Come with us for a Caribbean traveling experience unlike any other. Join us as we put together a group of eager and energetic people to build in the tropical location of Trinidad – home of the steel drum, more than 430 species of exotic birds, 600 native species of butterflies and 1,000 varieties of orchids! Trinidad shares historical roots with the British, French, Spanish, Africans and East Indians. We’re looking for a team just as diverse – made up of all ages, backgrounds and interests – to truly live and work as a team during our short time together, for as the proverb says, “Many hands make light work.”
About Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago is a two-island republic in the Caribbean Sea, just 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Trinidad is the larger island at 1,864 square miles, while Tobago is just 116 square miles. Trinidad has some hills and low mountains but is mostly covered by plains. Tobago is a volcanic island of mainly hills and low mountains, with a narrow strip of plains running along the coast.
The nation has a tropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 78F (25.5C). Temperatures remain relatively stable all year, but the islands experience a dry season from January to early June and a wet season from late June through December. During the wet season, rainstorms are frequent but usually short.
About Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago
Community leaders in Trinidad and Tobago received approval to open a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in 1996. Shortly afterwards, the keys to the first Habitat house were handed to a family in Sangre Grande. Since then, Habitat houses have been constructed in other communities: Mayaro, Rio Claro, Penal, Point Fortin and Couva.
Habitat houses are built using the culturally preferred materials for construction – concrete blocks and galvanized roofs. HFHTT’s core mission is the provision of simple, decent and affordable housing. Locally Habitat for Humanity Trinidad and Tobago (HFHTT) has constructed more than 178 houses, served 314 families and 1570 individuals to date.
Type of construction for volunteers
Volunteers complete improvement, finish work, repairs and expansions. International volunteers may work in all stages of construction, from digging the foundation to painting the houses. Regardless of what stage the house is in when the team arrives, responsibilities will likely include carrying bricks, mixing cement, compacting dirt and moving materials.
There will be designated resting zones with drinkable water and portable restroom with water and soap on work sites. The team will be supervised by technical advisors and construction experts who will provide construction goals every day.
Day 1 (Arrival day, typically Saturday): Greeted at the Piarco Airport by Habitat T&T staff; welcome dinner and orientation.
Day 2 (Sunday): Cultural activity day in Trinidad; travel to project location (if necessary).
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 food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Cultural activity day in Tobago.
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, community tour etc.
Habitat Trinidad & Tobago will determine the best lodging option for your group, taking into consideration the group size as well as proximity to the construction site. Work teams usually stay in hotels, retreat centers or dorm-style accommodations that are basic, safe and clean.
The team will be accommodated with double or quadruple occupancy, per room. Typically, rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, though in some locations, only shared bathrooms are available. Volunteers are not required to bring any bedding, but will sometimes need to pack a towel.
Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
Matt Amore has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for the past five years. This will be his fourth Global Village trip, second as a team leader. He has previously built in Botswana and Viet Nam, and last summer co-lead a trip to Romania with Linda. Matt currently lives in the East Village of NYC. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 2004, Matt spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in a low-income elementary school in Seattle. He is currently a special education teacher for fourth and fifth graders in East Harlem, having received his master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Aside from reading, writing and math, he is dedicated to instilling in his students a sense of social justice and advocacy. For the past 15 summers, Matt has volunteered at a camp in the Hudson Valley, working separate weeks for young adults with developmental disabilities and children born with HIV/AIDS; he currently sits on their board of directors. Matt has traveled extensively across the globe, yet finds building with Habitat the best way to go, truly valuing the concept of “travel with a purpose.” Email him at email@example.com .
Linda Sultan has worked in nonprofit organizations for the past 20 years. Her career includes four years in Georgia working for Habitat for Humanity International as Women Build director and then U.S operations director. She’s participated in Habitat builds throughout the U.S. as well as Global Village trips to Argentina, Chile, Cambodia and Nepal, and she co-led teams to Botswana, Viet Nam and Romania. She’s a former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, has lived/worked in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and has traveled in many South American countries. Linda finds GV trips so satisfying because the team is able to truly connect with the local people in such a meaningful way. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .