Create a Village Library in Latin America - Hope Through Books

Video and Photos

bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids
kids bonding
kids bonding
group activities with children from the community
group activities with children from the community
bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids
reading to the kids
reading to the kids
bonding with the kids
bonding with the kids

About

This guided trip with Village Book Builders will be one of the toughest weeks of your life yet one of the best

This humanitarian expedition will provide REAL experiences. By building a library, you will help those who are less fortunate have something that will truly change their lives and the lives of generations to come. During your time you will teach classes, visit homes, read with the children, build a library, and celebrate the completion of the library with the village.

You will have the chance to immerse yourself in the culture of Mexico as well as spend two days seeing the beauty of the country. We will see ancient Aztec ruins and go river rafting down a local river.

Village Book Builders is an organization founded on the desire to bring knowledge to children and families across the world by building community libraries that provide access to literacy education.

Highlights
  • Professional guide leading and supporting the team 24/7
  • All inclusive: accommodations, meals, project supplies, and transportation
  • The opportunity to enter the homes of the villagers and understand their way of life
  • Custom meals according to your diet or allergies
  • Two excursion days to see the beauty of your service country

Impact

Creating reading habits with young readers will change the course of their lives and their future.

Christmas Break Expeditions Open

Belize is open for registration. Come spend your Christmas giving back through service travel in the Caribbean!

Popular Programs

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 23 reviews
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 23
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Gayle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Make a difference!

My experience opening a library with Village Book Builders in the village of Darwin in Peru was incredible! To bring that resource to this community was life changing for me as well as the people of Darwin. The coordinators from Village Book did an excellent job making sure the volunteers had everything needed to do our jobs. Our comfort and safety was always a priority with them. The children of Darwin were so excited to have us in their village. They were thirsty for the knowledge the library was bringing. We visited every home in the village to share the news of the new library and promote family reading. The people were so gracious and grateful to us. It was a very humbling experience, one I will never forget. I highly recommend Village Book Builders. You can be sure every dime is going to improve the lives of people who truly need it! I plan to volunteer on another library with them soon!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Alligator! Surprisingly delicious! The villagers brought some to the library opening celebration. Then on our excursion to the Amazon jungle it was served for lunch and dinner!
Default avatar
Ivonne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing expirence

If you want to plant a seed of good in this world and at the same time have fun, meet new friends in a great place and fulfil your propose in life this is the place for you. So sign now and enjoy life!! You are not going to regret it!!!!!
The experience of Build a Village Library in Mexico was amazing in so many ways. We have the opportunity to make a huge change in children lives and maybe for you and me sound easy because we have access to some many things but for them reading gives them the opportunity to dream, to expand their dream and ergo to achieve more for their own families, community, country. region and who could know... maybe even the world. Besides we had the opportunity to meet new friends, eat a lot of different and really tasty food while we visit one of the world wonders.

What was your funniest moment?
It is so difficult to pick just one...mmmmm could be the opening moment where the town could see finally the library finish and all the faces astonish and very very happy
Default avatar
Paul
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Village Book Awesome Charity

Our trip to Mexico with Village Bookbuilders was one of the best personal experiences I have had in a foreign country. The growing organization is well-managed our trip was well planned. We were able to enjoy a couple of side trips to add to our vacation but the best part was being with the people of Mexico and making a difference in the lives. I would recommend Village Bookbuilders to everyone. Everyone should send their teenagers on one of these trips. We had a choice to live with one of the families we were helping or stay in a nice hotel. My wife and I chose the hotel. After seeing how much fun my son-in-law and my grand son had staying with a family we will definitely try that next time. Travel arraignments were great food was good the company was great!

What would you improve about this program?
I have followed this charity and have been impressed with there for site and the number of new libraries they have built. My wife and I and possibly some grandchildren are planning a trip with them soon.
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Michael
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

#onlywithVBB

My wife Kaylin and I had such a fulfilling trip with Village Book Builders in the Yucatan. The cultural immersion was my favorite part. We didn't spend the entire time building a structure. We taught classes to the children and went into the community to speak with the villagers about why we were there. We were even invited to spend new year's eve at a local home and experience their traditions.

As a cherry in top, we had an amazing time seeing the local sites. We swam in a cenote, saw pyramids and snorkeled with moray eels.

I cannot recommend this experience enough. We will go on another expedition as soon as we can.

Or group had a diverse group ranging from students to older folks. We had couples, kids and solo travelers. Everyone got along incredibly well.

