Guatemala Humanitarian Trip

August 10 – 17 — Panajachel, Guatelama

General Dress Code Rules

Clinic Dress Code
  • Please wear long pants and the team t-shirts provided by our partners. You will receive TWO clinic t-shirts on the first day of the trip. You will be able to do laundry (for a small fee) at the hotel; we also recommend bringing a mini bottle of detergent (can be purchased at the travel section) to do laundry in your room.
  • Bring comfortable shoes to wear. No open toe shoes for clinics.  Sneakers or hiking boots/shoes are great options.
  • No shorts in the clinic.

Before/After Clinic

  • There will be time for recreation (going out, dinner, etc.) after clinic days. We recommend bringing extra clothing such as dry fit shirts.
  • Bring a fleece jacket for the mornings and evenings when it could get cool. Days will be fairly warm. Bring a hat for convenience and sun protection.
Day-Off
On our day off, it is fine to dress like an American tourist.  Please keep jewelry to a minimum.  If you want to blend in a bit more in the city, consider wearing jeans or dark pants rather than shorts, which are considered more recreational in nature, such as in Europe.
  • A wide-brimmed hat; consider one with U.V. protection.
  • Windbreaker or light jacket for evenings and in case of rain.
  • Casual clothing for evenings, such as shorts and shirts, sundresses or anything comfortable. Also, a wrap or sweater for the cooler evenings when you want to go outside to look at the stars!
  • Socks for your hiking shoes and sneakers and other personal items
  • Small packages of Kleenex
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Slippers and/or flip-flops for use on international flights and hotel room
  • Shout towelettes or Tide sticks
  • Ziploc plastic bags (large and small)
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra pair of contacts if you wear contacts or glasses (have prescription with you as well)
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel alarm clock – small flashlight
  • Small inflatable pillow (great for long international flights!)
  • List of all important contact numbers and email addresses
I have found that outdoor safari wear is good. Wick away, breathable type pants made by companies like Eddie Bauer Travex or Columbia sportswear. If you are watching your money, I suggest going to a store like Gander Mountain or a sporting goods store and trying some styles on to see what size and style you like. Then go online and look for a good deal. Amazon often has them cheaper.
– Sandy Riley, Missions Director

Sandy’s 1 Week Mission Recommended Packing List 

Clothing

  • 4 – Pants
  • 5 – Shirts
  • 8  – Pr. Socks
  • 2 – clinic shirts (will be provided)
  • 2 – PJ’s
  • Hotel Shoes
  • 2 – Walking Shoes
  • Jacket
  • Swim Suit

Toiletries

  • 2 – Shampoo
  • 2 – Conditioner
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Razor
  • Hair Things
  • Brushes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Lotion
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals
  • Kleenex
  • Imodium
  • Advil

Misc.

  • Cash
  • Passport
  • Passport holder
  • Bank Card
  • Credit Card
  • Pen (to fill out forms)
  • Neck Pillow
  • Phone chargers
  • Computer Chargers
  • Converter/ Transformer
  • Laundry Detergent (shampoo)
  • Wine Opener (for others)
  • Headphones
  • Clorox wipes

VISAS

Guatemala visa is NOT required for citizens of United States for a stay up to 90 days.

Electricity in Guatemala

In Guatemala the power sockets are of type A and B. The standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

Which power plugs and sockets in Guatemala?

In Guatemala, the power sockets are of type A and B. Check out the following pictures.

  • Type A: mainly used in North and Central America, China and Japan. This socket only works with plug A.
  • Type B: like type A but with an extra prong for grounding. This socket also works with plug A.

Guatemala uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so US travelers will not typically need a converter or adaptor. Outlets rarely have 3 holes so if your device has a third prong, bring an adaptor.

Most sockets in Guatemala are Type A

Additional Electricity Information (multiple countries)

Hotel Information

Hotel Biltmore 

15 Calle 0-31, Ciudad de Guatemala 01010, Guatemala 

Phone: +502 2410 5000

Click Here for More Info (you do NOT need to book any rooms)

This is the hotel you will stay at when you first arrive to Guatemala. 

