The Fuller Center for Housing
The Fuller Center for Housing Programs
Journey to the Central American country of Nicaragua on a Building and Construction volunteering program with The Fuller Center for Housing and assist the organization build...
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The Fuller Center for Housing Reviews
When strangers become family
Submitted by K. Saner - Naperville, IL United States | November 08, 2016
Fourteen students and two staff members from North Central College, IL ventured to Nicaragua in late July of 2016, expecting to serve a community--to give of our time and resources selflessly, to retreat from our daily, media filled lives and do good. But, our hands, our feet, our presence quickly became more than just tools to serve; our hands bridged connections and comfort with our new friends, our feet offered our marking of change as they stepped into concrete, sand, and new pathways, our presence, our souls fed by the opportunity to share hope and witness true, authentic community. The Fuller Center-Global Builders Nicaragua program is the reason our group experienced what we did. It's the reason students came back to Illinois with a change of vocation, deeper questions of faith, and a longing to continue a life of service.
In Nicaragua, Danilo, Santos, and Alberto went out of their way to help our group adjust; they offered life lessons, spiritual stories, and most of all friendship that will last forever. The homes we worked on gave us practical construction experience, but more importantly, meaningful connection--with children, people, a culture, a country we now all would call a piece of "home". Logistically, it was the smoothest trip our college has ever experienced, we felt safe the entire trip and well cared for, and not to mention the food was out of this world amazing. We plan to go back to Nicaragua every summer as a college simply because our experience was real, raw, and above all else rewarding. The Fuller Center and its people gave more to us in 10 days than we could ever have imagined. We went to serve and they ended up serving us; we went as strangers and became family.
Highly recommend this program!
Submitted by Alyssa - - | August 09, 2016
I was part of the first Fuller Center group to build in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. This was my third international trip through the Fuller Center, and they all have been great experiences. The hotel we stayed at in Kathmandu the first and last nights of the trip was very close to the airport, had a nice restaurant, was clean and safe. There were two different lodges used in Trishuli where we were building - One provided all our meals (very good food!) and the other was a short walk down the street (I stayed down the street - this hotel was newer and nicer than where the other half of the group stayed)... Everything was very organized and everyone we worked with in Nepal (Fuller Center staff, masons, families receiving homes) were amazingly friendly and welcoming. I highly recommend this site!
I left with a full heart and a few extra pounds:)
Submitted by Kelly - New York, NY United States | March 30, 2016
I recently led a team of 20 people ages 18 to 70 on a volunteer trip with The Fuller Center Global Builders program to Las Penitas. This trip exceeded my expectations! I have participated in 4 previous volunteer trips (3 to Guatemala and 1 to Nicaragua) through another organization, but this was just an unbelievable experience.
As the leader there is always a large amount of additional work to be done prior to leaving. The Fuller Center Staff based in the US responded to any and all questions immediately and were so friendly and fun to work with. Once I arrived in Nicaragua I had the same experience with the staff there as well! Simply the best! Las Penitas is a beautiful village and everyone there welcomed out team with open arms. Fuller made sure that all of the volunteers were extremely well fed and taken care of the entire trip. Anything we asked for or needed was dealt with right away. On past trips with larger teams I have sometimes found that there was not always enough work for everyone to do on the construction site. There was always a job, task or chore that someone could help with and the Fuller Staff would continuously check in on each job site to check in with people and offer suggestions. They were flexible with our schedule and extremely accommodating. If we wanted to start early, have a longer or shorter lunch, end early, stay longer - whatever we wanted we were able to work out with them! I have also never been on a trip where I was able to see house go from foundation to a finished roof and floor in one week. Fuller was able to make that happen, while at the same time the team was able to enjoy the scenic village, have some downtime and live in the moment. I would not hesitate to work with Fuller again and would highly recommend Nicaragua to anyone who may be interested in life changing volunteer experience. I had many first timers on my team this time around and I am confident that they will all be signing up for future trips!
A Life-Changing Experience, Twice
Submitted by Neige - Utrecht | February 19, 2016
My mum got me involved with the Fuller Center on a trip to Las Penitas and from day 1, I was sold. The people, food, accommodations, activities, scenery and culture are all phenomenal. I cannot think what could be more motivating and enriching than building houses alongside the families who will come to live and grow in them, and even more motivating when you see how thankful, warm and welcoming they are.
The days will fly by and you will return home a little heartsore but with a completely new outlook.
The average day involved waking up, eating a full breakfast, heading to your assigned house to help with various tasks as needed such as mixing cement or filling the joints between cinder blocks, break for a delicious lunch (hopefully cooked by undiscovered Master Chef, Lorena), return to work into the late afternoon, at which point you're free to visit the beach, enjoy a Tona beer at one of the surfer bars lining the streets or have a walk around the town, before and after dinner. At some point on both trips I'd been on, a side trip was arranged for a half day during the week where those who wished could visit the large turtle reserve at the end of a guided boat ride. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and could spot a teeny tiny bird from 50 feet and, upon arriving at the turtle reserve, we were handed newborn babies that were to be released into the ocean.
If you want a real venture into a completely different world where you are utterly immersed in the culture and language, while also learning a few handy construction skills and picking up some Spanish, THIS is the trip for you.
1st trip to Nicaragua
Submitted by FCVolunteer | December 08, 2015
Enjoyed this trip temendously. I have been on trips with other organizations, and can say that the Fuller Center project was as good as any. Rooms were comfortable and food was good and there was plenty of it. The walk to the worksite was enjoyable and there was a bus provided if you did not want to walk. Community was very friendly and the families a joy to work with. R&R time was perfect with a choice of 2 afternoon excursion trips. The group worked incredibly well together and the team leader -fantastic. Provided great information prior to trip, so you were very well informed of what to expect, what to bring, etc. Highly recommend.