Default avatar
Mitch
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Lot of Work, All Worth It

We spent this trip in a small village that overlooked the city of Nauta, right off the Amazon River. It was here where we spent long days raising up the walls of the library and showcasing the resources of the library to children who flipped through pages faster than we could read. Here where we stayed nights under the Peruvian stars, cataloging books before returning to our sleeping quarters, crossing amazonian swampland via wobbling wooden bridge. Although the physical construction of the library is essential to the VBB's mission of globally spreading a culture of reading around the word, it was not the construction that keeps kids yearning to learn more. Instead, this is accomplished through the display of volunteer excitement in books, promoting the avenues that reading opens for bibliophiles. Books can provide an escape from poverty. They do this both mentally through the emotional outlet they provide in fantastic stories (both by reading and writing them!); but they also do this logistically through their intrinsic connection to education, driving interest while opening opportunities for social mobility.

There has yet to be a day passing in which I don't think about the dedication that the village had in providing this asset for future generations. Although we had many late nights in Darwin Grandes, giving it our all for the week we were there, it will be the village who sustains the library. I have no doubt that our collaboration with them will be fruitful for generations to come, and I can't wait to hear about their progress.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish we could spend more time there, with the community. A week is a great short term exposure to a different lifestyle, but I feel like we do a disservice in not allowing ourselves to grow and learn within the communities.
Default avatar
Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Village Book Builders- Chicán

My experience with Village Book Builders is one I’ll never forgot! I loved working so closely with the community and it was incredible to see the impact our work had on those wonderful people. It was really fun getting to additionally travel all around Mexico and experience the culture. I feel so blessed that I was able to find such an amazing group to go with! I would definitely recommend Village Book Builders to anyone who is looking for a way to serve. Another great thing about this group is that they build libraries! This is something that really makes a positive impact wherever you go! Some other humanitarian projects can sometimes cause problems for third world villages they visit, but this group betters the community and strengthens education!

Response from Village Book Builders

Thank you Amanda we loved having you there!!

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Annamarie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Priceless Experience

My husband and I took a little leap out of our comfort zone when we signed up for this trip. We knew we would be sacrificing to make it happen and hoped it would be worth our money. What drew our attention in the first place was the organizations focus on cultural immersion while serving there. And boy did it deliver!!! We could tell the village had been anxiously awaiting our arrival. They had prepared everything for us and even invited us to participate in their village festivities and activities. The neatest part was when we visited their homes. I didn't think they would be comfortable with us coming by, but nearly all of them knew who we were and what we were doing in their village. They warmly invited us into their homes and shared their culture with us. Some of them taught us how they weave their hammocks; some of them taught us how they make their tamales; and others simply told us about their family. We loved sharing literacy with them. Many of them expressed their gratitude for coming to their village and helping supply the resources to make a difference for their children's future. The kids greeted us at the school so enthusiastically every day for classes. I could go on and on about the amazing experience, but it was hands down 3000 times better than I could have imagined. On the opening day of the library the entire village lined up at the door to take a peek. I will never forget the looks on their faces and the light in their eyes as they picked up the books and told their friends, "I'm checking out this one first!" Worth it would be an understatement.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was less than 3 months pregnant at the time and many of the women there in this Mayan village asked me what sex my baby was. When I told them I was only 3 months along they said, "So?" Come to find out that they had a traditional Mayan doctor that can sense the gender and health of a baby without use of medical intervention. She lived just around the corner from the school so my husband and I went over. We had to wait for a while because people from over two hours away had come to see her! It was a very unique and cool experience. She told us our baby would be a girl and some other cool things. Since the trip, we had our baby and she was right! Just a fun, unexpected memory for us!
a nice chat
Elisabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful Country, Beautiful People!

Beautiful Country, Beautiful People! It was a life changing experience and more than I could of ever hoped for. I just wanted something where I could be with friends doing some good, I had no idea that I would be changed in the process. I loved being part of the Mayan community they invited us into their homes even allowing us to celebrate New Years with them, we eat with them, danced with them and then did an amazing firework show!! They even let us break apart our own Pinata! By far though my favorite experience was the celebration at the end of the week where we introduced the entire community to the new library, and seeing those kids open those books for the first time was amazing!! I would go again in a heart beat and would love to go with my family!

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Mitch
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I loved my time with Village Book Builders, it was life changing in so many ways. I am so glad I made the decision to go outside of my comfort zone and go to the foreign country to serve. Being able to work alongside the people there and crying together as we all left was the best and hardest experience of my life. The excursions we went on were amazing from river rafting down an ancient canyon to seeing ancient ruins, it was amazing! The leaders were a huge support and were always giving encouragement and direction when needed. If you knew what you were doing though they let you go at it! Which is how I like it, as I am very independent and like to do things myself after given direction. I would go again with Village Book Builders any time!

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Katelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

one of the most meaningful experiences of my life

I loved travelling with Village Book Builders. It's a smaller organization, which I loved because it's more personal. You really get to know the coordinators and people you're travelling with. Each volunteer is assigned responsibilities according to their personal interests and talents.

