2016 Service Trips

Colombia – December 5-11, 2016

Benjamin Swatez, Chime In Mentor and International Mural Artist, has arranged for us to work with Viracocha, a nonprofit in Colombia, to build compostable toilets. Benjamin has worked with this NGO in the past and is excited to lead a trip back to this area!   Some details are still in the works but here is the basic information***.

  • Arrive in Colombia December 4th, 2016 with travel to the project village overnight. It is an eight hour journey.
  • Project will be in San Agustin in the province of Huila. This is the archeological center of Columbia. The project will run from December 5 – 11th with travel back to Bogota the night of December 11, arriving the morning of December 12.
  • Optional touring will be available if anyone would like to stay a day in Bogota until December 13 or 14. (Arrival day in Guatemala for those

    Photo by Andrew Hara

    attending both is December 14)

  • Airfare will be purchased by the participant. Airport information will be provided
  • The amazing journey will end with a Saturday concert, Sunday recap and departure on a Sunday night bus
  • Food, lodging will be included while we are at the build site. Airfare, any additional lodging, transportation to and from build site, food or touring expenses, etc. will be the responsibility of the participant
  • Each participant will be expected to donate at least $50 toward the cost of a compostable toilet.
  • $150 per compost toilet – build 5 to 10 – spread technology and process of construction worldwide
  • Housing and Food arranged with minimal costs – dietary needs taken into consideration upon request
  • Transportation on the ground arranged @ minimal local costs
  • Safe travel and use of carpentry tool secured with experienced personal/ safety course
  • Work directly with locals (some indigenous do not wear traditional garb any longer, some do)
  • Stage and workshop centers secured for art and music/ electricity and internet – inviting local artists and musicians
  • Tours organized upon request – Confirmed itinerary will be posted before departure. Possibilities include:
    • Archaeological center of Colombia – 500 stone pre-Colombian statues throughout the countryside – visit archaeological park
    • Sacred waterfalls
    • Visits to Coffee, sugarcane and cacao plantations to witness the production processes
    • Presentation on history of the red zone, the land, the culture, the farm, the efforts, progress and setbacks of the region
    • Tribal Ceremony possible if interested and spiritual prepared

All participants will be expected to pay for travel, any additional food and lodging outside of the build site as well as donate to the project.

This trip has been designed so anyone who is interested in traveling to both Colombia and Guatemala can travel from one country to the next without interruption.

Main contact for the trip will be Benjamin Swatez.

***This information is subject to change as we confirm hotels, travel arrangements and sightseeing.


Return Trip to Guatemala
December 14-20, 2016

This year we will be building with Techo in a different community than 2015. The build will include a home and a toilet facility (more details to follow). We will announce the community in the next few months.

Each home with toilet will cost $2700 – We have several team or individuals who are setting up fundraising to build a home. If you are interested in joining the project we will connect you with an established team. Travel is optional – Only those interested in traveling have to travel. If you would like to support from your own hometown and support the build virtually we would love to have you participate!

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE – This is subject to change as we confirm hotels, sightseeing, etc.

    • Arrival on Wednesday, December 14 or 15 based on your travel plans (Currently working on hotel accommodations for 2 nights). These two nights are optional, participants can arrive on Friday to join the build only
    • Thursday, December 15 – Touring in area, visiting the local market, group dinner will be offered
    • Friday, December 16 – Visit the families in Manuel Colom Argueta then travel to the build site community
    • Stay at build site Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a minimal cost. Building on Saturday and Sunday with painting and celebration on Monday. Meals are provided once we arrive at the build site. Dietary needs will be taken into consideration upon request.
    • Some people may opt to leave on Monday night
    • For those staying on Monday, we are offering the opportunity to stay with a host family. Anyone interested will go through an application process and not all participants might be hosted
  • Tuesday, December 20 – all participants fly home

All participants will be expected to pay for travel, food and lodging as well as donate to the project.

CampThis trip has been designed so anyone who is interested in traveling to both Columbia and Guatemala can travel from one country to the next without interruption.

Main contact for this project is Susan Johnson in the US and Antonio De la Roca or Samuel Vivar in Guatemala

Estimated Costs for Guatemala***


The price of a home with a toilet is $2700 per home. Teams can fundraise as a group to raise money to build a home or join another group who is interested in fundraising for a home.

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