Millions of families in developing countries face a severe housing problem. A lack of shelter is a manifestation of widespread poverty. People live in homes that are built of flimsy materials, lack adequate sanitation, have an irregular or no electricity supply.
To help mitigate housing issues, DWC’s RAISE THE ROOF program provides adequate shelter and improves the conditions in which families live through sustainable construction projects. Essential services are addressed, such as safe drinking water, improved sanitation, space for food gardens and other means by which people can increase their capacity to generate income.
A liveable home can have a tremendous impact on a family’s well-being and their ability to break the cycle of poverty. For example, research suggests that replacing a dirt floor with cement can result in reductions in cases of diarrhea and anemia due to the presence of fewer parasites. In addition to health improvements, ownership of decent housing increases a family’s personal safety, security, and performance in school and at work. Secure housing improves a whole community.
Join us and volunteer to help a family in Guatemala. In Guatemala, DWC works with Open Windows Foundation, our in-country host partner. All beneficiaries and projects are chosen in partnership with them according to local needs and priorities. Poverty reduction is the ultimate goal.
The March volunteer team will travel to Guatemala to work on a community development project in San Miguel Dueñas. San Miguel Dueñas is an agricultural community of about 12,000 people who live 15 kilometres from the tourist city of Antigua.
In general, expect to work 6-8 hours per day. Volunteers usually wake up early, around 6:00 or 7:00 am for breakfast. After breakfast, the team is transported to the project site (usually by private bus) and the workday begins, usually somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. There will be lunch in the middle of the day, which is either provided by your workplace, host family, or purchased by you. Your workday will usually end around 4:00 pm.
Read day-to-day experiences from our volunteers on the Guatemala Blog »
You can expect a warm and humid climate during your stay in Guatemala. It’s an excellent time to visit with temperatures averaging between 20°C to 30°C (70°F to 80°F) making it comfortable for indoor or outdoor pursuits.
There is plenty to see and do. Antigua, where our volunteers stay, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Spanish Baroque style of architecture and church ruins. The region was hit by several earthquakes in the 1700s (hence the historic ruins). Not to worry, though, there haven’t been any quakes of note in the past couple of hundred years or so.
Past teams have visited a chocolate maker, open markets, monuments, fountains, plant nurseries and even volcanoes. Some have gone for wilderness hikes or ziplining. There are lots of options for your free time.
Learn more about the Guatemala »
Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
What are meals and accommodations like?
The team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The cost of each trip varies for each country, and the approximate cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. All costs will be finalized closer to the departure date. This cost is the in-country cost, including accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to our Host Partner in their respective country. It does not include airfare. The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC.
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet. You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
To Be Determined