For those of us who love to travel the world helping families in need of decent homes, OH HOW WE HAVE MISSED IT! The pandemic has been hard on us all, but perhaps no one has felt its detrimental effects more acutely than the world’s hard-working poor. Thanks to the reopening of The Fuller Center for Housing’s Global Builders program, I was finally afforded the opportunity to assemble a team to get back out there again—this time in Peru.
The Fuller Center is a housing ministry started in 2005 by Millard and Linda Fuller, the very same couple who founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976. A grass-roots non-profit, the Fuller Center promotes collaborative and innovative partnerships with individuals and organizations in its unrelenting quest to provide shelter for all people in need worldwide. Global Builders are short-term international volunteer trips that aid in that mission.
Our journey to Peru was fraught with paperwork, Covid testings and the constant underlying knowledge that something could change and prevent us from traveling at any moment. We all hung in the balance choosing to live with the uncertainty. And although it was a bit more work getting to and from Peru than it used to be, I can tell you the verdict was unanimous. The reward outweighed the risk—by a country mile!
It felt really good to be building again. The project in Peru is more than just individual houses; it’s an entire community called La Florida, the direct result of the vision of our Peruvian host coordinator, Zenon, and The Fuller Center’s commitment to establishing thriving communities that are initiated and led by locals.
When someone mentions Peru, what do you think of? The gastronomic capital of South America? The lost civilization of the Incan Empire? Alpaca, the Amazon, surfing, seeing some of the greatest archeological mysteries in the world? Potatoes, corn, coca? To all those things we have added the experience of building houses, connected by the work of our hands—and our hearts—to the people of La Florida.
It wasn’t just by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu that we felt on top of the world. In the words of Imagine Dragons we’d “paid our dues in the dirt…been waiting to smile, been holding it in for a while.”
Next time, I’ll take you with me if I can.
Let me know when you’re ready to go.