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Take Inspiration from Jimmy Carter: Be a Building Volunteer for Those in Need

Nick Callos
Written By
By Nick Callos

Recently, Jimmy Carter was in the news as he began receiving hospice care in February, 2023, and it has motivated many to look back upon his past accomplishments. A notable highlight is his commitment to humanitarian efforts, especially promoting affordable housing and inspiring volunteerism. 

Along with his Carter Center projects, Carter was also a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Realizing its missions and objectives were aligned with his, Carter initiated the Carter Work Project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity in 1984 to develop safe, affordable housing and volunteer engagement. The annual event brings together volunteers, including President Carter and his wife, to build homes alongside Habitat for Humanity homeowners that takes place in a different location each year. To date, Habitat for Humanity states more than 4,300 homes are “Carter Homes”, with more than 100,000 volunteers helping to build homes across 14 countries. 

Jimmy Carter continued to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity even while he was aging and physically struggling. His commitment to housing others and helping society’s most disadvantaged has set an example for us all. He has shown what it means to act with humanity, empathy, and decency, and he’s shown we can all leave this world a better place if we commit to giving back and standing up for what’s right. 

It’s time to take inspiration and volunteer to help those in need. In this article, we’ll highlight building volunteer abroad programs that are committed to providing communities and people in need with housing, schools, and other resources — just like Jimmy Carter did. 

So, take inspiration from Jimmy Carter — and go be a building volunteer abroad. Choose a program you like and go apply!

Maximo Nivel: Building Volunteer Abroad Programs

volunteer in construction

Founded in 2003, Maximo Nivel provides affordable volunteer abroad programs in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Maximo Nivel is the top rated and most reviewed volunteer abroad organization in Latin America, with each program internationally accredited. 

If you wish to take inspiration from Jimmy Carter and volunteer to build houses and more in Latin America, then Maximo Nivel is a great choice. They have a wide variety of construction volunteer programs, and you’ll get to literally see and touch the work you do and the impact you make. Check out two of Maximo Nivel’s best building volunteer abroad programs below:

Volunteer in Construction in Peru

Want to journey to Peru to build homes, schools, churches and more? 

If yes, then Maximo Nivel has a great building volunteer program for you. As a building volunteer abroad, you will help local communities build much-needed infrastructure, and learn valuable construction skills, such as laying brick, mixing cement, and painting. The wonderful aspect of this service opportunity is that you’ll see your impact immediately, whether you’re constructing a community center or repairing a health facility. During the program, you’ll also get to immerse yourself in local culture and practice Spanish.

Program fees: $915 for 2 weeks; $1,295 for 4 weeks

Click here to register!

Volunteer in Construction in Costa Rica

If you enjoy working with your hands and seeing your impact right away, look no further than Maximo Nivel’s building volunteer program in Costa Rica. As a volunteer, you’ll build and renovate community centers, schools, clinics, and assisted-living facilities. The program is led by a professional foreman and you’ll learn plenty of building skills along the way, from how to work with adobe brick to drywalling. 

Program fees: $1,035 for 2 weeks; $1,565 for 4 weeks

Click here to register!

Projects Abroad: Building Volunteer Abroad Programs

peace corps volunteer alternatives

With a mission to make a real impact, much in the spirit of Jimmy Carter, Projects Abroad has 209 projects across 20 destinations. To date, Projects Abroad has hosted more than 132,000 volunteers. The organization is known for a gold standard of staff support. 

Each year, Projects Abroad enacts positive change in local communities through a variety of initiatives, from marine and wildlife conservation projects to healthcare work. They have many great building volunteer abroad programs, including the two featured below.

Building Volunteer Work in Ghana

As a building volunteer in Ghana, you’ll get to work on important infrastructure for less fortunate communities, gaining hands-on experience. You’ll assist with a myriad of projects, including building:

  • Classrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Libraries
  • Homes

Ready to take inspiration from Jimmy Carter and get your hands dirty? 

Program fees: $2,270 for 1 week; $3,380 for 4 weeks

Click here to register!

