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Guatemala

August 3, 2013 to August 11, 2013

Apply to the team

Join this team as we work to provide adequate housing in Guatemala, meet new people and experience the charm and beauty of the country. Rabinal, our host community, is located in central Guatemala and has a population of around 36,000 Achi Maya Native Americans, who speak their indigenous language. This trip will be a unique experience for anyone looking to work with Habitat for Humanity to dramatically improve the lives of at least one family. A solid house is the foundation for healthy lives, helps children to excel in school and so much more. No construction experience is needed, only a willingness to work alongside a team of motivated volunteers.

About Guatemala
Guatemala is located in Central America. It borders the North Pacific Ocean, between El Salvador and Mexico, and the Gulf of Honduras (Caribbean Sea) between Honduras and Belize. Volcanic peaks, scenic coastlines and a forested mountain interior shape the brilliance of the Guatemalan landscape.

Guatemala is a small country in Central America with an estimated population of 13 million. It hosts a tropical climate along the lower elevations and cooler weather in the mountains. The country is full of rich indigenous culture and Spanish traditions. However, Guatemala also has a nearly 80 percent poverty rate and a housing deficit of about 1.5 million units.

About Habitat for Humanity Guatemala
Since its founding in 1979, Habitat Guatemala has built more than 50,000 housing solutions, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for Guatemalans in need of housing. Structured as a community organization that includes the participation of more than 700 local volunteers, Habitat specializes in working with families that have no access to the national financing system (banks, cooperatives, etc.) and who are living in inadequate conditions.

HFH Guatemala constructs earthquake-resistant houses made with concrete floors, block walls and corrugated zinc roofs. Habitat has a presence in all Guatemala’s departments, working with more than 205 local committees in 260 communities.

You can learn more at Habitat’s Guatemala country profile page or http://www.habitatguate.org/.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will generally be involved in full home constructions. At times, volunteers may be involved in improvements, finish/conclusions, repairs and additions/expansions. During construction days, they will be trained to use the basic construction tools provided, and they will learn the types of housing they are going to be working on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present everyday on the work site to guide the construction. They will provide construction goals every day and verbal reports of the progress made.

To guarantee the safety of all team members, the national office will provide an emergency and evacuation plan at every work site. There will also be bathrooms with water and soap and designated resting areas with chairs and drinkable water near every build site.

Standard itinerary
(9-day itinerary)

Day 1 (Arrival day, Saturday): Greeted at the airport by Habitat Guatemala staff; shuttles to Antigua if team arrives before 5 p.m., if not stay in Guatemala City.
Day 2 (Sunday): Orientation with Habitat Guatemala staff member; travel to project site; welcome ceremony with families and Habitat staff; dinner.
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 Guatemalan food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Travel back to Antigua; free time; overnight in Antigua.
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 tours, boat rides, etc. Walking tour of host city; farewell ceremony.

Accommodations
Hotels include double- or triple-occupancy rooms and are simple and basic and typically located near the project site. Guatemala’s climate can be humid in some areas, and so rooms in some areas may smell a bit musty. Hot water is typically provided; however, the water heating systems may not work as well as in the volunteers’ home countries. Hotel rooms will be cleaned and maintained daily and are screened for safety and comfort.

Program cost
US$1,400
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

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. 

Team leaders
This will be Mike Parker’s first time as a Global Village team leader. Mike has traveled numerous times to Central and South America and has grown to respect its people for their fortitude, faith and good nature. Mike has realized that adequate housing is the foundation for improving a family’s life and insures security for future generations. This will be Mike’s second Global Village trip to Guatemala and the fourth time visiting the country. If you have any questions, please contact Mike at mike.parker.iowa@gmail.com


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

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