Santa Cruz, Bolivia is a fascinating community, and there is no better way to experience it than helping one or more families build homes there. One of the fastest growing cities in the world, Santa Cruz has created a stark contrast between wealth and poverty. Fortunately for us, its low elevation and moderate temperature make it a pleasant place for our construction project. The city’s unique geography, cultural history and food make it unlike any other Global Village site. No experience is necessary, just a willing, flexible, team-oriented spirit.
Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia is a landlocked country of 424,165 square miles. The Andes Mountains, which run north-south through the country, climb to more than 21,000 feet are permanently covered with snow. The famous Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world, lies on the north end of the Altiplano.
Bolivia’s population of roughly 9.2 million is growing at about 1.4 percent annually. About one-third of the population lives in rural areas. La Paz has more than 1 million people and Santa Cruz has about the same number. Nearly 60 percent of the total population is of indigenous ancestry, some 25 percent of the people are criollo (or mestizo), who are of mixed indigenous and European heritage.
Statistics also show that out of the total population, 58 percent of Bolivian families live in huts that do not meet the minimum living conditions, lacking basic services and sanitation. Thirty-one percent of homes accommodate three or more people per bedroom.
About Habitat for Humanity Bolivia
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia was established in 1985, in the Alto Beni community in La Paz, with the purpose of eradicating subhuman housing in Bolivia by building simple, adequate and affordable housing. Habitat Bolivia works in eight locations throughout the country: Alto Beni, El Alto, Oruro, Tarija, Cochabamba, Chimoré, Santa Cruz, Ichilo and San Julián.
For more information, visit www.habitatbolivia.org 
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will be involved in new construction and repair work. During construction days, the team will be trained in the use of construction tools and the types of housing solutions they are going to be working on. Technical supervisors and masons will be present every day on the work site to guide the construction.
To guarantee the safety of all team members, the national office will provide safety goggles and hard hats, as well as written emergency and evacuation plans at every work site. There will also be portable bathrooms with water and soap and designated resting areas with chairs and drinkable water near every build site.
Day 1 (Departure day, Friday): Departure day from home country.
Day 2 (Saturday): Arrival at the Viru Viru Airport by Habitat Bolivia staff. Shuttles to the hotel where volunteers will stay the whole week.
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; free time after work to clean up; supper of typical Bolivian food; time for team activities.
Day 8 (Saturday): Cultural activities and tour to the city of Santa Cruz.
Day 9 (Final day, Sunday): Departure day.
Note: Trip includes including cultural experiences with affiliate staff.
HFH Bolivia will choose the team’s lodging taking into consideration our group’s size. Teams usually stay in basic, safe hotels, with team members staying two to four people per room, sometimes in dorm-style accommodations.
Breakfast and dinner will likely be served at the hotel or nearby restaurant. Lunch will be prepared by the hotel and eaten at the work site, where snacks and water will also be provided.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost .)
Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
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My name is Ben Field and this will be the second Global Village trip I have led. In 2010 I led a trip to El Salvador. My wife, kids and I have traveled a bit in South and Central America, but I am very much looking forward to experiencing an area we have not visited. I work as the head a labor organization in San Jose. Before that I was prosecutor for 15 years. I also teach part time at the San Jose State University Political Science Department. My hobbies include playing harmonica in a garage band. For more information about this trip, please contact me at email@example.com .