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 33,000 homes, 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.
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.
- Saturday: Arrive in Guatemala, meet up with your team and enjoy a city tour.
- Sunday: Travel to Chiquimula Habitat staff tells about their work in Guatemala, and introduces you to the partner family.
- Monday-Friday: Build each day, with free time and a cultural activity in the evening. On Friday, enjoy a dedication ceremony with the partner family.
- Saturday: Travel to Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site, and spend the day exploring the local markets.
- Sunday: Your journey in Central America may continue independently, or you may depart for home.
Habitat for Humanity prepares travel arrangements inside Guatemala, including accommodations, meals, transportation and insurance. Your cost includes an important donation to Habitat for Humanity so that we can continue building safe, decent housing after you return home. For more details about what is included, visit Global Village program cost.
Share your story
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. Share photos and videos, even updates from the field. It’s a great way to raise support for your program cost, and anything extra goes as donations to build Habitat’s impact. Together we can improve shelter conditions and end poverty housing.
Contact this leader
Have questions? Ready to join the team? Hilary Trudell and Tina Galante will lead this team in the field and would love to speak with you.
Hilary says of her favorite GV memory, “On our last build day in Guatemala, our hostess, Lady, and her neighbors went above and beyond to celebrate our team and the work we had accomplished. We had a live band, great homemade food and heartfelt speeches to commemorate the experience we had all shared. It was a truly moving moment in time - realizing how much a group of strangers to give to each other – priceless!”
Tina says of a memorable GV moment, “All four of the GV trips I’ve led have been memorable, but Hilary and I had an exceptionally great experience in Guatemala. One of the highlights of the trip was working with and interacting with the homeowners and neighbors on-site. Between working with us on the house, sharing family photos and providing great music for us all to sing and dance to, they made the work so much more fun and meaningful.”