Through the experience of a short-term mission trip, it is hoped that participants will contribute significantly to many of the needs of the Honduras people. The trip will also expand one's view of the Creator, the great need in the world and the relative unimportance of "thing" in our lives. This will be a trip of "reverse mission" where we learn some of life's most important lessons from the poorest of the poor.
II. AIRLINE TICKETING
Gesu Church arranges for airline tickets through a travel agency, which specializes in mission travel. By doing so, we can achieve significantly lower group rates.
III. TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
You are required to have the following pieces of personal identification:
A. Passport: Applications can be made at the Post Office or at some local libraries
(including the Beachwood Library at Richmond and Shaker). Cost is approximately$60 and takes about six weeks. This cost is not included as part of the trip payment plan.
B: Required back-up 1.0.: You should copy the inside of your passport which includes your picture and personal information. It should be carried separately from your passport.
C. Immigration form: This will be given to you by the airline during the flight. Team leaders will assist in filling out this form.
The Center for Disease Control recommends the following:
A. Malaria preventative
B. Tetanus. Should be updated every ten years.
D. Hepatitis Type A.
V. HEAL TH AND HYGIENE
Sanitary conditions throughout Honduras are poor. Parasites and microorganisms cause many health problems for the Honduran people. These can cause intestinal disorders, such as diarrhea, in foreigners. To remain healthy, carefully observe the directions below.
A. WATER: Drink only bottled water. Tap water is unsafe to drink. DON'T EVEN USE IT TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH. Ice made from tap water is also unsafe.
B. WASH-N-DRYS: These and/or hand antiseptic hand sanitizer gel are great. These are convenient to use when water is not readily available.
C. TOILET TISSUE: In Nuevo Paraiso toilet tissue is provided. However, it is not flushed down the commode; rather it is deposited in a container next to the commode. Plastic bags (grocery store) are ideal for depositing used tissue. It is recommended that you keep one roll on you at all times. Even areas such as the airport may lack toilet tissue.
VI. LIVING CONDITIONS
A. HOUSING: During your stay in Honduras, your Home Base will be comfortable. In Nuevo Paraiso, beds are available, which include the necessary linens and pillows. Showers are available.
B. FOOD: Three meals a day are prepared by Honduras cooks who are associated with the organization. You will also have the opportunity to dine in a Honduras restaurant, where food and water are safe. Hondurans show their love and affection for others through their cooking. They appreciate hearing that you enjoyed your meal. Do not buy food from street vendors. In Nuevo Paraiso there is a store that you can buy "coke in a bag" and pop.
C. WEATHER: The temperature is likely to reach 98 degrees in the heat of the day. Dehydration can easily occur under these conditions. Drinking plenty of bottled water (supplied) is a must. A water bottle is required, so individuals can obtain clean water from the Home Base. Sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher, is recommended along with lip protection. Aloe Vera is helpful with sunburn. Bring a lightweight long-sleeve shirt if you burn easily. A Hat for all missionaries is necessary.
It is important, out of respect for Hondurans, that we comply with their standards. Please use discretion and common sense. Keep modesty in mind. Wearing clothes that are tattered is a sign of disrespect. Cool, comfortable clothing is recommended. Cotton clothing is most appropriate. Hospital scrubs are ideal for both the Home Base and the work sites.
MALE ATIIRE: Lightweight work pants, slacks and jeans are appropriate. Shorts may only be worn at the Home Base, not to the work area. Short-sleeve shirts, t-shirts or tank tops may be worn; however, they must not contain any questionable logos, such as beer, cigarettes or rock groups. For church, a collared shirt and casual pants are recommended. Tennis shoes and boots are recommended foot attire. Sandals/flip-flops can be used at the Home Base and are excellent for showering.
FEMALE ATIIRE: Jeans, slacks and dresses may be worn. No mini-skirts, tank tops or skin revealing attire can be worn. No open-toed shoes can be worn to the work site. Tennis shoes and boots are excellent choices.
LAUNDERING: During the week, the women at the Home Base will wash your clothing for a nominal fee. This is a way for the women to make extra money.
VIII. MAKE-UP AND JEWELRY
Keep make-up to a minimum. Leave expensive jewelry at home. Earrings and bracelets are not appropriate for males. Inexpensive watches are recommended for everyone. Please keep in mind that jewelry may be an attraction for you to be robbed.
Pack lightly; you will only be gone a week. Do not take anything you can't afford to lose. Rolling clothes takes up less space. Avoid glass containers. The airline permits two check-in bags and one carry-on per person. You may bring a purse or small camera bag in addition to your carry-on. It is suggested that your carry-on be a backpack. Nametags need to be on all baggage. One bag should contain your personal items, while the second one is used to pack supplies and gifts. Please bring large baggage to pack the supplies.