We didn't just visit the village to work on the library, we lived there with the people for the duration of the trip. They welcomed us into their community with love. We got to live how they live, in small humble homes sleeping in hammocks. They invited us to their new years celebration at their local church and to eat and celebrate with them in their homes.

This was one of the happiest times of my life because each day was spent working to give to these people. I spent hours with the kids in the village, playing with them and helping them prepare for the library. It was so meaningful to me because I knew that we would be leaving something behind that would continue to give back.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
showering with a big scary spider! and cliff jumping into a cenote! I overcame it with sheer bravery and a desire to face my fears
Default avatar
Rebekah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a life time experience

Mexico with Village Book Builders was a once in a lifetime experience!! The people were so happy we were there, and truly appreciated the library we were building! I loved going out everyday and visiting the homes of the kids with the kids leading us along the mountain paths. When we would arrive at a home without fail they would invite us inside and begin to feed us and feed us, it was hard to fit it all in! Sitting there talking with the parents through our interpreter I loved hearing about their lives and their hopes for their children, they have the same hopes and dreams that we have. They were so excited that their children were getting something they or their parents have never had before, a library. I would go back with village book in a heart beat!!

What was your funniest moment?
When we got there the local band was practicing but due to the distance around the mountain they would go on their porch and play their part while their buddy on the other side of the mountain would play their part, it was a cross mountain practice! Apparently they had rejoined the band just for us and were so excited to show us their skills.
Read my full story
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Alex
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Trip of A Life Time

Upon leaving for Peru, I had no idea what to expect. I was a little nervous because I know zero Spanish and knew there would be a pretty large language barrier. In addition, I’d never been on a humanitarian trip, so I wasn’t sure how to prepare myself. However, upon arriving, with the help of the Village Book leaders and other members, I felt immediately comfortable. I always felt safe and comfortable. Everything ran smoothly and the leaders did an amazing job. I am so lucky to have met all the amazing people I did on the trip and I had a blast. Words cannot describe how blessed I feel to have been able to be apart of this trip. My favorite part was going on home visits. During these visits, we were able to speak with families about the importance of reading. It was an amazing thing, to be able to get to know these families and see how excited they were for the chance to learn.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar think I experienced was probably being submerged into an all Spanish speaking community.
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Erin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience

Traveling with Village Book Builders to Mexico was a life changing experience! Being able to actually be brought into a community and form relationships with people from other cultures is something that you do not often get the opportunity to do. I was able learn so much from the people in the communities as well as the people I was serving with. I also had the opportunity to teach different classes (dance and English) to the children in the communities and it was so incredible to see how excited they were to learn. Seeing the joy of reading brought to a child who does not often get to read books for fun is incredible! The two trips I had the privilege of going on, helped to strengthen my love of traveling and of other cultures. I highly recommend traveling through village book builders!

"The magic is in life, its mystery corresponds to us to experience it"
Adriana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TRAVEL, HELP, HAVE FUN AND HELP SEED THE READING HABIT

I had the opportunity to travel 2 times with Village Book Builders in Mexico and it has been 2 wonderful experiences, the first was in a small place on a mountain called EL OLVIDO, in Veracruz, Mexico. The welcoming of children in the community was incredible, it was a great adventure accompanied by so many fun things, work, smiles and being able to see many dreams and illusions in the excited faces of the children, who had a great desire to learn new things In his new library, every day was a new adventure and a pleasure to work with all the volunteers in an atmosphere of wonderful harmony. The second trip was another wonderful experience in a MAYA town in Yucatan, Mexico. to be able to live during those days with the inhabitants of the communities
In their homes, it was a very pleasant experience that I would repeat again and again without hesitation.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The last day in the community of EL OLVIDO, in Veracruz, Mexico, the reaction of the children to say goodbye was very surprising, we got into the trucks and left the place suddenly we saw the children run behind the trucks saying goodbye, it was exciting and sad to say goodbye through the windows, they ran a long distance, that touched our hearts and I think that these emotions are things that you can not buy with money. We leave the place with tears of emotion.
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Celest
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Mayan good time

It was a very unique experience. We were able to learn some Mayan before going and truly put our hearts into every moment even with a language barrier. The people were so overjoyed to receive a library, we couldn’t help but smile throughout and upon completion. There were children there who we know will always take advantage with what we gave them. Not only that, they will remember the time they had with us because there were many of us and we all had the same purpose... to be there... for THEM. It was great to eat in the community and sleep there as well. We truly enjoyed ourselves immersing ourselves in their culture. Although there were some bumps in the road because nothing is perfect, communication could have been a bit better. There’s so many good things to say about this experience. Highly recommend.

What would you improve about this program?
I would work on communication between leaders and organization, so things flow a bit smoother.