El Salvador Global Village Trip

2016: Habitat for Humanity of Dane County went to El Salvador March 19-26, 2016. If you would like to know more about Habitat Dane’s partnership with future trips to El Salvador, please contact Valerie Johnson at vjohnson@habitatdane.org or 255-1549.

2015: HFHDC in El Salvador Twice 
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County was part of two global village build trips to El Salvador in 2015. The UW-Madison student chapter traveled to El Salvador in January and a group of 12 volunteers was there Feb. 22 – March 2.

2013 Global Village Trip: 2 Homes with 2 Families in El Salvador
Twenty-three individuals built two homes and partnered with two families in a Habitat Dane Global Village Trip to El Salvador Feb. 2-10, 2013. Habitat for Humanity of Dane County will head back to El Salvador in 2014 and 2015. If interested in participating in a Global Village Trip to El Salvador in 2014 or 2015, please contact Valerie Johnson or call 255-1549.

Check out photos from the global village trip at Habitat’s facebook page.

Volunteer trip leader John Stolzenberg, said that as the group “completed these simple homes and presented the families with pictures of our volunteers working side-by-side with them, we were paid back many-fold by their grateful smiles.“

The Dane County delegation is part of a partnership between the two affiliates. The partnership includes awareness, financial support for critical housing needs in El Salvador, as well as the volunteer building program that is part of this trip. Leadership of the two groups met to share ideas such as sustainability best practices in our respective locales on home and neighborhood design and construction and exchange philosophies to solve housing needs in both communities.

Participants paid their own travel and expenses as well as made additional donations to the work of both the local and international Habitat affiliates. Participants also collected sewing supplies and school supplies which were shared with local families and school children during the visit.

The group worked on two homes with the future homeowners: Jose Ernesto Godinezand his family and the Hector Morales and Rosa Marta Salazar family. Salazar noted that her current home doesn’t have enough space to sleep her family of five. “ We will be happy to not get wet when it rains because our house leaks,” she said. “One of the walls has caved into our home we live in now.”

There is a critical housing crisis in El Salvador. An already dire situation is made worse each year by natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. About 345,000 Salvadoran families are in need of decent, affordable housing, which means more than half the country’s people lives in substandard housing. Because of a growing population, 35,000 additional houses are needed each year.

Like Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the world, Habitat for Humanity El Salvador builds simple, decent, affordable homes for low-income families, offering all people regardless of religion, political party, or race an opportunity to put their beliefs into action. For each day of construction, at least two members of the partner family must help build in order to contribute to “sweat equity.” The cost of a Habitat house in El Salvador is currently about $7,000, with the families paying an average monthly mortgage of $65 over 10 to 13 years.

The El Salvador houses are about 450 foot-square and made of seismic-resistant concrete blocks reinforced with steel to protect against earthquakes, which trouble the area. Habitat affiliates from around the world have built more than 7,000 houses in El Salvador.

The volunteer delegation from the Dane County affiliate included: Gordon Anderson, Sun Prairie; Daniel Belknap, Madison; Ann Eaves, Madison; Charles Elliott, Oregon; Janine Glaeser, Monona; Peter Gottlieb, Madison; Paul Hedges, Madison; Valerie Johnson, Waunakee; Phil Kammerer, Madison; Kim Loresch, Madison; Elizabeth Mackey, Verona; Dawn McIntosh, Mount Horeb; Jeffrey Meicher, Madison; Burke O’Neal IV, Madison; James Peterson, Madison; Joseph Rausch, Madison; John Reindl, Madison; John Stolzenberg, Madison; Kathleen Van Den Wymelenberg, Madison; Jennifer Voichick, Madison; Robert L. Wolfe, Madison; David J. Chesluk, Santa Cruz, CA; and Penny Chesluk, Santa Cruz, CA.