FITCHBURG -- Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts, a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, will be hosting a Global Village building trip to Guatemala the first week of March 2014.

Residents of north central Massachusetts as well as volunteers and donors to the local affiliate can register to join the trip, which will include a week of building homes in Huehuetenango, a rural town in the western highlands of the country.

Global Village is a Habitat for Humanity International program that empowers local volunteer teams to build decent, affordable shelters in destinations throughout the world.

Global Village volunteers work alongside members of the host community to build or renovate homes for partner families. No building skills are required for the trip, as volunteers will be taught the needed skills on site, nor is it required to speak Spanish as a translator will travel with the group.

The benefits of Global Village participation include:

* The opportunity to contribute to Habitat's work and create positive change in the world.

* Knowledge of poverty housing, development challenges and Habitat's mission to eradicate them.

* Experience in the community's culture, language and social practices while working alongside homeowners and volunteers of all backgrounds, races and religions.

Volcanic peaks, scenic coastlines and a forested mountain interior shape the Guatemalan landscape and offer a tropical climate along the lower elevations and cooler weather in the mountains. Guatemala has an estimated population of 13 million and a nearly 80 percent poverty rate with a current housing deficit of about 1.5 million units.

"This trip will be very rewarding for all who attend," states, Maggie Monroe-Cassel, executive director of Habitat for Humanity NCM. "Not only will attendees learn about this beautiful country, they will also help to make a real difference in the lives of a partner family."

The trip will be led by longtime Habitat volunteer Angela Eglen, a veteran of three Global Village trips to other countries.

Applications and a $200 refundable deposit are due Nov. 1, and the cost of the trip is $1,520 plus airfare. The cost covers room, board and transportation within the country as well as a donation to the Guatemala affiliate and to Habitat International for planning the trip. The cost of the trip may be fully tax-deductible.

The nine-day trip includes five building days and other days to experience the country and culture. The team can include up to 15 people and applications will be received and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

For information on the trip, go to ncmhabitat.org or email gv@ncmhabitat.org.