Volunteer extraordinaire Joe Williams recently picked up his spade and made his way to build homes for underprivileged families and change lives in Guatemala. Read all about his incredible experience below...
Joe Williams - Guatemala House Building Volunteers
I recently spent 5 weeks building homes in Guatemala with a team whose mantra is in helping individuals so that they might further help their community.
The project helps to build home for the poorest of people; people who have no access to healthcare, clean water or sanitation, people who would otherwise be sleeping in sugarcane housing. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been a part of this project, which since it was founded 5 years ago, has built 355 houses, thus providing homes for 2,115 people!
I was blessed in seeing houses number 298 and 303 from the very first day when we dig the foundations through to the sixth day when we painted the completed house and gave the family the key to their own home! The day we completed our first house and handed over the keys was one of the most emotional days of my life; witnessing and sharing in the joy of a recently widowed mother and her 3 daughters to a gift of this magnitude is something I will never forget and find very hard to explain.
I have every intention to continue raising money for this amazing project and hope one day to return as a volunteer. It is thanks to Real Gap that I was put in touch with these extraordinary Guatemalan families who honestly have nothing in the way of personal property, but would happily give you everything, and I took home many anecdotes and memories which will remind me of this.
I have never experienced such unprompted kindness, and my time spent helping the people of Santa Maria de Jesus committed me to travel further and to work with charity projects throughout the world, and once again I thank Real Gap for this experience. I have and will continue to recommend this company to people looking to experience as much as I have from a year abroad.