Multiple Locations +5
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Nepal
  • Thailand
  • Peru

Program Details

Host Family Hostel


Starting Price
Price Details
All Build Abroad trips include airport pickup, accommodations at a homestay with a local family, 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner), 24/7 in-country support, access to our volunteer headquarters with free wifi and referrals to local travel agencies.
Apr 13, 2018
Nov 18, 2016
20 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Build Abroad is the leader in construction volunteering trips, offering trips working on housing, schools, and disaster relief. Build Abroad feels that construction volunteering is the best way to give back to a community. Construction projects provide a physical impact in a community that will last for years. Currently Build Abroad has locations in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nepal, Peru, and Thailand and they continue adding locations every year.

You can take a trip with Build Abroad any week of the year and trips leave you plenty of free time to explore nearby destinations such as volcanoes, rainforests and beaches!

Volunteer Locations in:
* Costa Rica
* Guatemala
* Nepal
* Peru
* Thailand

Video and Photos

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.8
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Build Abroad - Cusco, Peru

Volunteer Work:
We volunteered at a construction site in Cusco, Peru. We began the ground work on a second level of a clinic in a low income area. It was rewarding, exhausting, and fun! Our leader Marco taught us many ways to improvise on the construction site with what little tools we had.

City Life:
We stayed in an awesome apartment at the top of our homestay families building. The views were unbelievable. We were within walking distance to a fun night life, amazing restaurants, and historical city streets.

We took a 2 day trip to Machu Pichu via train. We hiked up the mountain once we arrived in the ancient down - and man, what a hike! (I would recommend bug spray!) We also took an ATV tour through the mountains to see the salt mines and the lagunes. Highly recommended! I've never seen anything like it, the ATVs were incredibly fun. We drove through small towns and even had to dodge pigs in the street.

Our leader at Maximo, Daja, was so knowledgable on the city of Cusco and very kind. We learned so much from her. Our team leader through Build Abroad, Chad, was well organized and experienced. The group we were with couldn't have been better. It's safe to say we made life long friends.

41 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time in Peru!

We had a phenomenal time! It was so rewarding and it definitely felt like our presence was appreciated by the locals. Chad organized our trip and was part of the volunteer effort. His organization and attention to detail made this as close to a VIP experience outside of working hours that one might have in a developing country. My favorite part was the trip to Machu Picchu, but the hike up to Christo Blanco in Cusco was one of the most memorable treks. I would recommend this service to anyone who is looking to give back and get away from the daily routine for just a bit.

46 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Build Abroad - Peru - Unforgettable experience

This was my first experience doing a solo trip abroad, let alone with a Construction Volunteering Organization. I was really happy to join Build Abroad because they are a company driven by architecture graduates like myself. Many months later, because of this beautiful experience, I've decided to tailor my career towards a similar humanitarian cause.

We worked on a kindergarten that was located up on the one of mountain sides of Cusco. Because of its remote location and steep terrain ( 350 steep steps to climb every day), we all had a great daily workout and were also taught to learn how to effectively use the bus system. This was so helpful for the remainder of everyone's trip. Our on site construction manager, Marco, was an amazing guy who truly knew the ins and outs of construction in his region. He was very patient with his volunteers, despite the language barriers and even brought the volunteers to play soccer and have a few beers with his buddies (shh, we don't talk about the beers. haha)

The volunteers were a mix of people from all over the world. These people were all fantastic; out for the same adventures, laughing, joking, sharing experiences, etc. Never will I forget the friends I made over there. As for the Organization, everyone made you feel at home and at ease. Any questions or complications; they were there to help. They would also come on site and visit your home stay once in a while just to see how things were. Super kind, helpful and interesting people.

Home Stay:
I lived with this very kind and artistic lady and her small dog. It was such a unique experience living with a local because you got to experience their cooking first hand, which in her case was a spin off of italian with peruvian. (So goodd) And also got to discuss about various Peruvian events and learn from the locals their favorite places to visit around the city. I met her family for dinner, and being a Canadian, they streamed a hockey game for me! I was delighted :)

Cusco is simply astounding. It can't be compared to any other place I've been. It's historically rich, has amenities for all interests be it extreme sports, adventure, hiking, relaxing... And with a slight sense of adventure, you can visit the most beautiful sites in the sacred valley. Furthermore, the food. Oh the food... It is more than unique, but very very delicious. Finding a small local restaurant that serves Menu del Dia is a key way to save your coins and eat like a king.

I recommend this trip to anyone and would do anything to be back there myself. Regardless of your knowledge of construction, there's something in it for everyone. You're guaranteed to walk out with a smile and the feeling of having accomplished positive change.

What would you improve about this program?
Not too much to say here. It would of been cool to have a Build Abroad Tee-shirt to rep... maybe. ;)
40 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

First Build Abroad Trip and Definitely not the Last

For an individual who has never done any construction work, much less volunteer work, it was a little daunting at first knowing our task was to build the initial foundation of a clinic. Rebar? Had no idea what that was. That being said, it was so simple and fun to pick up on. Our construction guide was beyond helpful; he was resourceful, energetic, and always willing to help. Not only was it a fun experience getting our hands dirty, but it was also so rewarding. The fulfilling part about construction was that we could actually SEE our work over the course of the week progress so quickly. To know that I helped build columns made with our own hands is something I will never forget.

