Taos, New Mexico
Have you ever wanted to make a difference in someone’s life? Do you have enthusiasm and the willingness to work as part of a team? This could be the experience you have been waiting for. Come serve families in the beautiful setting of New Mexico. There is no experience necessary, just bring your enthusiasm and willingness to make a difference in the lives of others.
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, 8 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: 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, Aug. 10): 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-Tuesday, Aug. 11-12): Breakfast at 7:00 a.m., work on site 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner at 7:00 p.m.; time for team activities.
Day 4 (Wednesday, Aug. 13: Cultural outings): Team will travel by van to Santa Fe, Taos and the surrounding areas for sight-seeing and local cultural events.
Days 5-7 (Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 14-16): Breakfast at 7:00 a.m., work on site 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner at 7:00 p.m.; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Sunday, Aug.17): Cultural Activities in and around Taos and Santa Fe.
Day 9-10 (Monday-Tuesday, Aug. 18-19): Breakfast at 7:00 a.m., work on site 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner at 7:00 p.m.; time for team activities.
Day 11: (Wednesday, Aug. 20) Departure day: Travel to Albuquerque for afternoon departures.
Team stays in a local hotel with double occupancy.
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).
Share your story and keep Habitat building
You’re doing something exciting with Habitat, so tell people about it! Create a page on Share.Habitat to tell friends, family and coworkers about your Global Village trip. Fundraising your program cost will be easy, and any additional funds you raise will keep Habitat building after your team returns home.
Gary Loos has been involved with Habitat at the local, national and international level for almost 20 years. He is retired and lives in a small town just north of Milwaukee, Wis. Gary says, “I have seen and done things with Habitat that I never thought I would. I promise you this experience will be among the most meaningful of your life.”
You can reach Gary at email@example.com for questions or more information.