Previous Global Village Trips
Quetaltenango, Guatemala – January 2019
In January 2019, we led a team of 15 volunteers to build new homes alongside two families on the hillsides of Quetaltenango. All new Habitat Guatemala homes are made of steel-reinforced concrete block and cement, designed to be resistant to natural shocks and tremors. Corrugated metal sheet roofing keeps the family dry during Guatemala’s brutal rainy season. We spent our work days digging the foundation, mixing concrete and mortar, tying rebar, splitting concrete blocks and setting the first rows of blocks of the walls. The work days were long, but rewarding! Here are a couple of testimonies:
“I enjoyed and learned a lot from my Habitat companions and the Guatemalans we met or worked with. But the appreciation demonstrated by the two families nearly brought me to tears.”
“[The greatest impact of the trip is] getting to know the families and seeing the joy on their faces knowing that they would soon have a safe, comfortable place to live. The difference in the cultures, including expectations and sense of entitlement, also had a large impact. We in the United States are very blessed with what we have, yet it is so often taken for granted.”
This is our second trip to Guatemala and have been impressed by the wisdom and dedication of the Habitat Guatemala staff and the impact they have had. We hope to continue supporting Habitat Guatemala and their mission through our tithe and our Global Village trips in the future.
Pedregais, Braga, Portugal- Summer 2018
In August, 2018, B/CS Habitat led a nine-person team on a Global Village trip to Portugal to assist on a home repair.
Housing is a major concern of poor Portuguese families, who often live in dilapidated homes in rural areas or shacks in the big cities. Successive governments have liberalized key areas of the economy over the past 20 years after decades of military dictatorship, but economic growth has been slowing, especially after the 2008 crisis. Many people were left without jobs or savings to improve housing conditions.
At the same time, the need for housing is growing, especially in urban areas. The state cannot support the development of new social housing units. Portugal has been a destination for emigrants, mainly from former African colonies and Brazil.
The B/CS Habitat Global Village team worked hard on rebuilding interior and exterior walls and doors before handing the baton to the next volunteer group. It is little by little, one faithful step at a time, that builds homes, communities and hope across the world through the Habitat model. We are grateful to have been a part of the Costa family’s journey toward homeownership and Habitat Portugal’s mission.
Solola, Guatemala, – December 2017
In December 2017, B/CS Habitat led a team of 13 volunteers on a Global Village trip to Guatemala. The team built smokeless stoves as part of the Healthy Home Kits initiative for partner families. The initiative addresses pressing health issues for families earning US$2-4 per day. By the end of the week, the team built 12 stoves for twelve families in Solola. The team also experienced the beauty and culture of Guatemala and learned about the historical context of poverty in Guatemala and of the current movements and initiatives that are addressing not only the poverty but its root causes.