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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Habitat for Humanity build participants
Habitat for Humanity build participants

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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Laurier students join Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador during reading week

Mar 4/14

For a group of 21 Laurier students, catching up on their schoolwork wasn’t their only priority during reading week. Instead, they helped build two homes in El Salvador as part of a trip with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program.

For Marshal Rodrigues from Laurier Brantford, one of the team leads, this was her second Habitat trip.

“This was something I always wanted to do, and I have been lucky to have been able to participate twice,” she said. “I’m really into philanthropy, and when I saw an email last year from Laurier International about this opportunity, I ran with it.”

In 2013, three students from the Brantford campus and six students from Waterloo were joined by Robert Feagan, associate professor in Contemporary Studies for the initial trip organized by Laurier International and Habitat for Humanity. The students participated in one home-build outside the city of San Miguel.

This year, eight Brantford students and 13 Waterloo students, along with Feagan, departed on February 16, and returned a week later. They participated in building two homes for families in need in El Salvador.

“I got involved partly because of my community development interests and its ties with international possibilities like this,” said Feagan. “I am also doing research with the students on their experiences in taking on these kinds of international activities.”

These trips are organized through the Global Village Program, whereby individuals or groups travel together to one of the Habitat affiliate partners in over 100 countries around the world.

Each participant has his or her own reason for participating, but for Rodrigues the outcome is unifying.

“We all walk away with a single view and a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “The gratitude was truly overwhelming and it gets you hooked. It completely changed my perspective and what I want to do with my life.”

For more information about participating in future trips, please contact Marshal Rodrigues ( or Mike Boylan, coordinator, global engagement programming ( For more information about the Habitat for Humanity Global Village Program, please visit: <>


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