Samana, Dominican Republic
Critical home improvement
Trip cost: US$2,073
Join this trip and work alongside the local community to improve the housing conditions of the 29.2 percent of families living in extreme poverty.
High rates of poverty, expensive construction materials and devastating hurricanes have left many families living in poorly constructed houses and substandard conditions. Families are forced to construct their own building materials, which aren’t able to withstand the elements and deteriorate with ease. Habitat for Humanity partners with families to replace self-constructed homes using proper building techniques and materials, improving the safety and sanitation of the home.
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 digging the foundation, carrying cement blocks, mixing cement, compacting dirt or painting. Off the build site you’ll have the opportunity to tour downtown San Juan, take a cooking or dancing class and relax on the local beaches.
- Saturday: Arrive. Arrive at Santo Domingo’s airport where Habitat for Humanity staff will greet you and take you to meet your teammates.
- Sunday: Explore. Spend the morning exploring Santo Domingo’s historic Colonial Zone. Travel to the host community to learn about Habitat’s innovative work and your team’s project.
- Monday-Thursday: Build. Skilled construction workers will guide you and your team as you build. The team will have time for excursions, rest and reflection meetings in the evenings. On the final day, enjoy a farewell celebration with the partner family.
- Friday: Celebrate. Enjoy a farewell ceremony on the build site and celebrate the week’s achievements with your team members and the community.
- Saturday: Explore. Spend some well-deserved relaxation time on the local beaches.
- Sunday: Goodbyes. Continue your journey independently or return home.
Leading this team
Through Habitat, Lauren has built in 10 states, served two Habitat affiliates through the AmeriCorps program, traveled as a participant on a Global Village trip to El Salvador and led Global Village trips to China, Chile and Argentina! She now works in Washington, D.C., for the Government Relations and Advocacy team, organizing Habitat's annual advocacy conference.
Lauren's primary focus when serving as a Global Village leader (aside from safety) is facilitating a strong team dynamic. She believes that in order to better serve the families we are building alongside, we must create a family-like bond of our own. Global Village host sites have described Lauren's teams as "tight" and like "best friends" even though participants had never met prior to joining the team. Through her work in advocacy, Lauren can also provide unique insight and opportunities to continue engagement with Habitat for Humanity.