Visitor Experiences are the backbone of Common Hope’s support system.
The visitor programs are designed to provide an immersive experience to learn about the people, culture, and landscape of Guatemala. They give a deeper insight into how Common Hope operates and the organization’s partnerships with families. When a volunteer visits Guatemala with Common Hope, their life will change as well as the lives of many Guatemalans.
The past two years have been challenging and there has not been one person untouched by Covid-19 and its added complications. In March 2020, Guatemala closed its borders, completely stopping all travel for volunteers.
2020 was predicted to be a record-breaking year for Common Hope, with the most Vision Teams in the organization’s history scheduled to travel. The borders closing deeply impacted staff, volunteers, and most importantly Common Hope families.
“The lack of volunteers on campus did not go unnoticed by anyone and visitors were missed in ways that can’t be expressed. The need for volunteers did not stop when travel stopped. Right now, volunteers are needed more than ever,” Avi, Associate Director of Strategic Relations & US Visitor Experience, states.
Now, almost two years later Common Hope eagerly welcomes volunteers back to Guatemala. Common hope has dedicated the past two years to creating, adjusting, and establishing new protocols to provide a safe experience for volunteers, staff, and families. Common Hope believes that all travel is personal. Travel inherently includes a level of personal risk—and each traveler needs to weigh out the risks with their desire and comfort level in traveling.
If you choose to travel, you can still expect a life-changing experience.
When you embark on an adventure to Guatemala with Common Hope you are traveling with a purpose. The core of Visitor Experiences is getting to interact with students, their families, and staff to gain full insight into Common Hope’s life-changing work. It is an opportunity to be a force of good.
We have designed and implemented protocols to keep everyone safe while maintaining the integrity of the experience—not much has changed!
Flexibility has never been more important. We recommend travelers book flexible fares and insure their tickets in case travel gets delayed due to unforeseen changes.
The choice to travel is completely up to you. Traveling during a pandemic can be confusing and hard to navigate. Below are the requirements to travel with Common Hope. These guidelines are subject to change to align with Guatemala’s travel policies. We believe that these precautions best protect travelers, staff, and the communities we serve.
- All travelers must be fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. The last booster shot must be administered at least 2 weeks before departure.
- Provide a negative Covid-19 PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of your departure.
- Be symptomless when traveling (if a traveler gets exposed to a positive Covid-19 case within 7 days of departure they will not be able to participate in any of Common Hope’s Visitor Experiences)
When you are at the project:
- Practice social distancing; keep a minimum of six feet from families and staff.
- Facemasks are to be worn at all times when going out in public.
- Sanitize and wash your hands often.
- If you start feeling symptoms of Covid-19, advise Common Hope Staff immediately and isolate as soon as possible.
When you travel with Common Hope you embark on an incredible journey that will challenge and change you. We still believe that Visitor Experience programs are one of the best ways to see Common Hope’s impactful and life-changing work. Once you decide to travel to Guatemala for a Vision Team, we will be ready for you.
If you would like to schedule a trip, make changes to an existing reservation, cancel a trip, or have travel-related questions please contact AviM@us.commonhope.org