Community Volunteer Work in Fiji

Make your way to Fiji, and help give a community in need better access to necessary resources.  You will get to immerse yourself in daily village life while giving back through various initiatives. Duties include: 

  • Teaching at a school
  • Helping with farming projects
  • Assisting with village maintenance 
  • Repairing and improving community buildings

Program fees: $2,470 for 1 week; $3,580 for 4 weeks

Click here to register!

Volunteering Solutions: Building Volunteer Abroad Programs

Volunteering Solutions has many volunteer and teach abroad programs

Founded in 2007, Volunteering Solutions has hosted more than 17,000 international volunteers and interns to date, including lots of building volunteers. It has more than 150+ projects across 27 countries, including construction projects that help build homes, community centers, libraries and more for towns in need. 

Known for high-quality, affordable programs, volunteering with Volunteering Solutions will enhance your resume, equip you with new skills and enable you to make lasting connections with locals. 

To learn more about Volunteering Solution, visit their website here. (UK readers, please visit their UK site here). Also, check out the two great building volunteer programs below.

Construction & Community Development in Uganda

This incredible building and community volunteer program enables you to truly make a difference in the lives of locals. You’ll get to interact closely with local villagers and immerse yourself in local culture. Your volunteer work will include: 

  • Construction work on various projects
  • Assisting local self-help groups
  • Assisting local civil society organizations
  • Carrying on awareness drives 

Ready to do some good like Jimmy Carter and work under the sun?

Program fees: $380 for 2 weeks; $660 for 4 weeks

Click here to register!

Charity Shop Volunteering in Ireland

While not a traditional building volunteer project, you’ll get the chance to work at a charity shop that provides key services and housing supplies to impoverished residents in Clonmel, County Tipperary. As a volunteer, you’ll help ensure housing security for many local residents, ensuring they have the furniture, kitchen equipment, cleaning supplies and more that they need to live healthy, happy lives. All the while, you’ll get to enjoy the charm and culture of Ireland.  

Program fees: $1499 for 3 weeks; $2499 for 8 weeks

Click here to register!

GoEco: Building Volunteer Abroad Programs


Founded in 2006, GoEco hosts 150+ volunteer and intern abroad programs in 40+ countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Australasia. They are known for their commitment to conservation, affordable service opportunities, and exceptional support. Named a Top Volunteer Abroad Organization by GoAbroad, GoEco offers numerous high-quality construction volunteer programs for those wishing to serve like Jimmy Carter! 

What’s great about GoEco’s building volunteer programs is the diversity of options. Whether you want to travel to Asia or Africa, you’ll find great options. Check out two amazing projects below.

Sustainable Community Development in Cambodia

Join GoEco in Samraong, Cambodia to help improve the educational experience of underprivileged children, both in and outside the classroom. As a volunteer, you’ll get to teach English and work on construction projects, such as:

  • Building tables and chairs
  • Renovating playgrounds
  • Constructing toilets
  • Making new classrooms

Ready to help children in Cambodia have a better learning environment? Then sign up today! 

Program fees: $880 for 1 week + 6 days; $1,720 for 4 weeks + 6 days

Click here to register!

Village School Renovation in Cape Verde

Make the trip to Tarrafal, Cape Verde and help in a village to renovate and improve the learning environments for local village students. As a construction volunteer, your work will enable disadvantaged students to receive the education they need to break cycles of poverty and reach their full potential.

If you wish to follow the example of Jimmy Carter, this program is a wonderful choice. What’s also nice is you’ll be just a 10-minute walk from the beach. 

Program fees: $1,050 for 1 week + 6 days; $2,190 for 4 weeks + 6 days

Click here to register!

Be Like Jimmy Carter and Build for Those Who Need It Most

We hope this article has inspired you to take inspiration from Jimmy Carter. As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer to build homes, schools, health clinics and more abroad. See which program suits your budget and preferences, and apply. Before you know it, you’ll be a building volunteer abroad like Jimmy Carter. 

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”


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