Guatemala Mission Trip 2023
JOIN THE 2023 MISSIONS TEAM!
GUATEMALA 9-16 JUNE, 2023
We will be interacting and sharing God's love with the students at Morning Glory Christian Academy.
Morning Glory is dedicated to forming relationships. We want to put you in a place to be able to connect with our students because that is where lives are changed and futures are impacted. Because of that philosophy, there are many different options for your trip to Morning Glory. In fact, every "group week" looks a little bit different.
We feel that God gifts each group with different talents, abilities, and passions. We try to leave you the option to tailor your week to your strengths and desires. Typically, most groups like to participate in a VBS/Bible class with the students in the mornings (see below). But the afternoons can vary greatly. Keep in mind that you will want to plan afternoons to just rest as the new environment will tire your body quicker than you may expect. Also, your group will need to bring funds to provide for the afternoon activities you plan. Some ideas that have already been done with great success are:
- work projects to improve the facilities
- "retreats" or dinners
- "camps" and activities with the students in the afternoon
- prayer walks or hang-out time in San Raymundo
- misc activities with students in the afternoon (ice cream party, devotions, etc), activities with the church in the village (VBS, leading or visiting women's meetings, participating with the young adults, etc)
Of course, we welcome creativity and new activities. If you have an idea not listed, please tell us to see how we can make it work.
The trip will cost approximately $1300, including airfare, transportation to/from the airport and school, and room and board for the week.
A calendar will be created to keep everyone on track as we prepare our team to depart in June 2023. The first commitment deadline is the $100 nonrefundable airline deposit to save your seat. This needs to be received by September 20th, 2022. If you would like to go but have a hardship with this deadline, please let us know.
Click here to find out the expectations, packing list, and other important details.
Food and Special dietary concerns.
Morning Glory Staff will offer a mix of Guatemalan and American foods. Morning Glory can accommodate any special dietary needs. If a member of your group needs a special diet, let us know immediately. Groups commonly make the mistake of not telling us about special dietary needs until they are already here. Buying more vegetables for a vegetarian is easy. Making sure all of the food we've already purchased is free of peanut oil is a lot more difficult. But let us know ahead of time and we'll read all the labels while we're at the store. There will always be the classic PB &J if a particular meal is not appetizing to some individuals.
Is the drinking water safe?
The water on campus at Morning Glory comes from a well and is run through a chlorinator. It has been tested and found fit for drinking. However, we also supply bottled drinking water as part of the budget.
What are the sleeping arrangements.
For larger groups, we use other dorm facilities with similar accommodations. There is also a retreat center just outside town that can comfortably house up to 200 people. Sometimes there is space for individual rooms made available for married couples or group leaders. If you would like private rooms, please ask. Because we don't own some of the facilities, hot water is not always guaranteed, but that's ok! That's what missionaries do! You won't need towels, pillows, or bedding, but if you do have some for twin beds that you are willing to donate, we can always make good use of
them. Will all the groups we serve, our towels, and bedding get worn out quick!
Will I need a passport?
Yes. All foreign travel in and out of the U.S. requires a valid passport. Apply for your passport early (at least 3 months in advance). During off-peak times it can take as little as two weeks to get your passport. However, during peak times (like summer vacation) the wait can grow much, much longer.
Can children (under 18) travel without their parents?
Yes, but you must supply notarized documentation giving permission to the guardians who will be sponsoring your trip, as well as birth certificates and passports.
Will kids enjoy the trip?
Absolutely. We have many who come year after year. It is truly a lifechanging event for people of all ages. We welcome children because very often they connect with out students in a way the adults may not be able to. A trip to Morning Glory is great for families, groups, and individuals of all ages.
For personal money that your group members want to bring for gifts, snacks, or other personal expenses, you have a few options listed below so your group can get their money quickly and without hassle.
- Change money at a local bank - *Recommended*
Many banks in the US can change dollars into Guatemalan currency (Quetzales). You will need to ask your bank how long they need to be able to change the money, but many banks can change the money with 2-3 weeks' notice. This option gives you the best exchange rate and takes care of some important details ahead of time, so you can focus on your group's goals when you arrive.
- Wire personal money-
You can also choose to wire your personal money to the same account as the group money. If you choose to do this, make sure you send an email to Lori (firstname.lastname@example.org) detailing how much money is personal and how much is allocated for your group expenses. When you arrive, your money will be waiting for you in Quetzales. If you cannot change money at your bank, we recommend wiring.
- Change money in the airport- There are a few money exchange centers in the airport that can change your money. However, the exchange rate is not good. This can also slow your group down when trying to get out of the airport. If you plan on changing money at the airport, please notify Rob.
- Change money in San Raymundo (only in emergency cases)- This is the most difficult option because of the limitations on changing large quantities of money. If you cannot change money with any of the preceding options, you can bring cash to change. However, you MUST bring fresh, clean, $100 or $50 bills. We cannot change bills with even small tears and we are limited on how many $20 bills we can change.
As you can see, options #1 & #2 are ideal for us if possible. As always, if you have any questions, please contact Rob or Lori.
There are no required vaccinations for visiting Guatemala. All the places you will visit in Guatemala will be above 4,920 ft, and therefore there is no presence of malaria, and no vaccine needed. If you would like to know what vaccinations the CDC recommends, you can view them at their website, www.CDC.gov.
You can bring whatever medications you need to Guatemala. We do have pharmacies in San Raymundo to get common medicines, (Tylenol equivalents, cold medicine, etc.)
If you are not able to speak, do not fret. We have translators and others who will be glad to help. Also, it is good for our students and teachers to practice their English.
There are many nice things that you can buy as souvenirs in Guatemala, especially in Antigua. These include coffee, blankets, scarves, clothes, jewelry, toys, knives, machetes, and tons of other things that make great gifts. You can bring back knives and machetes! Don't worry, if you pack your newly purchased knife or machete in your checked bag, you will have no problem going through security at the airport.
What is the weather like?
It is between 65-80 degrees year-round; very tropical and comfortable. April is typically our hottest month, and the rainy season usually begins around May 15th and goes through September. Be sure to check online weather services to get an idea of what the weather is doing. Of course, you can always contact us, and we will be glad to help.
Is there internet?
We recommend that you make arrangements to be without internet, as this frees your time up to spend more time with your team and in ministry. We don't want you to lose a second of your experience in another culture through the internet in anything other than an emergency. There is internet available for group leaders.
Cell phone service.
You may or may not have a cell phone signal while you are in Guatemala. However, unless you subscribe to an international calling plan, it is not recommended you make calls home with your U.S. cell phone. The call will likely be very expensive. However, just like the internet, we encourage you to make arrangements to be without your cell phone so you can better focus your attention on the ministry you will be doing. You can access a phone for emergency purposes if the need arises.
Is it safe?
Yes. We have never had an incident with any group. However, this is because we remember one fact: You are visiting a foreign country. That fact dictates many of our rules, like, "No one goes anywhere alone," and "When we say it, do it." We will have your safety as our number one priority during your stay. It's important for you to remember that fact and obey all the rules we set for you while you are here. Also, while you are staying on the Morning Glory campus, you will be behind locked gates at night and protected by a security guard. The reason for the guard is the contents of the hospital that is on our campus. The medicine and equipment it contains is very valuable, so the hospital committee employs a security guard. You receive the benefit of his presence.
For your personal security, we ask that you do not give your phone number or home address to any Guatemalan national. We won't give it either. Facebook and emails are your decision but again we will not provide that information without your approval.