Santa Ana, El Salvador
March 2-10, 2019: Explore a new country while working with the local community to build adequate housing!
Trip cost: US$1,756
Join this trip to El Salvador and immerse yourself in the local culture while helping make safe, affordable housing accessible to low-income families.
Due to failed land reform and natural disasters, many families lack decent floors, roofs, water, electricity or bathrooms. With 31.9 percent of the population living in relative or extreme poverty, many families do not have access to the financing needed to improve their homes. Habitat for Humanity El Salvador partners with families to overcome poverty by building homes using seismic-resistant concrete blocks structurally reinforced with steel to protect against earthquakes.
You’ll be staying in double-occupancy rooms at a nearby hotel where breakfast and dinner will be provided. Lunches will be served on the build site. Work site tasks typically include moving and compacting dirt, making concrete and mortar mix, carrying roof sheets, laying bricks, painting, moving materials or cleaning up the construction site. Off the build site you’ll have the opportunity to tour the Santa Ana Cathedral or National Theater of Santa Ana, visit a volcano, lounge on the beach or interact with the local community.
Saturday: Welcome. Arrive in San Salvador where Habitat staff will greet you at the airport and transport you to your accommodations for the night.
Sunday: Learn. Travel to Santa Ana and explore the city before learning about Habitat’s work in the region and details about the week’s project.
Monday-Thursday: Build. Work on the build site with scheduled breaks for snacks and lunch. In the evenings, there’ll be time to explore the local community, reflect as a group and enjoy authentic local cuisine over dinner.
Friday: Celebrate. Spend half the day building then enjoy a farewell ceremony to celebrate the week’s accomplishments with the family, community and Habitat staff.
Saturday: Explore. Spend the day exploring the city and learning more about the local culture.
Sunday: Goodbyes. Depart for home or continue your journey in El Salvador independently.
Leading this team
Gerald Schmidt has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity for over 25 years. He leads a team from his church on an annual build in the Midwest, and he’s a construction crew leader for his local Habitat affiliate. Gerald also enjoys participating in the annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work project.
After retirement, Gerald got involved in Habitat’s Global Village program and has led teams to Fiji and Thailand. Gerald is a world traveler, having visited over 40 countries, and he lived in China and the United Kingdom. Some of his hobbies included bicycling, alpine skiing, scuba diving and woodworking.
For Gerald, the excitement of leading a Global Village team comes from working hand in hand with a diverse group of people and the homeowner to help build a home that transforms the lives of all involved. Habitat gives him the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love in action and promote Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Through his travels, he has seen firsthand the staggering impact of substandard housing and wants to make a difference by having his team not only come away from the project having done something to help others, but to also have learned about poverty housing and how they can become ambassadors for change in the world.