Through your support, we are building and developing transformative communities in El Salvador.
The partner families typically come from disease-rampant living environments where the makeshift homes are made of mud, plastic, and rusty metal situated on land they do not own, with very basic sanitation facilities, if any.
When families partner with the Fuller Center, they help build for themselves a stable home with solid walls, dry roofs, running water, electricity, an indoor cooking area, shower and toilet! And they will truly own it once they pay it forward using a no-profit, no-interest loan.
It creates an astonishing change in the direction of the lives of our partner families and, especially, their children. The families become not just recipients, but donors as they work alongside the volunteers and builders and repay the costs of construction.
Along with our local Fuller Center Covenant Partner, named Gente Ayudando Gente, we partner with city governments, the El Salvador Ministry of Housing, and crucially an organization called New Story Charity, to reach greater scale than other Fuller Centers in this region — developing entire healthy communities in just a few short years.
To-date we have completed well over 700 homes in 7 communities, with another 100 homes currently underway.
Gente Ayudando Gente also contributes a wide range of community support from nutrition assistance to dental work to some types of medical care. Gente has also helped 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 too much of this beautiful nation.
We also frequently have inmates who are serving in the construction of the homes, learning a skill as they contribute to a better world and earn earlier release. Together we are shining God’s light by breaking the cycle of poverty and making the world a better place.
Thanks to the contributions already committed to us from from our partners for this project, we must raise only about $1,000 more per house!
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.
|City||Trip Number||Team Leaders||Dates of Trip||Cost||Status|
|Apaneca||20085||West Lawn UMC||June 24 - July 1, 2023||Full|
|Apaneca||20079||Russ Krochock||June 25 - July 1, 2023||Full|
|Apaneca||20083||Tom Olschner||July 8 - 16, 2023||$1640||Join|
|Apaneca||20084||Bill and Nancy Slocum||October 15 - 22, 2023||Full|
|Apaneca||20081||Tiffany Ellis||November 4 - 11, 2023||$1570||Join|
|Apaneca||20086||Mike Oliphant||January 6 - 13, 2024||Full|
|Apaneca||20082||Scott Lyle||January 13 - 21, 2024||$1620||Join|
|Apaneca||20087||Chuck Peterson||January 27 - February 3, 2024||$1650||Join|
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.
You will help us in the construction of the new homes in communities we are building. Much of the volunteer work for these projects includes, but is not limited to, laying blocks, digging foundations, bending rebar, mixing concrete, installing interior drywall, or painting the interior or exterior.
The project sites in El Salvador tend to be large community sites rather than individual homes. Families of various homes will be around during the day helping to build or cook as well as paid workers and sometimes volunteer inmates learning a skill and earning early release.
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, and those capable of translating will be in the vicinity.
Groups will stay in modest but decent hotels. Teams in Apaneca will typically stay in the Hostal Las Magnolia or the Hostal y Fonda Iruña. Teams working near San Salvador or transiting through have usually stayed in the Hotel Santa Elena.
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 you must bring 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, can’t hurt to bring if you’d like.
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. Speak to your trip leader about what they may have in mind for your trip. Each trip participant will receive a guidebook that will list various R&R options.
Prices vary based on team size and trip duration, but a standard 1 week trip to El Salvador costs between $1,000 – $1500/person. That price covers lodging, local transportation including airport pick-up, three meals per day, bottled water, travel health insurance, and a contribution toward building materials. Fees do not include airfare, visa fees, tips, or site-seeing (unless otherwise indicated).
If looking to bring a group contact email@example.com for more details or submit your trip proposal here.
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 Materials||Fuller Center t-shirt, country guidebook, fundraising guide, & more|
|Trip Support||Easy contact with Team Leader and Global Builders staff|
|Food and Drink||3 meals a day provided by safe, sanitary local vendors|
|Transportation||To and from work sites and airport|
|Lodging||Simple, decent hotels|
|Travel Insurance||Provided by Berkley Accident and Health, with Generali Global Assistance. More details are provided upon registration or request.
|Life-changing work||Alongside 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.