PCC Students Spend Their Winter Break with Habitat for Humanity

By Katie San Roman|January 9, 2019News, Student Life, Top Stories|

Back (L-R): Luxo Lopez, Jade Vanatta, Nic Pham, Valentina Nolazco, Nicole Pruitt, Cesar Santiago, Chris Keith
Front (L-R): Katherine Cox, Pedro Garcia-Balderram, Andrea Salyer, Mitzi Pulido, Kimberly Alvarez, Monet Sutch, Katie San Roman, Chi Pham

On December 17th, 13 PCC students set on PCC’s second week long trip to Kaua’i to work with Habitat for Humanity for their Winter Alternative Break. Alternative Breaks are supported by the Student Activity Fee, provide students with a subsidized opportunity to travel for a nominal fee, participate in a hands on volunteer service, and let them have some fun while taking the time out of their winter break to help others.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization that works with about 1,400 communities across the United States in 70 countries around the world. Their vision is “working toward building and improving homes in collaboration with individuals and families in need of affordable and decent place to live.” Applicants are selected for housing based on their level of need, their ability to contribute “Sweat Equity”, and their ability to repay their mortgage through an affordable payment plan.

(L-R) Chi Pham, Monet Sutch, Luxo Lopez

Sweat Equity
can take many forms. Selected candidates perform construction work on their and/or other family’s homes. They can help clean up a build site or help Habitat for Humanity with the various other home construction tasks. Another option is to work in the Habitat ReStore , which is where Habitat organizations sell home improvement items for a fraction of their retail price.

PCC’s student volunteers were working on the ‘Ele’ele Iluna Subdivision Phase II. Eighteen homes were completed in 2009 during Phase I. Staying in a volunteer house at the end of the Phase I block, students were able to walk to their work site for their 8 am shift. However, the allure of island time, a carefree aura where timelines are more casual, enticed students to sometimes show up a little after 8. Students were able to choose between helping on roofing for the future volunteer house or sanding, priming, painting, caulking, and puttying. For those wondering, almost all the students had little-to-no prior construction experience (Shout out to the roofing team who was able to complete shingling the roof of the volunteer house in 4 days). There were only 4 work days out of the week (Tuesday-Friday), and by Friday, it was unanimous that the 4 work days were not enough for these students.  

Back (L-R): Kimberly Alvarez, Chi Pham, Monet Sutch, Andrea Salyer, Mitzi Pulido, Katie San Roman, Luxo Lopez
Front (L-R): Katherine Cox, Pedro Garcia-Balderram, Jade Vanatta, Nic Pham, Valentina Nolazco, Cesar Santiago, Chris Keith, Nicole Pruitt

It truly baffles me that I was able to go to Kauai’ for a week, was able to take a part in and learn about what Habitat is doing for ‘Ele’ele, while having some fun and meeting amazing people, all through a college program. The next time PCC goes back to Kauai’, I highly recommend applying for the trip.

PCC actually got covered in the local paper, The Garden Island.

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Katie San Roman

About Katie San Roman

Social Media has become one of society's main news sources, I hope that the Bridge can help students bring awareness to what will affect them as students or just as human beings. One of my main passions is music, no matter the format, but especially live performances, I love everything about music. I hope that with this platform there can be more of a highlight on local artists (all kinds: poetry, sculpture, dance, the list goes on). If you are or know of any artists that you would like to see in the Bridge please email or tweet me and we’ll check them out! Interests: Music, Pop Culture, Art