Crafts for a Cause - Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the trip?
All ground transportation (vans/boats/buses), guides, hotel accommodations, tours, and speakers are included. Meals are included except for one lunch in Antigua on the last day and any snacks/drinks you might have not at mealtime.
Price does not include: international airfare, alcoholic beverages and tips for such, personal items, room service charges, gratuities to our driver or travel insurance.
How much Spanish should I know?
It would be helpful if you knew a few phrases but not necessary. The women – most of whom speak Spanish as a second language- do not speak English. I will be available along with other translators but it’s always nice if you learn a few words to use.
How will we be traveling around?
We will be using a combination of private vans, tuk tuks (open air taxis) and chicken buses (public transport). Between the big cities (Antigua/Guat City/Panajachel) travel will occur on main roads that are safe and in good condition. Walking will be on dirt roads or cobble stone sidewalks. Good walking shoes are essential.
What kind of suitcase/bags should I take?
We recommend packing lightly and consider using a soft-sided duffel bag suitcase- though we have had people travel with wheeled suitcases.
We suggest you take a small nylon bag that crosses your chest or a fanny pack to use as a pocketbook and a hidden money pouch for your passport and money. Have a daypack for use during our outings for snacks/sunhat/raincoat and extra layers. The hotels have safes available. Airlines do lose bags sometimes so prepare your carry on with the things you can’t live without (meds/orthotics/camera).
What should I do about money? Are ATMs available?
Call your bank and give them the dates you will be in Guatemala (both credit card company and debit card). Bring $400-$500 dollars cash for exchange purposes. You can use your debit card to get Quetzals from the ATM. No traveler’s cheques or personal cheques. We can get you $200 exchanged on the first day. You will need cash for alcoholic drinks/personal purchases/lunch one day in Antigua, so plan accordingly.
Can I buy things if I need them down there?
Yes, there are markets and stores for underwear, medicine, food, shoes, reading glasses etc. We have one friend who even had to purchase a bathing suit (though she abandoned it at the hotel when we left!).
What are the health considerations?
You should have an updated tetanus shot. Stomach “problems”, while not pervasive, are the most common complaint. Bring Imodium or Pepto Bismal tabs. If you are prone to carsickness, bring some Dramamine. We are not going to any malaria prone places. We recommend getting a course of Cipro from your doctor-only to be used in an extreme case.
How can we communicate with home? Will we have access to the Internet? Should I bring my cell phone?
We will have a local cell phone set up for free incoming calls. It can be used for long distance calls but it can be expensive. All of our hotels have Wi-Fi access. If you want to use your own phone call your provider. Smart phones can be put on airplane mode and used on Wi-Fi. We recommend you and your peeps back home upload all or some of these apps: Skype, Viber, What’sApp.
Should I worry about valuables that I bring along?
As in any travel you have to be cautious with valuables. We recommend money belts under your clothing for passport and cash. Hold your bag and camera close and leave your fancy jewelry at home. There are safes at the hotels.
When is my final payment due?
Your final payment is due 90 days before the beginning of our trip. You will receive an invoice for the amount due a few weeks before that time.
What is the cancellation policy?
90+ days before the trip: trip cancellation fee $500
89-60 days before the trip: trip cancellation fee 50%
59 days before the trip: trip cancellation fee 100%
Hetty Friedman reserves the right to cancel a trip for any reason. In such an instance, all payments received will be refunded, which will constitute full settlement.
If you have any other questions or concerns that are not answered here, feel free to email me!