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Santiago, Chile "Our Children Return Home Project"

December 14, 2013 to December 22, 2013

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Habitat for Humanity Chile offers you the opportunity to visit one of the safest and most modern metropolis of Latin America, while making a tremendous impact on the life of a child with special needs this holiday season. This team will be working Santiago, a city surrounded by mountains, where the ancient and modern coexist. It is home to colonial buildings and modern skyscrapers. Chile has one of the highest economic disparities in the world and affordable housing is often not a reality. If you want to explore a new place, learn more and provide a child with adequate shelter this holiday season, this trip is for you.

About Chile
About twice the size of Montana, but stretched long and skinny down the southwestern end of South America, Chile is wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. Barely extending beyond 200 kilometers (124 miles) in width, Chile makes up for longitudinal mincing by rising rapidly from sea level to 6,000 meters (19,680 feet).

Chile is a highly urbanized country, with nearly 86 percent of its 16.6 million people living in urban settings. However, Chile also has one of the highest economic disparities in the word and the present challenge is overcoming that gap. Habitat for Humanity is working in the country to make permanent housing affordable for families – and helping families with children with special needs to continue their treatment at home.

About Habitat for Humanity Chile
HFH Chile was established in 2001, and by September of 2002 the first three homes were built in Caldera. Today, there are Habitat projects in five of the 15 regions of the country. Volunteers going to Chile will be part of the project called Our Children Return Home. 

About Our Children Return Home
Children with life-threatening illnesses in Chile are often relocated permanently to medical facilities to ensure the quality of their living conditions. In cases where the children remain in the home, inadequate housing conditions can jeopardize the effectiveness of their treatment. In response, the program aims to bring a light of hope by building or improving bedrooms to these children with special needs. The goal is so they can recover in their own home, in a safe environment and under the care of their families, leaving behind hospitals and children shelters.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity Chile and the housing needs there, read the country’s Web profile

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may assist with home improvements, finishing partially constructed homes, housing repairs, additions and expansions. Team members can expect to do a variety of different jobs depending of the need of the family.

Standard itinerary: 9 days

  • Day 1 (Saturday): Depart from home.
  • Day 2 (arrival day, Sunday): Greeted at the airport by Habitat Chile staff member; orientation and welcome dinner.
  • Days 3-4 (Work days, Monday–Tuesday): 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; typical Chilean dinners at hostel; time for team activities.
  • Days 5 (Wednesday): Half work day and time for a cultural activity.
  • Day 6-7 (Thursday-Friday): Work day.
  • Day 8 (Saturday): Work from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. farewell lunch with families on each individual work site.
  • Day 9 (Sunday): Departure day.

Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week, including cultural experiences with host program, such as traditional dance, agricultural and architectural tours, typical food preparation as well as a farewell activity.

HFH Chile will determine the best lodging option for the team, taking into consideration group size and proximity to the construction site. Work teams usually stay in hotels 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. Breakfast and dinner will usually be served where you are staying. Lunch will be at the work site, where snacks and water will also be provided. 

Program cost
(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 leader
Anne Shaffer Myers works for Habitat for Humanity International’s government relations and advocacy office in Washington, D.C. As the advocacy campaigns associate director, Anne supports Habitat affiliated organizations through advocacy capacity building, providing them with issue-based tools and equipping them for action. Before coming to HFHI, Anne worked as the volunteer coordinator at Sea Island Habitat in South Carolina. Anne has led previous GV trips to other countries, including Malawi and Fiji, and is very excited to lead her first trip to Chile. Anne loves traveling, exploring, reading, learning, cooking, playing tennis and giving back. If you have questions about the trip, please email Anne at

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

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