFHTT’s core mission is the provision of simple, decent and affordable housing. Locally Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago (HFHTT) has constructed more than 178 houses and served 314 families and 1570 individuals to date.

You can learn more at Habitat’s Trinidad and Tobago country profile page or  http://www.habitat-tt.org/.

Type of construction for volunteers
Volunteers complete improvement, finish work, repairs and expansions. International volunteers may work in all stages of construction, from digging the foundation to painting the houses. Regardless of what stage the house is in when the team arrives, responsibilities will likely include carrying bricks, mixing cement, compacting dirt and moving materials.

There will be designated resting zones with drinkable water and portable restroom with water and soap on work sites. The team will be supervised by technical advisors and construction experts who will provide construction goals every day.

Standard itinerary
(9-day itinerary)
Day 1 (Arrival day, typically Saturday): Greeted at the Piarco Airport by Habitat T&T staff; welcome dinner and orientation.
Day 2 (Sunday): Cultural activity day in Trinidad; travel to project location (if necessary).
Days 3-7 (Work days, Monday-Friday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site (in the rainy season or hot areas the work days will start earlier); free time after work to clean up; supper of typical food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Cultural activity day in Tobago.
Day 9 (Final day, Sunday): Departure day.

Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, including cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as traditional dances, market, community tour etc.

Accommodations
Habitat Trinidad & Tobago will determine the best lodging option for your group, taking into consideration the group size as well as proximity to the construction site. Work teams usually stay in hotels, retreat centers or dorm-style accommodations that are basic, safe and clean.

The team will be accommodated with double or quadruple occupancy, per room. Typically, rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, though in some locations, only shared bathrooms are available. Volunteers are not required to bring any bedding, but will sometimes need to pack a towel.

Program cost
US$1,590
(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 leader
Bernard Parker is a retired college president who keeps busy with Habitat, five grandsons and writing. (His most recent book is Puritan Parker which was published last year.) He has led fifteen global village teams over the last seven years to such places as the Fiji Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Romania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Uganda, etc. He served as a VISTA volunteer with Habitat and was a volunteer internal auditor for Guatemala, Colombia and Ecuador. 

You can contact Bernard at parkerhabitat@hotmail.com


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

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