For 14 years, the international nonprofit Habitat for Humanity has been working in Portugal, where a large percentage of the population lives in dilapidated housing. The organization’s short-term program, Global Village, recruits volunteers to the city of Braga to lend a hand building houses and apartments for some of the country’s neediest citizens.
HOW YOU HELP: Work with a group to construct a home made of traditional Portuguese materials, including red roof tiles, bricks, and ceramic tiles.
HIGHLIGHTS: Visit a 12th-century cathedral in Braga, known as the spiritual capital of Portugal. Dine on arroz de pato à moda de Braga, a local dish of duck, rice, smoked ham, and garlic pork sausage. Purchase a cavaquinho, a four-string baby viola that is Braga’s trademark handicraft.
Habitat For Humanity,(800) 422-4828, 10-day trips from $1,900, including meals and lodging in a hotel. This appeared in the May/June 2010 issue.