Porta Hotel del Lago 

17, 2A Avenida, Panajachel 07000, Guatemala
Phone: +502 7762 1555

Click Here for More Info (you do NOT need to book any rooms)

This is the hotel you will stay at in Panajachel.

Money / Currency / Expenses

  • Most expenses will be prepaid for you including: ground transportation, medical evacuation insurance, hotel room accommodations, translators and team meals.
  • Each volunteer is financially responsible for paying for and obtaining a passport and visa (it is not necessary to travel to Guatemala), receiving any necessary immunizations, all food/beverage items in all airports and outside team meals, and any other personal expenditures/shopping during the trip.
  • You will want to take enough cash with you for personal shopping in Panajachel, Guatemala. Bring U.S. currency that is as new as possible and undamaged. Traveler’s checks and credit cards (VISA or Master Card) will be good in airports, major hotels and many shops, but cash is the easiest and most convenient method of payment.
  • You will be able to exchange money in Panajachel.
  • To find the most up-to-date currency conversions, please go to http://www.xe.com/ucc/. The currency in Guatemala is typically around $1 USD to Q7.50 = Quetzales- local currency exchange-.

Safety / Security

Here are some helpful guidelines concerning the safety and security of your personal items:

  • Be mindful of how you carry your purse or where you place your wallet. Men, keep your wallets in a front or zippered pocket, as keeping it in your back pocket will make it susceptible to pickpockets. Ladies, keep purses across your chest or use a fanny pack (keeping your hands free is also wise).
  • An under garment money belt worn around your waist is a safe way to carry your personal cash or passport.
  • Stay with a group of people at all times – always go somewhere in pairs.
  • Take a minimal amount of jewelry with you – nothing flashy.
  • Be a confident traveler even if you are unsure or uneasy in a certain situation; confidence and calmness is key.
  • We also suggest that you make copies of all flight itineraries, wallet contents, passport, visa, etc. and carry copies in a separate, secure location. It would also be a good idea to leave copies of everything with someone at home also, just in case. These copies could prove invaluable should your personal documents be lost or stolen.

Food

We hope you will enjoy the local cuisine. Most meals will be eaten at a hotel or local restaurant. All foods that will be provided to you should be well prepared and safe for you to eat.

Meals are supplied on clinic days, but not on travel or recreation days.

  • As far as drinking water is concerned, to be on the safe side, always drink bottled water and brush your teeth with bottled water at the hotel. Avoid ice. Bottled water will be available.
  • You may want to take some personal snack items with you – good items to take include granola bars, dried fruit, and trail mix.

Time Zone / Weather

WEATHER:
Weather conditions vary from season to season and region to region. The dry season is from October to early May and the rainy from late May until the end of September. Temperatures vary little during the year. The average high temperature is 77°F and the low 55°F in the highlands.
For further information about weather, please consult these sites: www.weather.com and
http://www.wunderground.com/global/GU.html

TIME ZONE:
Guatemala is in the Central Standard Time zone and does not observe daylight-savings time.

Vaccines

As we travel internationally, we may be exposed to certain diseases that are rare in the United States. Fortunately, the risk of catching these diseases is still quite low since we will be on site for only a short time and will be eating properly prepared food, etc. However, since it is impossible to eliminate all risk, there are a variety of vaccines and immunizations that provide prevention against many of the most serious infectious diseases in the world that we ask each delegation member consider receiving.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website www.cdc.gov, there are no required vaccines for Guatemala. However, it does recommend meeting with a healthcare provider who specializes in Travel Medicine 4-6 weeks prior to travel to discuss receiving the vaccinations listed below. We have found that out of the local health clinics listed above, the JCHD is the cheapest and no appointments are necessary as they welcome walk-ins. Before making any decisions, you might consider contacting your personal physician and insurance company to see what they cover in terms of adult vaccinations. In addition, please consult your personal physician regarding WPC’s recommendations, as the WPC staff is not in a position to provide medical advice or recommendations to individuals.

CDC Website

Due to the Zika virus outbreak, some participants may have concerns about the upcoming travel. However, we recommend participants contact their primary health care provider if they have any concerns. We will respect each participant’s individual decision to travel.

As for any international travel, all participants are advised to continue with the precautions advised for travelers in the CDC guidelines: (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html)

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