What You Need to Know for Guatemala Right Now

This past Sunday we had a brief meeting to give out some information about our High School Guatemala Mission Trip this summer and what students who are planning on going need to do starting now.

Here is what we talked about

1. You need to go ahead and start your passport application process

  • The current wait time to process a passport application is 4-6 weeks. That does not include the time it takes to get an appointment. Go ahead and start your passport application process. There is information on the State Department website as well as the US Post Office website with information about how to apply.

2. You need to schedule to get your shots for the trip

  • The CDC says you need to be up on all of your routine vaccines as well as have a vaccine for Hepatitis A & Typhoid fever. There are other precautions that they recommend for some travelers and you can read about it on their website. Need to find a place to get the immunizations? Check out this web page by the CDC.

3. We are monitoring the development of Zika in Guatemala

  • We are currently monitoring what is happening with the Zika virus in Guatemala. Most people who get Zika won't know because they don't exhibit any symptoms. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). You can help combat getting Zika by wearing long sleeves, long pants, and using DEET bug spray. Right now there have been correlations between Zika and Guillain-Barre Syndrom (GBS) & Microcephaly in Brazil. The World Health Organization, CDC, and Brazil Ministry of Health are currently doing studies to analyze these possible links. While Microcephaly and GBS are extremely rare we did want people to be aware. You can learn more about Zika on the CDC website.

4. We encourage you to write sponsor letters to family and friends

  • While we will have already planned to do another fundraiser at the church (200 envelopes) we also encourage you to write letters to your family and friends asking if they will help sponsor your mission trip to Guatemala. Include information about why we are going, what kind of projects we will be doing, and what you hope to get out of the trip. Writing a personal letter saying how the trip would personally impact you can make a world of difference in deciding whether or not someone will contribute money or not.

We'll have another information meeting later in the Spring/Early Summer to make sure we have everything covered, and are ready to go on our trip July 23-31.