Tentative Schedule for Chime In Group:
December 13th, 2015
Arrival in Guatemala – Ambassador Espinoza has arranged for us to be met at the airport by a representative from a friend and business associate, Rolando Mansilla’s team. They have asked that Celerity and Chime In wear t-shirts that will identify them easily (See note below).
The hotel has a complimentary airport shuttle that travels every 15 minutes to the hotel. Rolando’s staff will make sure everyone gets to the hotel from the airport. We have been asked to have luggage tags on our bags to identify our group. I am working on those now – See note below.
The Celerity Group along with Kelly, Dana, Mariah and Steve will arrive at 7:30am, Susan, Kevin, Cameron, Priyanka and Nancy will arrive mid day. Jeetan, Cat and Benjamin will arrive at 11.15 pm. Lea Anne and her grandfather will arrive on 12/12. I am waiting on Jessica and Glen’s airline itinerary.
T-SHIRTS – I am working on the t-shirts for Chime In and will keep you posted. Once organized I will get the t-shirts to a few key people. Kelly will get Dana, Steve, and Mariah’s/Jeetan will travel with Benjamin, Cat and potentially Glen’s, I will mail Lea Anne’s and her grandfather, Rob’s, t-shirt. Susan will have the Johnson’s, Priyanka’s and Nancy’s.
BAG TAGS – Bag tags will be with the t-shirts. If you are already traveling when you get your t-shirt and tags, please attach them to your bags when you pick them up at baggage claim.
The Celerity Group will go sightseeing to Antigua during the afternoon of the 13th. We are looking to make that trip available to the Chime In group who are already checked in by early afternoon on the 13th. We will have the answer this week.
Dinner on 12/13 will be determined upon arrival for the Chime In group. Celerity will have dinner at the hotel.
December 14th, 2015
7:00 – 9 am Breakfast in a special room for the entire group. This will include a special welcome from special guests as well as some presentations by members of the group. There will be a smaller team meeting with the Chime In group after the session.
Lunch will be at the hotel followed by a tour of Guatemala City in the afternoon. We are planning on a historic tour through the city that will conclude in Paseo Cayala (A community about seven miles outside of downtown Guatemala City). Dinner will most likely be at Vesuvio’s Pizza in Paseo Cayala. Then back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
December 15, 2015
Breakfast in a private room – time to be determined
At this time, we will move to the build site around 3pm. The Chime In group that will be moving to the school will need to check out of the hotel by 11 am. We will have some type of group activity to be determined.
We will depart the hotel around 3pm and move to the build site. We will meet the families and community where we will be building. Dinner for the group staying at the school will be provided. The Celerity Group and a few of the Chime In group will return to the hotel. Celerity will have dinner at the hotel – The Chime In hotel group dinner is TBD.
December 16 – 18, 2015
Itinerary will differ for the two groups. Celerity will work shorter days and may take side trips during the week. Chime In will follow the below itinerary.
Up, eat breakfast and ready to build for 7am – Breakfast for group at the school is provided.
7:00 am – 5:30 pm Building each day with the families and community who will own the homes! Lunch will be provided by the families of the community. All meals will be cooked or boiled to ensure safe consumption.
Dinner at the school is included each night followed by evening reflection.
For Chime In members staying at the Barcelo breakfast is included each morning, dinners will be on own.
December 19, 20 2015
Up, eat breakfast and ready to paint for 7am – Breakfast for group in school provided.
7:00 am – 5:30pm The homes should be built and we will turn our attention to painting murals on the homes and for the community.
Two of the group at the school will depart December 20th and will take a cab to the airport together.
Dinner at the school is included each night followed by evening reflection.
For Chime In members staying at the Barcelo breakfast is included each morning, dinners will be on own. Special wrap up on December 20th.
Departure day! The itinerary for this day is TBD as everyone departs at different times.
Susan’s Travel Tips!
- Be mindful to drink only bottled water while in Guatemala. Coming from other countries, we are not used to the natural bacteria in the water and can become ill from drinking water that has not come from a bottle or has been boiled. There are a few places people forget to think about:
- Do not order ice in your drinks – this includes on plane trips! You are not sure where the ice originated.
- Do not use tap water when brushing your teeth – this is natural thing to do
- Be mindful not to swallow the water while in the shower
It is all about better safe than sorry:
- We are traveling on a Sunday – If possible, use the currency exchange in the airport to change a little money. Most big hotels like the Barcelo will exchange currency but there is usually a hefty service charge. It is always a good idea to have a little local currency just in case you have the opportunity to buy something or want to buy a coffee or bottled water.
- Call your credit card company and let them know you will be in Guatemala. Credit card companies are very cautious about oversee charges. They have been known to shut off cards waiting for the holder to contact them. You do not want to lose access to your card and have to try to contact your credit card company.
