READING WEEK TRIPS


Hello Habitaters! Below is a brief description of the trips, as we will be going over them at our first general meeting.

**Scroll below  for important SIGN-UP information! **

If you have more specific questions, please email habitat@uoguelph.ca or drop by the office during office hours (UC 227).


First off the destinations are:


The trips run during our reading week, which falls on Saturday, February 15 to Sunday, February 22, 2014. These departure dates are flexible and something the entire team can decide on. 

Currently we have spots for approximate 18-20 spots for each U.S. trip and 12 spots for each Central America trip.


HOW TO SIGN-UP

U.S. TRIPS:

date and time TBA - (Peter Clark Hall, basement UC)
 

Sign ups will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please line up outside the door, we will give everyone a number and call upon you in small groups to sign up for your trip of choice.

A $160 non-refundable deposit will be due at the time and can be made either by cash or cheque (see below for breakdown of trip costs).  Sorry, but those without their deposits ready will not be able to sign up.

There are about 18-20 spots available for each U.S. trip, so make sure you arrive early! There will be a waiting list available for each trip, in case anyone drops out at a later date.



EL SALVADOR:


Due to the large interest for these locations and spaces are limited to 12 spots per trip, this year we will be requiring the completion of a short application form in order to express your interest. 

**Applications for the Central America trips will be due on a to be determined date. Application submissions has now closed, thank you to everyone for their interest!


Honduras Trip Leaders: TBD
El Salvador Trip Leaders: TBD


Central American teams will be announced shortly after the applications are due and the first team meeting will take place on after that at which time your trip deposit ($160 non refundable) will be due.  Since these teams will be determined before U.S. trip sign-up, you will still have an opportunity to be on a U.S. team!


TRIP INFORMATION

What will you be doing?

You will be building Habitat homes during the week (Mon to Fri 8-4pm, with one or two half
days, depending on location). Don't worry if you have no building experience, for lots of people
this is one of their first significant experiences with a hammer.  You will be supervised and guided by qualified instructors and you wont be expected to do anything you're not comfortable with. That being said you will be given the opportunity to try various aspects of building a house; putting up roofs, using power tools, and lots and lots of hammering.

What you do on your free time is up to the group to decide. Again were uber flexible, it is your
trip and we want you to do what you want (within reason of course).


Basic Itinerary:

Friday/Saturday: travel time
Sunday: check in, free time
Monday-Friday: on site 8am-4pm, evenings are free-time
Saturday/Sunday: pack-up, travel time

Accommodations

Teams are usually housed in a church, community centre, or other church facility as arranged by your host affiliate. Kitchens are usually part of the facility though you will be required to provide your own dishes and utensils. You will also need to bring your own pillow and sleeping bag. Often in these accommodations, you will be sleeping on the floor so a light mat will be valuable!

U.S. Destinations (Florida, Georgia,Alabama and Louisiana)

These trips start out with a 19 hour road trip (although somehow they end up taking closer to 20 hours to complete) you get close to your van-mates pretty quickly in those squishy space.

If you hadn't already gotten chummy with your team members, you will now ----20 people piled in one room (a trip to wal-mart for air mattress is usually a popular choice).

Again, for free time outside of building it's completely up to the group. Since there will be at least three vans at your disposal there is a bit more flexibility. Different possibilities include swamp tours, the beach, alligator zoos, Beach, visiting St. Augustine (the oldest city in the states), shopping (for some reason Target is always a popular destination), but by no means limiting.


El Salvador

This year there will be 2 trips to Central America: Honduras and El Salvador. The teams for these trips will fly to their destinations together on the Saturday/Sunday at the beginning of reading week. The work week will be Monday-Friday and there is usually a half-day for exploring. El Salvador is primarily Spanish speaking, so if you have any background in this language, it is beneficial (though not required). Build experience is not necessary, you will be supervised and guided by qualified builders. Houses in these countries are usually constructed of cement blocks.

If you really want to try something different for you reading week, learn about a different culture
and go somewhere spicy hot.this is the place for you. University of Guelph has been sending
students on this trip for the past 10 years. For the past couple of years we've stayed in this
beautiful house with an El Salvadorian family (think bed and breakfast style). Be prepared to eat
lots of beans and pupusas (a popular El Sal food- like a thick tortilla with either cheese or surprise more beans!).

In the past, on their free time, the students have hiked volcanoes, visited orphanages, relaxed in
hammocks on a practically private island on the Pacific Ocean, meandered through local markets
and so much more.


TRIP COSTS

The US destinations: approximately $500. 
(This includes a $150 non-refundable deposit, which is a donation to the affiliate chapter.)


Central America destinations: approximately $2000.

---

This includes:

	

PAYMENT INFORMATION

The money will be required in installments. Trips must be paid in full before departure and fundraising refunds will be returned once the trip has been completed.

The first is a $150 non refundable deposit (doesnt matter which trip you're going on) which you must bring when you sign up the trip. Cash or Cheque payable to:

University of Guelph
Habitat for Humanity
Campus Chapter

FUNDRAISING


If you're worried about paying for the trip, we will help you out with fundraising. Your trip leader is in charge of initiating fundraising activities, but the amount of money you raise is completely up to you. There will be many opportunities to fundraise, and it is possible to fundraise your entire trip. 

HOWEVER, it is important to know that you will need to pay for the total cost of your trip BEFORE you leave for the trip. All fundraising reimbursements will be distributed to team members AFTER the trips (usually in April). You are able to fundraise up until March and up to the total cost of your trip. Any funds raised beyond the total cost will become a donation to Habitat for Humanity. 

Donations can be made in cash or cheque (no credit cards), and cheques can be made payable to Habitat for Humanity, University of Guelph Campus Chapter. Any donation of $20 or more is eligible for a tax receipt.

You may do individual fundraising if you choose to, but team leaders are also looking for new, creative ways for the whole team to take part in fundraising initiatives. 

TRIP LEADERS

Any general questions regarding Reading Week trips can be directed to our e-mail at habitat@uoguelph.ca or questions for specific trip leaders:


El Salvador: TBD

Jacksonville, Florida: TBD
Alabama: TBD
Mississippi: TBD
Thibodaux, Louisiana: TBD