volunteer team will usually be stepping alongside work that is already in
progress, and will be following the instructions of the local construction
foreman on the worksite. Construction
techniques tend to be very basic in Honduras, with a lot of manual labor that
isn’t necessarily high-skilled. No
construction experience is required--only a willing heart. While skills in
construction are welcome, they are not necessary.
It is rarely possible to
utilize all the skills that a team brings to Honduras, both because construction
in Honduras is low-tech, and because the project needs different skills at
different times. There will be times when an electrician or plumber is asked to
shovel dirt or haul wet cement because that is the need when the team is there.
methods in Honduras are different than in the USA. The local foreman will direct your UMVIM team’s work, and
will be willing to show and teach what needs to be done. Keep in mind that while your mission team may have very
useful suggestions, it is up to your hosts to make the final decision.
Flexibility, an open mind, and willing heart are all important.
project in Honduras involves digging foundations (with shovels and pickaxes),
mixing concrete (after sifting the sand) with shovels, hauling and pouring
concrete (with shovels, buckets and wheelbarrows), carrying and laying cinder
block, and tying rebar. Light carpentry, painting, electrical work, and
tile-laying are also common needs. The little “heavy construction” there is
on our sites (welding, roofing), is often hired out locally instead of done by
of other jobs a team might do are: laying a tile floor, putting in windows,
constructing a fence or wall, or painting the interior or exterior of a church
building. Teams may help to dig a
hole for construction of a cistern, or dig a foundation. You may help build a wall, a basketball court, sidewalk, or
church pews. The site to which you
go, the priorities of the church at the time you come, and what other teams and
church members have accomplished before your arrival, all play into what you
will be doing.
Some basic tools all construction teams can use are:
try to let you know ahead of time what kind of work it will be and what tools
might be helpful to bring. One
of the most important “tools” you can bring is the gift of flexibility
because things often change at the last minute for many reasons.
It is almost impossible to know ahead of time exactly what work you will
be doing all week, and exactly what tools you will need.
always helpful to reiterate with team members that the actual construction work
may be the task of the group, but is not the most important reason
a team is in Honduras. It is
tempting for North Americans to forget the importance of relating, of listening,
of taking opportunities to show the love of Christ, because the task gets in the
way. Practice recognizing that an
unexpected (potentially frustrating) pause in the work is an opportunity for the
Holy Spirit to work in a conversation between you and your Honduran brother or
The contents of this page were
most recently updated on
Thursday January 22, 2009