My Experience with Habitat for Humanity

I signed up for a Habitat for Humanity trip very impulsively.

I was just walking to the caf for a meal when I saw someone giving out information about the trips. I chatted with them for just a few minutes, heard there was a trip to New Mexico, and filled out my application.

Now that the experience is over, I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Over spring break, I not only helped build a house, but I made many new friends, got a really nice tan, and hiked at some breathtaking destinations. It was so much better than I ever imagined it could be.

First of all, Habitat for Humanity is just a really great organization to begin with. Offering “a hand up, not a hand out,” the homeowners go through an application process that lasts several months. Habitat looks at income, current living situations, and the family’s willingness to partner with Habitat in order to choose the family. On my trip, I was able to work alongside the family that would be receiving the house, which was definitely a highlight. Not everyone who works on a house gets that experience, so it made the trip even more meaningful to me to know the family and their story. While the work was hard, it was more than worth it.

My trip wasn’t all work and no play, though. On our “cultural day,” my group got to hike a local trail, enjoy a dip in a hot springs, eat some delicious food, and shop around town.

While it was amazing just to get away from brutal Minnesota weather, the trip was empowering as well. I knew nothing about building a house when I arrived at the worksite on the first day. However, the staff there were so patient and willing to teach their skills to us. By the last day, I knew how to form adobe bricks, as well as lay those bricks and mix the mud that goes in between. My group also finished the entire exterior of a house with stucco. How many people can say they did that over spring break?

After having such a positive experience with Habitat, I am already itching to go on another trip. It’s a very meaningful volunteer opportunity, and also very fun. I highly suggest embarking on a Habitat trip if you are able. However, if you can’t, look into working with a local chapter!

I can’t say enough good things about my trip, and Habitat for Humanity in general. I truly believe in their mission of providing affordable housing in low-income areas, and I also had the best spring break ever.