Our home was incredible! Literally felt like our own little penthouse pad. Both husband and wife (and their kids) were so sweet; always smiling and helpful. On top of that, the wife just happened to be an undercover chef. Really though. I've never tasted fries and pumpkin soup as great as hers. The best part was that we felt like locals while staying at an apartment; food from the culture versus eating at a restaurant every night for breakfast and dinner.

Through BA, I was part of a group of people from different states, occupations, ages, etc. And we all meshed perfectly. You get a bunch of different senses of humor all in one apartment/house and you're guaranteed to have a good time and learn a lot about one another. Nothing better than exploring a new country with a group of people who have just as much of a love for travel and volunteering as you do.

Cusco, Peru is nothing short of beautiful. The difference between where I live in Chicago and Cusco was really what I appreciated the most. A trip with BA once again showed me that simplicity is key. It was a humbling experience and definitely impactful. Cusco is home to so many fun things to do: Machu Picchu, touring Sacred Valley, finding the best pisco sour the restaurants have to offer, the list is endless. My best advice: step out of your comfort zone, do something that scares the hell out of you, learn something new about yourself and the place you go to, and be genuine about the work you do for others.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing about the program itself- I just wish I had more time to go on a longer trip!
41 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Build Abroad!

Build Abroad was one of the best travel experiences I've had thus far in my life. From the moment we stepped out of the airport in Costa Rica, we were immediately greeted and felt extremely welcomed. Even though we only got to stay a week in Costa Rica, I felt like I made very strong connections with my fellow volunteers as well as the staff. The trip was a great balance of work vs. vacation. Working hard all week at the job site made the trip to Manuel Antonio so much more enjoyable and well earned. I felt like I got to fully experience the culture of Costa Rica staying in San Ramon as well as experience the touristy beaches of Manuel Antonio. The greatest part of this experience was how well our group worked together and how fun loving everybody was. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to work with. I would recommend Build Abroad to anybody who loves traveling and volunteering. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity I get to work with Build Abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
I would love to stay longer at a location, so I would suggest a trip planned for a longer stay, hopefully in the summertime.
39 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Give back while touring and make great friends doing it

If you're anything like me, you've experienced some form of uneasiness while traveling. The feeling is akin to that of taking a second helping of food before everyone else has had their first plate. While you're busy taking in the local sights, sounds, and flavors, a staggering number of people live without the basic comforts that we sometimes take for granted.

Nearly every foreign destination I have toured suffers similar third world crises. Problems such as inadequate housing, inconsistent public utilities (which are sometimes absent altogether), and poor infrastructure for education and medicine are tucked away from the tourist's view. After visiting several continents I realized I wanted to change the way I travel.

This is where I found Build Abroad and construction volunteering to be just what I was looking for. They recognize that more and more tourists want to have a vacation that is more than just indulgence and relaxation. As a part of my trip I was in a group of 11 awesome individuals that shared an interest to make an impact in addition to exploring an exciting destination.

The trip was split into two parts - first we stayed in a volunteer dorm that was operated by a local non-profit. We worked for 4 days to dig a foundation for a small home that would be donated to an elderly woman. The work was difficult, but our days weren't long. We would work a maximum of 6 hours a day. Most of us were not construction workers, so we had to pace ourselves and we took care to stay hydrated. We had plenty of food and water and transportation to the job site was a breeze.

The work ended up being pretty fun. One of the trip members had a small speaker and we took turns playing music, joking with each other and our construction site foremen, and building camaraderie with each other. At the end of the four days we were surprised to see how much work we had actually done - we ended up getting ahead of schedule so we did a little work at another job site on our last day. Since our days weren't too long we always had time for another activity in the evening. We went to a local soccer field to scrimmage other volunteers, had a cook-out with dancing and music, and even went on a Costa Rican pub crawl. After a hard day of work participating in the activities was even more rewarding.

After our time volunteering we headed to the beach for three days. Our time there was truly incredible - we didn't want to leave. We stayed at a chic hotel just a short walk from the ocean and the rainforest. We had two pools to relax in, drink service, and plenty of amazing food close-by. Our trip organizers had set up a few activities, none of which were mandatory, but since we had all become good friends from working together we did the activities together. My favorite was the catamaran dinner cruise. We saw dolphins, went to a swimming hole where we jumped off the upper deck of the boat, and enjoyed plenty of awesome cocktails made at the boat's bar. Truly unforgettable.

Now, I will admit, tourists can't solve all the complex poverty driven problems that face third world nations today. However, it is possible to make a real difference in someone's life and give back some of the good fortune that we all enjoy as travelers. It's more about being a responsible tourist than trying to fix all the world's problems.

