Director Jud's Blog

SMA Teen Adventure Camp Director Jud's Trip to Argentina

Posted by Jud Millar on Mon, Feb 15, 2016

As I write this I am 35,000 feet above the earth and traveling 600 miles per hour heading to the southern hemisphere. According to our pilot we just passed the equator and are now over the State of Roraima, Brazil. I am on the second leg of this journey and currently 5 hours into a 9 hour flight from Miami, FL – destination Buenos Aires, Argentina!


I am traveling to Argentina to participate in an International Habitat for Humanity Trip led by SMA Teen Adventure Camp co-founder and former co-owner James “Biff” Houldin, who also happens to be my step-father. Joining us on the trip will be 11 other folks including my mother Pam Hayes-Houldin who co-founded SMA Teen Summer Camp with Biff in 1983.

Biff has been leading International Habitat for Humanity trips for about 8 years and has led trips to Hungry, Romania, Portugal, Costa Rica and other locations. This will the first trip he has brought to South America. In a recent conversation, I asked Biff how he got interested in leading Habitat for Humanity International Trips 


Biff: I’ve always had an interest in international travel, but I never had an interest in being a tourist. I’m always looking for ways to interact with locals and learn about their culture and their lives. I want my travel to have meaning, and I want to try to make a small difference in the world in a positive way.

I went on to ask how specifically he had gotten involved in Habitat for Humanity International.

I was active locally in Huntingdon and when I got the ‘travel bug’ I did some research and Habitat for Humanity International got high marks for running quality trips without too much ‘fluff’ or glamour. I attended a weekend training at the Habitat for Humanity Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and six months later they sent me on my first trip.

On this trip to Argentina our group will rendezvous in Buenos Aires at the Hotel Salles. From there we will travel north to the mid-sized city of Santa Fe. Santa Fe will be our base for the next week while we work on our house building project.



According to the Habitat for Humanity Global Village web site


Every community has its share of unique challenges. In Santa Fe, many semi-urban communities lack adequate housing and basic infrastructure, but Habitat for Humanity Argentina is partnering with them to provide holistic solutions. Join a Global Village team that is committed to building more than homes in Santa Fe.

  • Build a foundational “seed” house for a partner family. Through a microfinance program, the family will continue to expand the house after your team heads home.

Trip highlights

o    Build a seed house for an Argentine family.

o    Volunteer with Habitat partners on a community development project.

o    Experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Santa Fe.

  • Learn how Habitat Argentina is strengthening the abilities and resources of marginalized communities. You will learn about Argentine culture and Habitat’s work from its national director and staff.
  • Volunteer alongside a community partner. Habitat Argentina works to empower entire communities, so you will join them and their partners for a community service project.

Global Village sends volunteers to build with Habitat for Humanity projects across the world. Get your hands dirty on the work site, meet the families whose housing situation you are improving, experience the country like an insider and do it all alongside a team of like-minded individuals.


Before the group arrives I plan to travel to the town of Mendoza near the Andes mountains to visit a dear friend I used to play rugby with in Happy Valley named Carlos Lopez Herrera. More on that in the next post...


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