What to pack for Guatemala
May 16, 2018

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Al­most every air­line of­fers 20-25 kilo­grams of lug­gage per per­son as well as 5-10 kilo­grams of carry-on lug­gage in­cluded in the price of the ticket. You should dou­ble check the air­line Terms & Con­di­tions when buy­ing the ticket. Of course, you can al­ways choose the pre-pur­chase ex­cess bag­gage op­tion.

15 KILO­GRAMS OF DO­NA­TIONS

Every vol­un­teer is ob­lig­ated to bring 15 kilo­grams of hu­man­i­tar­ian help. Each par­cel is put to­gether in­di­vid­u­ally. Nor­mally, it in­cludes med­i­cine, med­ical sup­plies (no re­stricted items and liq­uids), chil­dren’s wear, toys, house­hold goods. Each vol­un­teer is pro­vided with a cover let­ter from Health&Help, ex­plain­ing the con­tents of your do­na­tion cargo.

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10-15 KILO­GRAMS OF PER­SONAL BE­LONG­INGS

You can al­ways buy nec­es­sary clothes in Guatemala or use clothes left by past vol­un­teers. Clothes can be bought for af­ford­able prices ($1-5) at sec­ond-hand shops or at the mall. Cos­met­ics and per­sonal hy­giene prod­ucts are ac­ces­si­ble at the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket or at the twice-weekly farmer’s mar­ket. It is rec­om­mended that you bring prac­ti­cal and com­fort­able clothes only.

WIN­TER SEA­SON (OC­TO­BER-MARCH)

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It’s chilly in win­ter, +15…+5C, rain is to be ex­pected.

We rec­om­mend bring­ing the fol­low­ing es­sen­tials:

  • Ul­tra-light down jacket (Uniqlo)
  • Wa­ter-proof jacket
  • Hat
  • Sweater
  • Ther­mal un­der­wear
  • Ca­sual and/​​or sports­wear
  • Sneak­ers
  • T-shirt
  • Un­der­wear
  • Socks, warm socks es­pe­cially

SUM­MER SEA­SON (MARCH-AU­GUST)

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It’s hot in sum­mer, +20…+35C. There is lit­tle rain and no mos­qui­tos.

We rec­om­mend bring­ing the fol­low­ing es­sen­tials:

  • Sweater
  • Ca­sual and/​​or sports­wear
  • T-shirt
  • Light dress
  • Shorts
  • San­dals
  • Beach wear
  • Un­der­wear
  • Socks
  • Sun hat
  • Sun­glasses

AU­TUMN SEA­SON (AU­GUST-OC­TO­BER)

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It’s warm in au­tumn, +15…+20C. It is con­stantly rain­ing.

We rec­om­mend bring­ing the fol­low­ing es­sen­tials:

  • Wa­ter proof jacket
  • Hat
  • Sweater
  • Ca­sual and/​​or sports­wear
  • Sneak­ers
  • T-shirt
  • Un­der­wear
  • Socks

MIS­CEL­LA­NEOUS

  • Cell­phone
  • Charger
  • Kin­dle
  • Tooth­brush
  • Tooth­paste
  • De­odor­ant
  • First aid kit
  • Fem­i­nine care prod­ucts (can be also bought at the su­per­mar­ket)
  • Travel elec­tri­cal EU-US adapter
  • Con­doms (can be bought at the su­per­mar­ket; ex­pec­ta­tions vs. re­al­ity in terms of avail­able size may be dis­ap­point­ing)

MUST-HAVES

  • Air­plane tick­ets
  • Pass­port
  • Re­lated travel doc­u­ments
  • Copies of pass­port and travel doc­u­ments
  • Med­ical in­sur­ance (if ap­plic­a­ble)
  • Dri­ving li­cense (if ap­plic­a­ble)
  • Cover let­ter from Health&Help
  • Credit/​​debit cards
  • No more than $100 in cash
  • ‘How to get to the clin­ic’ in­struc­tions, pro­ject man­agers’ con­tact in­for­ma­tion, other use­ful info

WHAT NOT TO PACK FOR GUATEMALA

It’s sen­si­ble not to bring un­nec­es­sary stuff you can al­ways buy at the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket or find at the clinic. Be­ing a vol­un­teer means to re­spect lo­cal tra­di­tions and lifestyles, so please don’t bring any pro­vok­ing or re­veal­ing clothes. There is no need for party dresses and de­signer gowns. It makes ab­solutely no sense to bring clothes you are barely us­ing.

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We do not rec­om­mend bring­ing:

  • Re­veal­ing or pro­vok­ing clothes or footwear
  • High heels
  • More than two pairs of boots
  • More than two pairs of pants
  • More than one jacket
  • Scrubs (there are plenty at the clinic)
  • Lap­top (one at the clinic can al­ways be used)
  • More than $100 in cash (that might be lost or stolen)
  • Per­sonal hy­giene prod­ucts (that can be bought at lo­cal shops)
  • In­sect re­pel­lents (there are no mos­qui­toes here)
  • Cam­era (be­sides, your phone cam­era is more prac­ti­cal)
  • Rain boots (they are heavy and may be bought at the lo­cal shop)
  • Pa­per books (though you can bring one for our li­brary!)
  • Sta­tion­ary
  • Um­brella
  • Rain­coat
  • Hairdryer/​​hair styler
  • Tent, camp­ing ac­ces­sories
  • Food

Plan care­fully be­fore pack­ing. Make a list of things you need to bring and de­cide who will take what in case you are trav­el­ing with a friend. Pack your stuff, fold­ing, rolling and spread­ing them to oc­cupy all the space in­side the bag. Bring multi-pur­pose items.

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Watch some Youtube videos for tips how to pack your bag.

Have a nice trip! See you soon :)