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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 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 kilometers 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.
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.
Saturday, April 8 – Team arrives at Guatemala City airport, and is transported to the hotel in Antigua
Sunday, April 9 – Cultural activities such as riding an ATV, hiking a volcano or salsa dancing
Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 14 – PROJECT WORK such as building a house or classroom
Saturday, April 15 to Sunday, April, 16 – Team rest and relaxation weekend
Monday, April 17 to Friday, April, 21 – PROJECT WORK such as building a house or classroom
Saturday, April 22 – Return to Guatemala City to fly home or continue to travel in 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.
I discovered DWC in 2017 when it was suggested I take my at-risk step grandson to Guatemala on a volunteer trip. Not only was the trip life changing for myself but I know it changed my grandson’s life forever. So see others in much needier conditions and for him to be able to effect change was powerful! Another trip to Nepal and I am hooked! I am thrilled to be able to now be a team leader. To me shaking hands with our human brothers and sisters is how we change the world.
In my past life I purchased and operated a 13-room rooming house for 10 years. The 88 at risk of homelessness souls I came to love over those years gave me a perspective and empathy for all those that have been handed challenges in life and struggle with physical and mental illness, generational trauma and just plain bad luck.
Feeling empathy for others seems to be in my makeup and in one way or the other I have been lending a hand whenever possible. I also volunteered for mentally challenged adults for 25 years as a member of a network for the Planned Lifetime Advocacy. My “charge” went from sitting watching tv in his room all day to living in his own apartment, being surrounded by a loving network of friends and family and although he passed away in 2011, I know his life was make more by our involvement.
I have travelled extensively in the last few years. I always try to see the lesser known areas affected by poverty. Meeting the impoverished in Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, northern Australia, Fiji and Vanuatu created a real desire to see what I can do to help. DWC is an incredible vehicle to continue this interest.
My life has been made ‘more’ by all these opportunities to reach out to others in the world. I cannot wait to lead each DWC trip and help others go to their ‘more’.
Carbon offsets are used to compensate for the greenhouse gasses that we create through certain activities, such as flying. For every tonne of carbon released into the atmosphere, an ‘offset’ is a carefully designed project that absorbs or stores the equivalent CO2 emissions. You can choose to offset your own flight, your whole family’s, or do this as a gift for a friend.Offset Your Carbon Footprint