- Make sure you have your emergency contact information in your wallet and in your carry on you take on the plane. This should include any medications you take or allergies you have. You might also want to contact your medical insurance company and ask if there is anything special you need to be aware of before you travel.
- Make a copy of your passport and medical insurance card and e-mail it to yourself. Just in case you lose this information you will have access to a copy.
- The school does NOT have a cot for you to sleep on. If you have the room, pack some type of padding to sleep on. There are many self inflating camping mattresses – check with a friend who camps to see if you can borrow one.
- Bring a fleece sleeping bag or sew a blanket or sheet into a bag you can sleep in. A sleeping bag will be very bulky to pack. Below are examples of a Coleman fleece sleeping bag. Both the fleece sleeping bag and the inflatable mattress pack pretty small for what they are.
- Pack snacks that you like in your suitcase – These include protein bars, protein powder packets you can add to water, crackers, etc. If you are packing any nuts, make sure they are in a commercially sealed container and stay closed until you arrive. Some countries do not allow open containers of nuts or dried fruits to enter the country. If you find you do not enjoy the local food, you will have something you can eat. Justin’s makes individual almond and peanut butter packets that can be bought at Whole Foods or other natural food stores that are very handy
- If you are traveling with your cell phone, make sure you understand your call plan and how your data works. At this time we do not know if we will have access to wifi at the school so you will want to be mindful of your phone service
- Leave as much technology at home as possible – You will not need much while we are away and we may not have access to lock items up each day.
- If possible, bring your own work gloves. Techo will most likely provide gloves but they may not fit your hands. The suggestion is you bring two pair that you know fit your hands so you are comfortable while building.
- Bring sun screen, sun hat or sun shielding clothes – the average daily temperature is expected to be in the 70’s.
- Work pants – Jeans (recommend at least two pair)
- Work Shirts – T-shirts (Techo will provide one, an extra 4 are recommended). These can be short sleeve
- Work socks – preferably wicking socks that pull the moisture away from the body. I recommend a crew or ankle sock for working
- Work shoes – These should be closed toed shoes, they can be actual work shoes or work sneakers. Just realize that these will most likely be well used by the time you leave. We will be working in a dump area. When my son did this type of trip in the Dominican Republic, they donated the shoes they used to build in to the local residents.
- Work gloves – Although work gloves will most likely be provided, bringing a pair or two of gloves you know fit your hand is a good idea
- Comfortable cloths – These would be everyday summer type clothes, shirts, shorts, Capri pants, jeans (not the ones you work in), light jacket or sweater. Pack layers in case the weather is cooler. The days are generally around 23c and 73f, the nights are around 14c and 57f. These clothes are also for night time and could include a pair of sweatpants, t-shirt and a hoodie – hang around clothes. Weather has been cooler so make sure you have a jacket of some kind. Leggings have been suggested for the gals.
- We will be visiting the US Embassy – Please have an outfit appropriate for this visit
- Pajamas – or some type of comfortable clothing to sleep in
- Comfortable shoes – to travel on the plane and when we sightsee
- Flip flops – you will want a pair of slip on shoes to get around at night
- Bathing suit for the hotel – you might have the opportunity to swim
- Travel clothing – this is comfortable clothing you will travel to and from your home city. Packing some of the layers in your carry on is good as the plane can be cold
- Backpack for plane and carrying items daily to the build site
- Blanket roll – This can be a light fleece or blanket roll for staying at the school. This can also be a sheet that is sewn together. This could also be a fleece blanket. If you are a camper, you might also want to pack a bed roll/mattress to put your blanket roll on. These can be bulky to pack.
- Travel or camp pillow – these are small pillows that roll up and pack well, you might also have a neck roll that you could use
- Towel and wash cloth
- Ditty bag with toiletries – shampoo, toothpaste, soap, lotions, etc.
- First aid supplies – basics like Band-Aids, Benadryl, an anti diarrhea medicine, liquid hand sanitizer, Tylenol or other pain medication
- Sun screen
- Snacks – I recommend you bring some protein bars, snack crackers, cookies, maybe a jar of peanut butter or almond butter. These must be closed packages and cannot be fruits or vegetables. These would be for your room or if you find you do not like the local foods.
- A reflection journal and some pens and pencils – we will be having a reflection period each night and you will be writing your experiences in your journal.
- Limit the amount of computers, I-pads, tablets and other extra technology as much as possible. We will be on the build site all day and for those of us at the school. Although they feel items will be safe why bring them?
- Flashlight or headlamp with an extra set of batteries
- Telephone or camera – If phone be careful of international phone plans
- Waterless Hand sanitizer
- OPTIONAL – We are trying to help Benjamin Swatez with paint brushes – Please let me know if you can donate and pack any 1 inch, 4 inch or ½ inch house paint brushes. We will buy the paints there but brushes and canvases would be less expensive to bring.
- OPTIONAL – Optional – A small fanny pack or pouch that can go over the neck to hold money and passport
- Hard candies to give out to the children in the village