Global Builders – El Salvador

Global Builders El Salvador

After building 66 homes in two communities in El Salvador, we began an ambitious community Nuevo Cuscutlan, which is just outside of San Salvador. We have currently built 90 homes in this community, and are continuing to build there. The families are living in terrible conditions of mud, plastic, and rusty metal walls and roofs, usually with dirt floors. The steep hillside on which the homes are built presents a high risk for landslides and is a muddy, arduous hike for the families when they are hauling their water each day. Mosquitoes breed in the mud and stagnant water and infect families with disease. To top it off, the families are facing eviction since they do not own the land on which they live, and the owner has other plans for it.

Working with our local Fuller Center Covenant Partner named Gente Ayudando Gente, the local city government, and an organization called New Story, we are partnering with these families to move into simple, decent homes built on land that they will truly own. The families become not just recipients, but donors as they work alongside the volunteers and builders and also pay the costs of construction forward on a no-profit, no-interest loan. Gente Ayudando Gente will also be constructing a Hope Center that will provide nutrition education and assistance as well as medical care, with a focus on women’s health. It will also help families access job training or start niche small businesses. With the home as the central pillar of this comprehensive approach, we are destroying the allure of gangs that has overtaken much of San Salvador. Together we are shining God’s light by breaking the cycle of poverty and making the world a better place.

Getting Involved

There are several ways that you can get involved:

  • Donate to support this specific partner. Houses cost money to build, so any donation is always helpful!
  • Volunteer on one of our Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below. You’ll travel to El Salvador and get to know the local people and traditions while you partner with families to complete a home.
  • Join a virtual volunteer team, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip in person. This is the perfect way to stay involved and give back during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Sponsorship Cost: $6,500

Upcoming Trips

Click on the leader’s name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click “Join” to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a “Full” trip? Complete your registration here. Or learn about sending funds to support local labor by joining as a virtual participant.

El Salvador is the smallest Central American country and the only one without a coastline on the Caribbean Sea. With a population of about six million, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with some 700,000 Salvadorans in need of decent, adequate housing.

An estimated 30.7 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, while over 40 percent of the rural population lives in homes with dirt floors and impermanent wall materials. Many Salvadoran families continue to struggle to survive while living in dilapidated housing subject to natural disasters such as flooding, mudslides, and earthquakes.

What is a trip like?

Each trip to El Salvador will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers – typically 8-20 total – who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips last 1-2 weeks and include time for R&R activities.

  • 7:00 –  Breakfast/Devotions
  • 8:00 –  Build begins
  • 12:00 –  Lunch break
  • 1:00 –  Build continues
  • 6:00 –  Dinner
  • 7:00 –  Evening free for R&R and team meetings

In general you will help us in the construction of new homes, although we sometimes have opportunities for Greater Blessings projects where we perform small repairs or improvements on existing homes. We also respond to emergency and disaster needs when we are able so please remain open to a variety of possibilities. Much of the volunteer work for these projects includes, but is not limited to, making and pouring lots of concrete, digging holes, and moving construction materials.

While it is always helpful to have Spanish speakers on your team, it is not a necessity. Spanish skills on the work-site will always be beneficial but are never required because most of your instructions will come from English speaking staff. In other cases where Spanish speaking skills are necessary, translation services will almost always be available.

 

Most groups will be staying at the Hotel INDES, part of a massive sports complex used for the PanAmerican games.

 

Assuming your team has at least eight or so people, we will get you around in vans that seat about 15. This will include travel between the airport, your housing, the work-site, and any tourism activities.

The hotel you’ll be staying at provided bedding and towels, but we recommend bringing your own washcloth. It’s also helpful to bring things like work gloves, safety glasses, small first aid kits, bugspray, and sunscreen to share with your team. Don’t forget to pack sturdy work clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty. Any sort of small hand tools, like tape measures and trowels, are also helpful to have.

Most teams stay in El Salvador for about 7 days, giving them 1-2 non-working days. El Salvador has many fun tourism opportunities and/or relaxing activities in which your group can participate. Groups in the past have visited a volcano, went zip lining, and visited the national artisan’s market. Try to have some ideas of what your team may enjoy as some things require advance time to setup. Other things like volcanoes and parks can be more spontaneous and decided upon when your team arrives. Each trip participant will receive a guidebook that will list all the R&R options.

A standard 1 week trip to El Salvador costs roughly $1100/person. Each trip will have a slightly different cost depending on team size and trip duration. Contact your trip leader or globalbuilders@fullercener.org for more details.

Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links – Preparing For Your Trip!

Pricing – What’s included?

Team MaterialsFuller Center hat, t-shirt, country guidebook, fundraising guide, & more
Trip SupportEasy contact with Team Leader and Global Builders staff
Food and Drink3 meals a day provided by safe, sanitary local vendors
TransportationTo and from work sites and airport
LodgingThe Hotel Indes
Travel InsuranceCurrently provided by Core Travel Insurance. Contact GB staff for details
Life-changing workAlongside your teammates and the homeowners!

What happens after the trip?

Even after you return, your trip can have a sustained impact on both you and the community in which you served! 
Learn how on our Country Champions page.

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