Portals are a feature of the Minecraft Awesome server that allow users to travel the large map quickly. The portals were added out of necessity during Build Challenges; before, Mods had to teleport players manually to the build site. All subsequent challenges automatically have a portal built to them from the hub.
To prevent the abuse of the portal mod, portals must be purchased from a mod. Originally in the Minecraft Awesome 1.0 map, portals were purchased for 55 diamonds, with an additional 25 diamonds for an above-ground portal at The Hub for large communities.
In Minecraft Awesome 2.0, the mods instituted a new system, where portals could be purchased for a variety of materials that would later be given out during Build Challenges to teams struggling to meet deadlines.