Check out the trip schedule below to see where you can go to help build a home. Click the country name for detailed information, including itinerary and trip costs.
July 22 - 29, 2018
A trip with a purpose! A Global Village trip abroad is an experience that is rewarding and life-changing, allowing you to roll up your sleeves and make a difference. Come experience the natural beauty, culture and history of Portugal while helping a family have access to a decent and safe place to live.
Why should I go to Amarante?
Housing is a major concern in Portugal. Families, who often live in dilapidated homes in rural areas or shacks in the big cities. Successive governments have liberalized key areas of the economy over the past 20 years after decades of military dictatorship, but economic growth has been slowing, especially after the 2008 crisis. Many people were left without jobs or saving to improve housing conditions.
At the same time, the need for housing is growing, especially in urban areas. The state cannot support the development of new social housing units. Portugal is made up of a rich diversity of people and has been a destination for emigrants, mainly from former African colonies and Brazil.
History of Amarante
All visitors to Amarante will most certainly be impressed by two imposing natural features: the great Serra do Marão rising above the city in a series of majestic landscapes and the river Tâmega, the longest tributary of the river Douro, whose journey begins in Galicia and which flows through the heart of Amarante, giving added colour to the picturesque houses standing on its banks.
Some historians have attributed the foundation of this transitional city linking the provinces of Minho and Trás-os-Montes to a Roman centurion by the name of Amarantus. In the thirteenth century, St Gonçalo, a Benedictine monk and popular saint, arrived in this area, where he eventually settled after completing a pilgrimage to Italy and Jerusalem, later becoming the city´s patron saint. He is accredited with the building of a sturdy bridge over the Tâmega on the same site as the current one.
The bridge at Amarante perpetuates the memory of the local population´s heroic resistance against Napoleon's troops, who invaded Portugal in the early nineteenth century. In view of its position as a major gateway to the region of Trás-os-Montes, the city was besieged by Marshal Soult, although he met with stiff opposition from the local inhabitants, who bravely withstood his fierce attacks for a fortnight, until finally surrendering when the French bombarded them with barrels of gunpowder.
Amarante's sweets and cakes are extremely famous and easy to find in many of the region's cake-shops and cafés. Remember some of the names and make sure to taste them for yourself: papos de anjo, brisas do Tâmega, toucinho do céu, bolos de São Gonçalo, galhofas.
Habitat for Humanity Portugal
Habitat for Humanity in Portugal helps low-income families by building new homes on family-owned land and by renovating houses in the municipalities of Braga and Amarante. Homes are made of traditional local materials: bricks, red roof tiles, shutters on the windows, and ceramic tiles inside. Recently, the Habitat Portugal has been looking for local opportunities to raise funds to build more simple and decent homes.
The Habitat affiliate in Portugal is a lively example of an effective volunteering program. It attracts the enthusiasm of more than 300 volunteers a year. At the same time, local volunteers are showing their commitment to improving their communities by working in partnership with construction sites.
What will my week look like?
- Sunday, July 22 – Arrival in Porto; travel to Amarante; Welcome dinner
- Monday, July 23-Firday, July 27 – Build days
- Saturday, July 28 – R&R; travel to Porto; Farewell dinner
- Sunday, July 29 – Depart for home or extended travel
(Please note that the above itinerary may be subject to changes)
Where will I stay? What will I eat?
Our lodging will be at one of the local hotels (with double occupancy). We will have breakfast at the hotel, lunch at or near the worksite, and dinner at wonderful local restaurants. Delicious dishes with meat, fish, vegetables and salads will be served family-style at each meal. For those with a sweet tooth - Portuguese desserts are delicious! Snacks and bottle water will be provided at the worksite.
What will it cost?
|The cost for this 8 day opportunity to build in Amarante is approximately
$1,840 + round-trip airfare + approximately $125 for R&R*
The trip cost covers: lodging, food and ground transportation for the build portion of the trip, traveler’s medical insurance, orientation materials, and a donation to HFH Portugaland the Global Village Canada program. Participants will need to arrange and pay for round-trip air transportation from their point of departure to Porto, Portugal. Flight arrangements must be made in consultation with the team leader.
*Habitat for Humanity Canada will issue a charitable donation tax receipt for the trip cost and the eligible airfare – these will be 2 separate receipts. The costs for R&R portion of the trip are not eligible for a tax receipt and this money must not be sent to HFH Canada. Your team leader will let you know how to pay this.
There are additional travel costs such as passport, visa and immunizations which the team leader will discuss with you. These costs are not tax deductible.
Meet the Team Leader: Sue Faulkner
Hi, my name is Sue. I'm a property accountant from Ottawa. This will be my fifth GV build and this third as a team leader. My trip resume includes experiences in Guatemala, Romania and this will be my second trip to Portugal. I'm excited to welcome a team of flexible volunteers who are willing to work hard and have loads of fun in giving a "hand up" to a local family. No experience necessary, just an open heart and willing hands. And don't forget to pack you sense of humour! I'm looking forward to learning about you.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about this trip or apply now using our on-line application!