NWU Students to Build Houses in Guatemala
Eight Nebraska Wesleyan University students are headed to Guatemala where they will work alongside families living in extreme poverty and build a new place for them to call home.
Nebraska Wesleyan’s Global Service Learning student group will travel to Guatemala May 21-31 to work with the non-profit organization Constru Casa. Upon their arrival, students will help dig a foundation, carry materials like concrete blocks, sand and rocks to masons, and assist with basic construction of a new house.
Kelli Wood, coordinator of Global Service Learning, learned of the opportunity to volunteer with Constru Casa through a friend involved with the organization. Constru Casa provides basic housing to families living in extreme poverty. Beneficiary families also participate in the construction of their home and pay back one-fourth of the total cost of the house over four years. A typical house in Guatamala is made of cornstalk walls, a dirt floor and scrap material roof.
Global Service Learning members are no strangers to volunteering in impoverished areas. They’ve volunteered in Swaziland, Nicaragua, Malawi and a South Dakota Indian reservation. But Guatemala is considered among the poorest countries of the world with more than half of the population living in poverty.
“The students hope to learn more about Guatemala, it’s history and the factors that have contributed to the poverty experienced there,” said Wood. “They are also looking forward to building the homes alongside the families who will live in them.”
Global Service Learning originally planned to volunteer in Thailand this summer but due to political unrest there, the group changed its plans.