Airport pick-up is included in our volunteer program! Avi and one of our professional drivers, William or Jorge, will meet you outside of baggage claim as you exit the airport. You will receive a Welcome Packet detailing your accommodations, orientation time, and all emergency contact details.
Your Welcome Packet tells you the exact time of your orientation! Orientation is very important because we cover specific details about our program, including a health and safety review, dos and don’ts, planned extracurricular activities, and a short walking tour to be sure you are familiar with the area!
We have a lot to do on Day 1, so we expect you to be up first thing in the morning at 6:00 AM! Dr. Arash and Julio will accompany you to the volunteer project, introduce you to the locals you will be working with, explain the activities that take place, and answers any questions you may have, so you are fully prepared to begin volunteering! Volunteer work is programmed for the morning shift from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM with stationed breaks in between.
Afterwards, your afternoons are free to relax at your accommodations or to enjoy the extracurricular activities we have planned with the other volunteers! However, as we go over at length during your orientation, we ask you respect the locals and culture there. Use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited and will result in immediate dismissal from the GGHTx program—we want you to have a fun and safe experience abroad.
Just a few of the fun activities we've enjoyed as a group together in the past:
- Horseback riding
- Roasting marshmallows on top of the famous Pacaya Volcano
- Jeep & moped rentals
- Salsa dance lessons
- Touring the famous Antigua Market
- Visiting Coffee-farms and coffee-tasting
- and finally touring ancient Mayan archaeological sites
Departure day is always bitter sweet for our volunteers! On your last Friday, make sure you collect all your belongings, get your letter of recommendation, and leave your anonymous feedback info. We take your feedback seriously—this helps us improve future volunteer mission trips and ensure a great experience! You are always welcome to extend your stay, otherwise we will have an organized group's ride back to the airport on the following Sunday.
Contribute to your project and learn from it! Do not be selective about the work you do—help is needed in many ways. Take responsibility and push yourself to learn, understand, and pitch in. Remember you need to serve on their terms, not yours.
Learn about the local culture! Be curious, ask questions, and be respectful. People here have their own experiences, expectations, and beliefs. They expect you participate, dress appropriately, and abide by their rules.
Be respectful of your project’s ways of doing things. Accept that things may be done differently in this country and at this project. Understand the magic of your experience comes when you truly learn to enjoy the differences!
Remember, you are here for a limited time. Be honest with yourself and the project regarding your time here. If you implement something, make sure you pass on the knowledge, so future volunteers can continue in your footsteps.
Be patient. Do not give up when things feel difficult or disorganized. Warm up to your project and the people working there. Remember, you need to take initiatives and to be very proactive in order to integrate into your project.
It is very important you go to your project every day and that you are on time! You are expected to treat the project as a professional commitment. If you are sick, please notify Avi immediately so that we can make the appropriate accommodations.
You must be flexible. Your project may change with little notice and it might feel disorganized sometimes. This is the nature of our mission trips. Embrace it! Expect the unexpected.