BEND, Ore. -

Join Bend Area Habitat for Humanity on a build trip to San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic on February 7-15, 2015.

Bend Habitat is looking for a team of 12 motivated volunteers who want to have an amazing experience in a different culture and help low income families in the Dominican Republic.

Volunteers will help build cinder block and prefabricated homes for Habitat families.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to work alongside the future homeowners and learn about the Dominican Republic culture. Volunteers do not need construction experience.

The trip will include five days of building as well as opportunities for cultural experiences including; baseball games, school visits, dance lessons and more. We will also experience rivers, rafting, beaches, etc. The cost is $1,800 per person plus airfare.

In the rural countryside of the Dominican Republic, there is a great amount of inadequate housing. Most of the houses are made of tejamanil (a soil and manure mixture). There are also some made of wood, but in poor condition, and even others made out of empty oil drum tins.

Many of these houses have dirt floors that constitute a health risk, due to the constant dust they create and the rodents and insects that they invite. Most affected by these unsanitary conditions, are children.

Each day it is more difficult for low-income families to acquire adequate housing conditions. Their monthly income does not allow them to save the purchase price of a house, and bank loans are granted at a very high interest rate. Another issue is land ownership.

While many families have built their homes and lived on the same land for years, they do not have legal ownership; even if they have purchased the land informally from another family, often the property legally belongs to the state, a company or an institution.

Habitat for Humanity Dominican Republic has helped to make a difference in the lives of families in need.

Volunteers interested in participating, should contact Robin Cooper Engle, rcooper@bendhabitat.org, 541.385.5387 x104. Fundraising options available.   

About Bend Area Habitat for Humanity:

Bend Area Habitat is dedicated to providing homeownership and home repair services to low income individuals and families in Bend and Crook County. In partnership with both communities, Bend Area Habitat is currently under construction on their 106th home for the Milstid family! Contributions of volunteer labor and donations of money and  materials help Habitat to continue providing opportunities for low income people. For more information, www.bendhabitat.org