A. CARRY-ON BAGGAGE: The dimensional limit cannot exceed a total of 45 inches: maximum height is 15 inches; width, 20 inches; and depth, 10 inches. Be sure to pack any items you do not want to lose in this bag.
1. Passport: Make four copies. Leave one at home, bring one to the team leaders, pack one in your suitcase, and put one in your wallet.
2. Green Gesu Golf shirt (to be worn to the airport)
3. Drivers license or backup I.D.
4. Change of clothes in case your baggage is lost.
5. Camera and film
6. Water bottle
7. Toilet paper ( 1 roll)
8. Hand sanitizer.
9. Medications. Include Pepto-Bismol or lmodium AD and Correctol. If you are prone to motion sickness, Dramamine is recommended. Remember all personal medications.
10. Health insurance card.
12. Cellular phones, iPods, and other small electronic devices, playing cards, etc. are allowed if desired, but not necessary. (Some travelers enjoy using their cell phones to call loved ones while at airports, however most cell phones will not work in Honduras. Team leaders can help with phone communication home if necessary.)
B. CHECK-IN BAGGAGE (not to exceed 50 pounds; duffle bags may be used.
1. Clothing (Work clothes: lightweight work pants, jeans, slacks or scrubs, tshirts and tennis shoes or boots. Non-work clothes to wear at home base and nicer clothes for church).
2. Soap/anti-bacterial lotion.
3. Toilet paper (1 roll).
5. Hat for protection from the sun.
6. Contact lenses (bring an extra pair). Glasses are preferred at the construction sites.
7. Shoes, boots and shower clogs/sandals.
8. Light rain jacket.
9. Electric hairdryers and shavers
10. Snacks (granola bars, crackers, hard candy)
12. Insect repellent.
13. Work gloves.
15. Lip protection
16. Aloe gel
17. Ladies' note: Come prepared with tampons. You may not be able to purchase them in Honduras.
X. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION
A. COMMUNICATION: Good communication is essential for preventing and solving problems. If you have any problems of health concerns, please talk with your leader.
B. BEING SENT HOME: If you create a serious problem within the team, you will be required to return home immediately. The use of drugs or alcohol is unacceptable.
C. WORKING WITH TRANSLATORS: The interpreters are vital to the organization. Be sure to go out of your way to treat these individuals as part of your team. We encourage you to get to know them personally. Do not invite any Honduran to the United States.
D. CURRENCY: Do not bring travelers' checks. Upon arrival at the airport in Honduras, you may exchange the American dollar for Limpira. One Limpira is worth about seven cents. Most team members spend less than 100 dollars. Credit cards are accepted at the shops in the city.
E. GIVING TO THE POOR: Refrain from giving to beggars, many of whom are professionals; even the children consider begging a game.
F. GIFT GIVING:
1. If you want to leave some of your personal belongings (clothing), check with your team leader first.
2. If the team leader approves, the item(s) will be given to Mae Cruz who will
(anonymously) present the donation.
3. Never arbitrarily give items away to Hondurans.
4. Giving things away, even candy, can create chaos.
It is very important not to add to the disempowerment of the people by creating a begging mentality. The gifts that the team brings down will be distributed by the Home Base leaders.
G. SHOPPING: On one of your days in Honduras, you will have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs. Basket weaving, leather goods, pottery, hammocks, etc. can be purchased. Again, most areas accept credit cards.
XI. TEAM PROJECTS
A. CONSTRUCTION: Recent teams have worked on projects which have included churches, schools, orphanages, dormitories, hospices and individual homes. All of these projects have one thing in common; they are built out of concrete. This means that most of the team will be carrying tools and materials, mixing and pouring cement and laying concrete blocks. All of this work is done "Honduran-style" - by hand. Additionally, there is often carpentry, painting, pluming and electrical work to do. We have found that men and women of all ages are able to learn and do all of the types of work needed to complete these projects. There is plenty of opportunity for light tasks that require no lifting. The rule is that when one is tired, they are expected to get out of the sun, sit down and rest. On hot days, a cycle of twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off may be appropriate. Drink plenty of water.
B. MEDICAL TEAM: In the remote areas of Honduras, medical care is very limited, and, in some cases, unavailable. When medical personnel are on your team, they may hold temporary medical clinics in these areas. Usually only those with medical experience or translators go on these expeditions. However, and while this trip is primarily a medical mission, there are numerous opportunities for non-medical personnel to participate.