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Guatemala Trip – Packing List & FAQs

We understand that you may have questions about our Humanitarian Leadership week in Guatemala. Below is a packing list of items that you should expect to bring on our trip to Guatemala:

Packing List

  • Passport
  • Water bottle (1 liter minimum)
  • Toiletries (bar soap and shampoo
    are provided)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Notebook or journal and pen
  • Personal medications in original
  • Backpack for day trips
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Work shoes (don’t need to be boots)
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Rain jacket or rain poncho (or
  • Sweatshirt
  • Shorts
  • Tennis shoes or sandals for hiking
    (can be the same as work shoes)
  • Long pants (for two work days)

Optional Items:

  • Hat
  • ATM card
  • Earplugs for noisy roommates
  • Phone or camera

Make sure to pack your most important items and a couple changes of clothes in your carry-on luggage. We have had to deal with delayed luggage with volunteers before.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About our Guatemala Trip

Is the trip safe?

We take this very seriously and recognize this is a big question for many participants. We have taken all precautions to make this trip safe of our participants. Greg Jensen lives full time in Guatemala with his wife and five children. He has been bringing groups of families and youth to Guatemala for over five years. Participants stay in safe hotels, including the volunteer housing for Cultiva International. All transportation is private and with responsible drivers.

Do I need to get vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required to enter Guatemala. Talk to your family physician for any specific questions about vaccinations.

What if I get sick?

If someone were to get sick or injured, we have direct local access to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc. The travel medical insurance, which we include in the cost of the trip would cover any cost incurred.

Do I need insurance?

We include medical travel insurance in the cost of the trip. This covers any emergency medical or dental expenses, as well as emergency evacuation or repatriation.

What is the lodging like?

Lodging for participants is in Casa Cultiva’s volunteer housing. Casa Cultiva is private and secure and it is not open to the public. All rooms have three beds and a full bathroom with hot water. Three participants of the same gender will share a room. Depending on flight times, there may be a need to overnight in Guatemala City. We use a safe, secure trusted motel near the airport. All participants would be accompanied by the adult leaders.

What is the food like?

Breakfasts are provided by Casa Cultiva and include things like Guatemalan beans and eggs or pancakes and fruit. Lunches and dinners are either dine in at Casa Cultiva, at a local restaurant, or provided in the field on service days. All food is washed and prepared using modern practices. The food is delicious and healthy. We do not serve a lot of processed food. We will make sure you have plenty of food. We will also provide safe drinking water at all times.

What will we do for service projects?

Cultiva International teaches self-reliance principles to local Mayan families. They teach a ten-hour nutrition and garden box program where Guatemalans can work and earn their own garden box. We will be working with these families to help them install and plant their new garden box they have earned. We will be with these families at their homes, and get a unique and personal view into how they live.

What is the in-country transportation?

All in-country ground transportation is in private, modern vans with trusted, professional drivers. This includes rides to and from Guatemala City, as well as transportation on service days.

Is this a tourism trip?

No. This is not a sightseeing trip. We will see and experience many amazing things and have some awesome adventures, but this week is more than that. We will learn about ourselves, about effective humanitarian work, and be directly involved in hands-on service.

Do I need to know Spanish?

No knowledge of the Spanish language is required. There will always be Spanish speaking leaders available to help.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, a valid passport is needed to travel to Guatemala. At the time of travel, it must have at least six months left before it expires. This can take time to receive, so you should order your passport as soon as you are accepted.

Do I need a visa to travel to Guatemala?

Yes. When you arrive in Guatemala, your passport will be stamped, giving you a 90 day tourist visa.

Will someone be at the airport in Guatemala City when I arrive?

Yes. Greg Jensen will be at the airport to personally pick up each participant. Click here to visit his website and learn more about Cultiva. 

How much luggage can I bring?

Each participant is allowed one checked suitcase or bag, and a carry-on bag, such as a backpack.

What should I bring?

Please see the Packing List attached.

Can I wash clothes during the trip?

There are no washing facilities for participants. Please plan accordingly and bring enough clothes, especially socks and underwear.

What flight should I purchase?

We require that all participants arrive on Saturday before 3pm, and depart on Saturday after 12pm, whenever possible.

What is the weather like?

Temperatures are mild year round. We recommend wearing pants on work days. Short sleeves are fine. Have a sweatshirt or long sleeves. It can be cool on rainy days and in the evenings.

Is there a specific dress code?

The culture in Guatemala is conservative. Shorts need to be longer (no short shorts). Shirts should be short-sleeved (no cap, sleeveless or tank tops) and long enough to cover the midriff fully when arms are raised. Make sure slogans/imprints on clothes are appropriate.

How can I pay for souvenirs and other expenses?

You can get money for souvenirs in two ways. You can use your debit card at an ATM machine. Notify your bank before you come. You can exchange $50 and $100 bills locally. The bills cannot have any writing or any tears or ripped corners. They are very strict about this. $50 to $100 can buy quite a bit here as far as souvenirs.

Credit cards are not accepted at all souvenir shops. If they do accept it, there is a 5-10% fee.

Contact Us for More Information on Kokua’s Guatemala Trip

If you have additional questions about our Humanitarian Leadership week in Guatemala, contact us and we would be happy to help answer them.