Visiting is a wonderful opportunity for you and your sponsored child to learn more about one another. Sponsorship visits are often a very powerful experience for both Sponsor and student.
You may visit during a personal trip to Guatemala or while participating in a Common Hope Vision Team. All visits that are not part of a Vision Team experience must be set up through the sponsorship coordinator at Common Hope’s U.S. Office. It is very important that you arrange your visit at least two weeks in advance of your trip and that you are committed to arriving for the visit at the scheduled time.
Your sponsored student would love to meet you! To set up a visit or for more information, call Teresa at 651-917-1045 or send her an email.
Tips for visiting your sponsored child:
- Please be on time for your sponsorship visit. It is helpful to plan to arrive a few minutes early. If you are more than 15 minutes late, the visit may be cancelled.
- Because some families’ homes can only be reached on foot, please bring proper walking shoes.
- If you bring gifts, please bring only a few items and carry them in a small bag or backpack.
- Your social worker or translator will advise you on eating and drinking items served at your sponsored child’s home.
- Because the needs of families require long-term development rather than short-term monetary aid, money should NEVER be given directly to your sponsored student or family. A family may lose their benefits from Common Hope if this rule is broken.
- Sponsors are asked not to make promises of material items during the visit.
- Many Sponsors have had success with bringing a game or craft activity to help break the ice and get to know the family better. For example, Sponsors bring the card game Uno to play during the visit and then leave the game behind as a gift for the family.
Safety guidelines for Sponsors:
- For safety reasons and to assure good human development practices, Sponsors must never meet with their sponsored student without an arranged visit attended by a Common Hope staff person.
- Common Hope asks that no visits be arranged or take place at restaurants.
- Please do not give your sponsored child personal addresses or e-mail addresses for correspondence. All correspondence must go through Common Hope in an effort to protect the privacy of both the Sponsor and the student.
Sponsorship visit FAQs
How do I set up a visit with my sponsored child?
Visits that will occur in conjunction with a Vision Team experience will be set up in advance of the trip through our Vision Team staff in the U.S. Office. The visit will be scheduled for you so that it fits into your team’s schedule. All logistics will be handled for you and you will receive more details during your trip.
All visits that are not part of a Vision Team experience must be set up through the sponsorship staff in our U.S. Office. To allow adequate time to arrange the visit, Sponsors must get in touch with our U.S. staff at least two weeks in advance of their departure to Guatemala.
To arrange a visit call Teresa at 651-917-1045 or email Teresa here. Please be prepared to provide the following information:
- What is the name of the sponsored child or children you would like to visit?
- When do you leave for Guatemala?
- When will you be available to visit (dates and times)?
- Do you need a translator?
- How many people will be present at the visit?
- Would you like a tour of the project site?
- What is the name and/or phone number of the hotel where you will stay? If you are not staying in a hotel, please provide the phone number where you will be.
- Do you want to give a food basket to the family on your visit? (Cost of a food basket is $35.)
- Please any other information we should know, such as a need for wheelchair accessibility.
I don’t speak Spanish. Will there be a translator?
Common Hope is happy to provide English translators. Please let us know when you make your visit request that you require a translator.
When can I visit my sponsored child?
Visits can take place on weekdays and are scheduled to begin between 8:00am and 3:00pm. Because Common Hope staff must be present during every sponsorship visit, it is not possible for visits to take place on weekends or holidays. Evening visits are not permitted for safety reasons.
Visits to students in New Hope Village or San Rafael may be limited to specific days or times during the week based on staff availability at those locations.
How long do sponsorship visits last?
In Antigua, sponsorship visits typically last between one and two hours including transportation. When visiting a student at New Hope Village, please plan on a full day for your visit. Visits to San Rafael typically take a half-day for the visit and transportation.
May I bring gifts to my sponsored student and family?
You may bring a few items for your sponsored child and his or her family. Often, practical gifts are the most needed and appreciated. To ensure the best family development practices, please bring only a few items. For your safety and convenience, please carry gifts in a small bag or backpack. For a list of suggested gifts, please contact Teresa at the U.S. Office at 651-917-1045 or email her at email@example.com. You may also purchase a basket of food for your sponsored family at our Family Development Center in Antigua to bring along on a visit. If you choose to do this, please let our U.S. staff know before your trip to Guatemala. Money should NEVER be given directly to sponsored students or their families.
Where do I go to visit my sponsored child?
If you are visiting a student who lives near Antigua or San Rafael, please meet your sponsored child’s social worker at our Family Development Center in Antigua at the time scheduled by our U.S. staff. The social worker will take you to meet your sponsored student. The Family Development Center is located on the south edge of Antigua. The address is Km 2, Carretera a San Juan, Antigua.
If you are visiting a student who lives near our New Hope site, Common Hope staff will meet you at a pre-arranged time and location in Guatemala City, such as your hotel, and bring you to meet your sponsored child. If you are staying in Antigua, we ask that you meet our staff at our Antigua Family Development Center and they will drive you to visit your sponsored child at our New Hope site. Please be aware that due to safety concerns, visits to New Hope may have to be cancelled on short notice. In these cases, we are typically able to have Sponsors talk with their student over video conferencing.
Does the visit take place at my sponsored child’s home?
Visits most often take place at the homes of sponsored children. However, there are times when it is necessary for the visit to take place at Common Hope’s Family Development Center or at the child’s school. This may happen because of scheduling constraints, safety concerns, or for other reasons.
How do I get to the Family Development Center in Antigua?
You are responsible for your own transportation to Antigua. Once you arrive in Antigua, we recommend taking a taxi to Common Hope/ Familias de Esperanza. The taxi will cost you about Q30, but you should negotiate the price before you enter the cab. You can have your hotel call a taxi for you or find one in the central park in Antigua. Ask the driver to go to El Proyecto Familias de Esperanza. Most taxi drivers in Antigua know where our Antigua site is.
What do I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my visit?
Please note, it is VERY difficult to reschedule visits with less than one week advance notice. It may not be possible to reschedule a visit if it must be done on short notice.
- If you have not arrived in Guatemala yet, please contact Teresa in our U.S. Office at 651-917-1045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are already in Guatemala, please contact Wendy or Lys at our Antigua Family Development Center between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm. The telephone number is 7922-6600. Wendy and Lys speak English and Spanish. If you are scheduled to visit a child at New Hope or San Rafael, please make sure to specify this with our staff.
If you would like to arrange a sponsorship visit or have questions, please contact Teresa at 651-917-1045 or email@example.com. Thank you!