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Bienvenido a casa! Global Village in Nicaragua

Bienvenido a casa! Global Village in Nicaragua

Our 2017 Global Village trip to Nicaragua did not disappoint! Our team of nine volunteers helped build a Habitat house in Esteli, Nicaragua – a home for the Blandon family. The team began the eight-day journey with 24 hours in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city, before setting out on a three-hour van ride to Esteli, a town of 150,000 people. 

In Esteli, families struggle with the same challenges Nicaraguans face across the country. At least 30% of families live below the poverty line and more than 78% of Nicaraguan families are either lacking or living in inadequate shelter. The family we worked in partnership with, the Blandon family, are a family of five. The parents both work municipal jobs to support their three children. However, like many other families in Esteli, their income is simply not enough to afford an adequate home for their family.

Global Village volunteers help build 280-square foot homes (yes, that is slightly larger than a one-car garage).  These “seed homes” are built with an open back wall specifically designed to allow incremental expansion. Should the family want to extend the structure, or join it with their existing shelter, they have the knowledge and ability to do so. These cinder block homes are built with earthquake resistant reinforced masonry, a concrete floor, and have a metal roof, windows, electrical outlets and a lockable metal door. The home provides a sense of stability that current structures cannot. The Blandons are relieved knowing that their children will now sleep safer and sounder with a front door that locks!

Throughout the week, our team of volunteers worked side by side with Habitat Nicaragua staff, a skilled mason, and members of the Blandon family. The work was demanding yet rewarding, and every job was uniquely different. We brought our “can do” Philadelphia attitudes and our willingness to dig in and help out. Tasks included wiring rebar, sifting sand, mixing concrete and mortar, and layering the rows of concrete bricks. Row by row the walls were raised and the home began to take shape. The excitement was heightened by the sense of teamwork and collaboration in building a home right alongside the future homeowners. 

After each day on site, we would retreat to the hotel, enjoy some free time exploring the city, or simply relax and enjoy the sunset. Global Village delivers a tremendous sense of purpose in building a house, but also is well balanced in cultural activities and experiencing the local vibe of a new place.

On the final workday, our team worked to set the concrete floor inside the house. This final step is critical so that children no longer have to sleep on dirt floors - eliminating risk of disease, and minimizing worry about mud inside the house during the rainy season.

Our work culminated with a celebration and home dedication. Beaming faces told the story of a job well done and life-changing impact this home will have for the Blandons.

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia partners with Hábitat para la Humanidad Nicaragua, serving the second poorest country in Latin America. To date, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s Global Impact Fund has built 178 homes to help families in Nicaragua achieve safe, affordable homeownership.

Global Village is an inspirational opportunity to truly make a difference. To learn more about our 2018 Global Village trip, join us for an infosession on Wednesday, July 19 at 5:30pm at the Habitat Philadelphia Offices (1829 N. 19th Street) or call Deidra Duncan, Director of Engagement at (215) 765-6000 x34 for more details. Visit our Global Village page for more information on