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Global Builders - El Salvador
A Trip worth taking
Our Global Builder trips to El Salvador are just a short flight from the U.S. and one of the most affordable international service experiences available anywhere. They have long been a favorite for many church and student teams.
Working in a small community named San Luis Talpa, the Fuller Center works with Homes from the Heart to help families move out of makeshift shacks made of tires, tin, and garbage bags and into solid, decent homes in which parents can be proud to raise their children.
Consider joining or proposing to lead a team! More information about the trips is below - don't hesitate to request more information if we can be helpful to you.
What will a trip to El Salvador be like?
Type of building
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 worksite 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.
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.
If you’re staying in Playa Las Flores you will be about 35-40 minutes from the San Luis Talpa project. If you’re staying in El Zonte you will be about 1 hour from San Luis Talpa. However, we may do some work at other projects and you might not be staying in either of these locations but count on 30-60 minutes max.
Most teams will stay in a house either on or near the beach. Exactly which house depends on how many people you have and if other groups will be here at the same time. Don’t worry, you’ll like it. If your team prefers or if we happen to have tons of people while you are here there are several hotels that you can stay in with a variety of prices. The homes have electricity, running water, showers, and internet access (Some services can be less reliable than in the United States so try to be understanding).
You should count on bringing a set of sheets and a pillow for yourself. Most people won’t need blankets during most of the year as the coastal area is quite warm.
Rest & Relaxation
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. Try to have some ideas of what your team may enjoy as some things (like surfing lessons) require some advance time to setup. Other things like volcanoes and parks can be more spontaneous and decided upon when your team arrives. Since you will be staying on the beach, most teams find it best to simply relax at home in the evenings after work days. Check out our tourism page for more details and ideas!
While our work site is an active construction zone, it is also an active neighborhood with many families kids. Most of the time there will be a future home owner working on sweat equity hours working alongside your team.
While some opportunities for interaction are provided (and kids are sure to follow you around), most interaction will require your initiative. Your group can plan activities with the community members or the kids or simply initiate casual conversations around the area. Even if you can’t speak the language, acknowledging community members with a smile or “Hola!” can go a long way in developing a relationship or making people feel special.
Opportunities with other community organizations (local schools, churches, orphanages, etc.) can sometimes be arranged in advance if your group is interested.
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.