Taos, New Mexico
Come join us for a late summer working vacation in Taos, New Mexico, and help build a safe, sustainable home while also learning some new skills. No previous experience is needed—just willing hands and a willing heart. You will be certain to make new friends, enjoy the beautiful scenery and culture and forever change the lives of a family.
The town of Taos is in northern New Mexico, 110 miles northeast of Albuquerque. Taos is at an elevation of about 7,000 feet and has a population of 5,000. Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains—which includes Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico at 13,100 feet—this high desert area shows the Southwest in all its beauty. The air is thin, the humidity is low and the sun is bright.
Taos is also home to the Taos Pueblo, a multi-storied adobe building that has been used for more than 1,000 years. There are also world class museums and galleries, the historic Taos Plaza, the historic San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos and the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, eight miles northwest of Taos. The latter spans 650 feet above the river.
About Habitat for Humanity Taos
Habitat for Humanity Taos was founded in 1993 by a committed group of men and women with a vision to provide homes for families that couldn’t afford it. Since 1993, Habitat Taos has built 26 homes, housing more than 80 people. Habitat builds simple, decent, affordable homes in Taos and, thanks to a committed board of directors and staff, will continue to make more affordable housing available in the area.
Tourism is the dominant sector of Taos’ economy. As a result, the majority of the population works in the service industry. More than 20 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and the median personal income is $26,000. In contrast, the average home price is $340,000 and, according to the State Housing Authority, 90 percent of the people who live and work in Taos cannot afford a home of their own.
Learn more at www.taoshabitat.org.
Types of construction for volunteers
Taos Habitat builds wood-frame or adobe block houses, depending on the location. Volunteers help in all aspects of new construction, including digging foundations, framing, roofing, installing windows and doors, appliances, insulation, sheet rock, painting and finish work. In addition, our Habitat ReStore produces funds for new homes and keeps materials out of landfills. Volunteers may have the opportunity to work with this program as well. All tools and construction site materials will be provided by the affiliate.
Bathrooms, fresh water and all tools and materials will be available on-site. Sunglasses and a hat are recommended. It is important to stay hydrated, especially to prevent altitude sickness. The nights and early mornings tend to be cool and the days warm, with more extreme temperatures in winter. A 40-degree swing in temperature is common. Dressing in layers is advised and sunscreen use throughout the day is advised, even in winter. It is also often windy, which can create dusty conditions.
Day 1 (Arrival day, Sunday, August 18): Greeted at the Albuquerque International airport by team leader, driven to Taos (2.5 hour ride) for hotel lodging check-in, team dinner, and team meeting/welcome.
Days 2-3 (Monday, August 19 & Tuesday, August 20): Breakfast at 7 a.m., work from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner at 7 p.m.; time later for team activities.
Day 4 (Wednesday, August 21: Cultural outings): Team will travel by van to Santa Fe, Taos, and the surrounding areas for sightseeing and local cultural events.
Days 5-6 (Thursday, August 22 & Friday, August 23): Breakfast at 7 a.m., work from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m with lunch on-site; dinner at 7 p.m.; time later for team activities.
Day 7 (Departure day, Saturday, August 24): Team departs for Albuquerque International Airport for late afternoon departing flights.*
The budget is for double-occupancy in a local hotel or guesthouse.
Water is available on-site. Breakfast will be eaten at the hotel where daily lunches will also be made. Dinners can be prepared by the team (for example, BBQ, available at hotel) or eaten in local restaurants. Some meals will be provided by the affiliate.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
The team leader will pick team members up at the Albuquerque International Airport and will be responsible for transporting the team to Taos (and back to Albuquerque for departure).
*If team members elect to stay in Albuquerque Saturday night, they are welcome to do so at their own expense.
Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.
John Mitchell, a retired school teacher, is committed to creating a team of skilled or unskilled, flexible people who desire to help a family build their home, make lasting friendships and learn about the culture and history of the city. For more information about this trip and how to apply, please contact John at Mitchfirstname.lastname@example.org