30 May Rolling out the Welcome Mat for Summer Visitors
Memorial Day weekend and the end of school in the United States mark the start of our summer missions season at Dorie’s Promise. Each summer approximately 300 visitors from all over the United States and Canada descend on our guest house over the course of ten weeks.
Our staff is working hard right now to prepare our guest house, organize schedules, and prioritize community projects so when teams arrive, we can focus on serving families and having fun. We’re rolling out the welcome for summer visitors.
Behind the scenes
For the last several months, our Community Project Director, Bertha, has been visiting our partner communities, meeting with local leaders, and meeting families. She manages our community relationships and oversees all community projects. With the help of our long-time employee, Abel, they evaluate and prioritize which projects fit within our abilities and will make the most impact for families. After projects are prioritized, teams are matched with families based on the family’s need, the team’s abilities, and the team’s project budget.
All of the staff at Dorie’s Promise are busy making sure our homes are ready for the summer visitors. Our maintenance staff is busy finishing their to-do list both inside and outside, making sure everything is in proper working order. When teams arrive, they’ll find our home clean, our pantry stocked, and everything ready for their stay. Thanks to generous team donations, we’re also hoping to have our backyard patio expanded as well before the first team arrives.
Bringing everything together
Welcoming 300 people isn’t easy and it’s imperative our staff is ready for the challenge. Thankfully, we devoted 2 full days to meet together in Guatemala and review the plans for all summer teams. Everyone—our US Missions Coordinator, Guatemala Director, Community Project Manager, Missions staff, and Trip Leaders—created a master schedule for the summer.
Every outing, community project, and schedule has been discussed, reviewed, and shared with our entire team. With everyone onboard and team schedules set, the real preparation begins.
In the weeks leading up to each team, our staff makes the final preparations—securing additional transportation for large teams, ordering groceries, and prepping projects. We’re always planning at least 2 weeks ahead to ensure each we’re ready before each team arrives.
Right now, Bertha is meeting with the families and leaders being helped by our first teams. She is arranging the delivery of materials, hiring laborers, and finalizing plans. Before our first team arrives, the family and local laborers will complete the prep work on their project.
Once in Guatemala, our team will then join them to give an additional boost of help and finalize the project.
Ruth, our chef, is already creating weekly menus as well. She prides herself on offering delicious meals that blend together American favorites and Guatemalan specialties. Teams especially enjoy her homemade lasagna, big breakfasts, and guacamole.
Trip Leader Karen is busy scheduling all of the team outings and activities for the first few teams. She’s great at booking everything from trips to laser tag with the kids to our weekly visits to Potter’s House and the team outings to places like Antigua. Plus, she’s working hard to make sure everything is ready for our visitors. Each team’s schedule has been reviewed, the donation room is ready, and she’s ready to make visitors feel welcome.
The best part of welcoming visitors
According to our Director Alejandra, “our staff is really working as a team and it feels good to know that we are all trying to reach the same goals.”
Everyone at Dorie’s Promise is excited to welcome our summer visitors. Reconnecting with old friends and making new friends is the highlight of each summer for our staff and children. We’re excited to partner with teams to help local families. Plus, we’re eager to share a new perspective about Guatemala, the people we work with, and the way we’re making a difference.
We’re ready for summer. Bienvenidos (Welcome) to Guatemala!
If you’re considering a visit to Dorie’s Promise, contact our Missions Coordinator today! We have a few open summer spots remaining and are now booking for fall and winter 2019.