28 Feb Tips to Help You Prepare Before Visiting Guatemala
In less than 4 months, our busy summer mission trip season begins. Quite possibly, you are one of the people eagerly preparing to visit Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. To help you, we surveyed several seasoned trip leaders and compiled their top tips to help you prepare before visiting Guatemala.
Connect before you travel
If you’re traveling with family, friends, or as part of a larger group, we recommend spending time together before your trip to focus and prepare. Shortly, you’ll be traveling to a foreign country with these people, it’s important to know who you’ll be serving with. Plus, understanding each other’s expectations for this trip and knowing each other’s strengths creates a good foundation for working together.
Your team leader will receive information about the community and families you will serve. We recommend you do some research about Guatemala and read through the community and family biographies you receive before coming. Most importantly, board the plane with an open heart and open mind, ready to experience a new culture.
As always, ask questions. Your team leader and our Missions Director are here to help you be prepared and have a great trip.
There’s still time to raise funds!
With several months remaining before your trip, it’s not too late to raise funds and awareness for your trip to Dorie’s Promise. Our team leaders shared great ideas they use each year. Remember, many people can’t join us in Guatemala but enjoy supporting you and Dorie’s Promise.
- Everyone likes to eat. Partner with local restaurants for a donation night. Many restaurants work with groups to support their efforts by donating a portion of sales for a specific night. Pick your favorite restaurant and then invite all your friends to join you.
- Host a fun event. Use your gifts to have fun and raise money. Many teams have great success hosting paint nights, art classes, and ladies’ nights with unique gifts for purchase. Get creative and have fun.
- Reach out. Although it may feel awkward at first, one of the best ways to raise funds is to simply ask. Send letters to friends and family. Talk with clients. Many businesses offer monetary or in-kind donations towards their employees’ charitable endeavors.
Most importantly, share your story about visiting Guatemala, tell about the work we do at Dorie’s Promise, and thank everyone who supports your trip.
Set reasonable expectations
An incredible week is waiting for you at Dorie’s Promise. Team leader Debi Johnson shares this insight, “God’s hand is on Dorie’s Promise in such a beautiful and tangible way! Prepare your heart as much as possible so that you’re ready to go and love on these amazing people. It’s the best week of the year!”
Undoubtedly, you will have an amazing experience and return home forever changed, but traveling to a different country can be uncomfortable. Everyone handles the sights, sounds, and experiences in Guatemala differently. Working through your emotions and questions while in Guatemala is a crucial part of your experience.
Most importantly, we want you to balance your experience with the mission of your trip—to passionately serve the world’s forgotten children—even when serving is uncomfortable.
- If interested, exchange dollars into Guatemalan quetzals at a local bank or reputable online service before coming to Guatemala. Many places we visit accept dollars in like-new condition, in denominations less than $20.
- If you want to bring donations, ask our Missions Director about the most critical needs at Dorie’s Promise and local communities. She can help you identify items that are most needed at the time to make the greatest impact.
- Travel with a copy of your passport packed in a separate location from your actual passport. If your passport becomes lost, this will help expedite replacement.
- Check your passport expiration date early! Time flies when you’re having fun and you may have overlooked your passport renewal.
We’re looking forward to another great year serving together at Dorie’s Promise. There’s still time for you to join us in 2020. Find out more about trips to Dorie’s Promise on our website.