Learn and Build Experience: locations, dates, costs, application



2015 trip applications have closed. 

Learn and Build U.S. trips

Forsyth County, North Carolina
July 6-15

Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County is nestled in western North Carolina. Winston-Salem is home of the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, Krispy Kreme and the R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company. Winston-Salem offers a unique cultural arts scene, as well as a big business with many large banks and insurance companies located in the area.

Although major industries like healthcare, transportation and utilities, and nanotechnology offer a stable business market, about 20.6 percent of the population live below the poverty line, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. Winston-Salem boasts the fourth largest population in North Carolina and a median household income of over $41,000, but more than 36 percent of the population of those under age 18 still live in poverty. 

Habitat Forsyth has served more than 527 families in the area and continues to be a popular build site for Collegiate Challenge teams. The area offers a multitude of outdoor and cultural activities to keep volunteers busy even after leaving the work site. 


Lafayette, Louisiana

Aug. 2-11

Lafayette Habitat for Humanity is located in the heart of South Louisiana’s Cajun country, where there is always delicious food to eat and places to explore! The unique cultural scene draws visitors from across the world, with many festivals throughout the year focusing on Cajun hospitality and music. While the oil service industry is a cornerstone of the local economy, the area continues to attract new business from energy, technology, healthcare and retail.

Despite the economic boom, Lafayette Parish has a poverty rate above the national average, ranks seventh in the nation for income inequality, and continues to experience a gap between their poorest and richest residents. Housing costs are exceptionally high causing affordable housing to be in very short supply.

Lafayette Habitat was established in 1992 and the affiliate has completed 93 homes. Over the next year they plan to build 10 to 12 more, including breaking ground on a new subdivision.


Learn and Build International trip

Costa Rica, July 18-27
Costa Rica, Spanish for “rich coast,” is bordered by Nicaragua, Panama, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. More than 700,00 people of the 4.8 million total population lack housing, according tot he Instituto National de Estadistica y Censo’s 2011 report. That number jumps to 900,000 when housing without sewage and water, as well as electricity, are considered. Of the country’s seven provinces, Jan Jose, the capital, and Alajuela have the greatest housing needs. Habitat Costa Rica began its work in 1988 in the city Esparza, building 50 homes in its first three years. 

In 1991, with the introduction of an ambitious government-housing program that provided houses for the poor, Habitat ceased construction in Costa Rica. In 1996, due to large cutbacks in the government program, and with an estimated 35 percent of the Costa Rican population still living in inadequate housing. Habitat for Humanity was invited to resume its work in San Ramon. 

Today, more than a thousand homes have been built with the support of government, international churches, habitat local businesses and Habitat affiliates. Hundreds more have been rehabilitated. Families also receive technical assistance and financial education. habitat for Humanity Costa Rica constantly seeks ways to extend its reach further, creating more accessible solutions for families with fewer resources. 

Learn and Build Experience members will immerse themselves in building alongside homeowners. Homes in Costa Rica are constructed of cinder block walls, tin roofs and cement floors. Team members will assist with improvements, finishes and repairs on homes, as well. Outside the build site, participants will have the opportunity to participate in cultural activities that could include a day trip to Manuel Antonio for swimming and hiking, as well as simple daily tasks like cooking alongside partner family members. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a thriving tourist location in day-to-day life. 


Learn and Build Experience alumni and international trip details

Albany, Georgia – Learn and Build alumni trip

June 21-27
Flint River Habitat for Humanity
Alumni participants will stay in Americus, Georgia, home of Habitat for Humanity International headquarters. Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller. Participation in this alumni trip is an opportunity to immerse oneself into Habitat’s history and the area culture that spurred Fuller’s mission to provide decent housing for all. Participants will interact with HFHI staff and visit locations important to Habitat’s history, including Koinonia Farms and the Global Village and Discovery Center, which features Habitat homes from around the world. Americus is also 10 miles from Plains, Georgia, home of former President Jimmy Carter. The trip will include lots of Southern charm.