Travel to Guatemala to build homes for the poor

Saturday, December 14, 2019 Travel to Guatemala to build homes for the poor

UNL students use shovels to move dirt at a house construction site.

For eight days in May 2020, eight UNL students have the opportunity to confront extreme poverty in Central America. The Center for Civic Engagement and Education Abroad, in partnership with ConstruCASA, is organizing a faculty-led service-study trip to the city of Antigua in the central highlands of Guatemala to construct basic housing in impoverished communities; the goal is to improve the quality of life for local Mayan residents.

From ConstruCASA:
59.3% of the Guatemalan population lives in poverty, earning less than $3.10 per day. In rural and indigenous areas, this number rises to 79%...the qualitative housing deficit in Guatemala is reported at 61%, or 1.54 million homes that are made of inadequate materials such as sheet metal, cane, or mud. The leading cause of premature death in Guatemala is pneumonia, which is often caused by exposure to wind, rain, cold, and indoor smoke inhalation.

Each day of the trip is divided into a service portion and a study portion.

  • Service: students work alongside a local family in the construction of a dignified concrete block structure, which is to become their future house.
  • Study: students have a home-stay experience with a host family; visit historic and cultural sites; eat local cuisine; compare and contrast affordable housing in the United States and Guatemala; and increase their knowledge of migration, as well as, colonization, oppression and marginalization of indigenous populations.

    Activities include salsa dance lessons, making chocolate, playing soccer with the masons, and visit to the markets.

Trip dates are May 10–17, 2020. The cost is an estimated $2,105, which includes transportation, lodging, and food. The amount does not include the cost of tuition - this experience carries 3 credit hours of SOCI 398. Read full-program details, eligibility requirements, and info about scholarships and funding your experience.

Questions? Attend one of three on-campus information sessions in January to learn more about the trip and ask questions.

Ready to register? APPLY NOW. Deadline is January 31, 2020.

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