That said, this trip was more fun than any other vacation I have ever been on, save for one particularly epic winter trip to Whistler. So even with moral justification aside, the format and execution of this trip was truly excellent. Not only do I highly recommend Build Abroad for your next trip, but I'll be taking another trip with Build Abroad again in the near future.. Maybe I will see you there :)

What would you improve about this program?
Next time I'll book a longer trip - 1 week was too short!
39 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experience

I couldn't speak more highly about the Build Abroad trip that I participated in. I decided to go on this 8 day, 7 night trip with my boyfriend. We decided to go to Costa Rica as I spoke some Spanish (not fluent) although he did not speak any. When we got to our living area, it was comfortable and had a strong community aspect to it. There were two floors; each floor had a bathroom with shower, rooms with beds, a kitchen, and a work area/social area/dining room. People who happened to be there at the same time as us consisted of a retired woman traveling throughout Costa Rica as a sort of "immersion trip" and a small group of boys who were teaching local kids different sports as a part of their studies. There was also more of a Build Abroad crew with us, who we got to know very well.

Overall aspects:
Food- Awesome. I mention it first because I recall it so well. We had a cook/housemaid named Virginia that took care of our every consideration when it came to food and cleanliness of the house. Food was served every morning and evening. Lunch was brought to the job site for us a couple times but usually we would pack our own lunch. Food was wonderful- traditional cooking of arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), black beans, soups, fresh vegetables, fresh juice with EVERY meal. For breakfast we sometimes had traditional rice and beans with meat, sometimes a special "power" oatmeal mix, pancakes, plantains.... I cant rave more about the food. Our Virginia was amazing.

Safety- I never had any concerns. I am a young woman in my 20s and while I did not travel to the markets or mall alone (because I happened to be with a group and my boyfriend for almost every time we left), I felt completely comfortable in the area. One time my boyfriend and I got slightly lost (on our first day, whoops!) and were able to ask people how to get back. Then we called the house and got exact directions back. The taxi people were normal taxis... Not overly friendly but would engage in conversation if you initiated. Meters are in every taxi and a fair wage was always charged. Our house is located in a neighborhood. We had a locked tall gate out front of the house that encompassed an outside patio in front of the house and the house itself. All doors locked. We were even provided with a personal key to our own room and lockers if we so chose (I believe this is used more if you are traveling with people and you do not know the group). We walked around after dark, in the middle of the town, etc. and had no problems whatsoever.

Building- The project that we participated in was constructing the beginning stages of a house for a woman and her small family. The woman (who we unfortunately did not get to meet due to our schedules not working out) was deaf and blind and had special considerations with her house being built. We worked hand-in-hand with two local construction men who explained to us that the woman had been granted into a special program that allowed volunteers to build the house. From what I understood, local surveyers just needed to come after each stage of building (ie, after foundation made, after electrical put in, etc) in order to confirm standards are being met and then the next stage could be progressed to. During our time in CR, we cleared the lot of overgrown sugar cane, dug the huge sump-pump and water reserviour, and mapped out foundation and rooms. While each days labors were difficult, the camaraderie of the group along with the playfulness of the locals helped the (approx) 6 hour day go by quickly. By the end of our time there, we were able to see the progress that we had made and it was INCREDIBLY fulfilling. The building was my favorite part of the trip.

Ages: Volunteers that I met in the house ranged from 20-60s.

Organization: The trip was very well organized. While I cannot compare Build Abroad to many other programs due to my limited experience with others, I can say that I was VERY pleased with the organization. Airport pickup was arranged. Accommodations were above expectations. Activities were planned for every night (if we wanted to participate in them). A member of the team escorted us to the bus station and rode with us the first and second day to make sure we were acclimated. There were even mini impromptu Spanish lessons and a introductory presentation that gave us insight to some of the "Costa Rican Language" and customs, such as culture, polite interactions, slang, etc. We had one Wednesday "reflection" session in which we convened with the other volunteers (who lived in the same house as us but were on different projects) so that we could hear how their projects were going. This built relationships and appreciation for our fellow house-mates.

Overall: I do not think that I could be more pleased with my experience on this Build Abroad trip. I feel as if I got wonderful memories, pictures, experiences, skills, and friends that I will value for a very long time. I very much look forward to exploring other Build Abroad trips and I highly recommend it to anyone else.

What would you improve about this program?
This was not a problem with the program: If there was one thing that I would have liked to do it would have been to meet the family that we began building the house for. This is possible but we were simply not able to due to schedules not working out.
39 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Give me more

My daughter and I were looking for an opportunity to enjoy a spring break together somewhere warm after the polar vortex in Chicago while doing something fulfilling. The opportunity arose for us to join this group of people. I had never had this kind of experience before and the opportunity to meet so many people from so many different cultures, united in a common goal of helping others was really outstanding.

The owners of the Build Abroad company were on the trip with us; in the trenches with us (literally); swinging hammers and pick axes. We were never asked to do anything they wouldn't have done themselves and we did not experience a single issue the entire time we were there. They are a top-notch group of people dedicated to helping others while having fun doing it.

39 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers