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Mission Trips

A lion’s share of work by the Gomez family is spent hosting Short Term Teams (STT). The needs within Mesoamerica are large and the Gomez family rely on partnerships with churches and missionaries from around the world to accomplish God’s vision for Mesoamerica and Global CHE.

If you are interested in visiting with a STT and want more information, review the FAQ below for more detail.

If you would like to know more or get started with a STT Team you can reach us through the contact page using the subject: “Trips”.

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Doing short-term medical missions at best takes ongoing commitment to learn,
evaluate and adjust from one year to the next. We learn from our own experiences but
even more so from our global partners that are engaged in the work of development
year round; the work of development and transformation that includes health
promotion and disease prevention. For this is where the greatest impact is made.

Dena Mitchell

Trip Team Member, Bay Presbyterian Church

Short Term Teams FAQ

How do we get started?

Contact our trips coordinator from our contacts page. Choose “Trips” as the subject.


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How long are the trips?

Trips are typically 7-14 days, depending on the project being done and the team’s desire. There is a minimum trip length of 7 days (includes two half days for travel).

What types of teams do you need?

We are flexible, you can bring youth teams, mixed teams, women’s only or men’s only teams. As with any team, we recommend that you have one team leader for every 5-7 people. Teams can serve in various ways, for example: medical clinics, construction projects, children’s ministry, water projects, women’s ministries.

Where will we be going and what will our team be doing?

Once your team has been confirmed you will have the opportunity to discuss where your team will be going and what it will be doing with Hugo Gomez Jr., the GCE STT In-Country Coordinator.

 

If you are going to Guatemala, you will be working in the villages in the western part of the nation. GCE works primarily among the Mam and Quiche Indians, and western Guatemala is the home of these two ethnic groups. There are 22 ethnic groups in Guatemala (each with their own language) of which the Mam and the Quiche are among the largest.

How much does a trip cost?

There is a $500 non-refundable registration fee for the team. In addition, the per person in-country fees are $95 per day plus $45 for your arrival day and $50 for your travel day back to airport (a typical trip which includes 5 days of ministry and 2 days to cover arrival and departure would cost $570 per person). Project costs are additional and will be determined by the field leadership. Program costs and Project costs must be received by the US GCE office 30 days prior to your departure date.

What do trip fees cover?

  • Ground transportation to and from the airport as well as all transportation during your ministry (cost of fuel, drivers, maintenance of vehicles, etc.).
  • Lodging, team meals, tips, etc.
  • After trip costs are subtracted from the budget, remaining funds go back into the ministry for use in the villages.

What costs and responsibilities is my team accountable for?

  • Airfare and arranging their flight schedule. All team members ​must​ arrive on the same flight. Once flights have been arranged (preferably at least 90 days in advance), your itinerary should be sent to GCE.
  • Teams are responsible for the cost of airfare, visas, departure taxes and any meals enroute.
  • We encourage all teams to purchase international medical and travel insurance at their own cost.

What is required of us before arrival?

GCE needs the following at a minimum of 30 days before arrival:

  • Flight arrival and departure information for Guatemala City. Remember, all team members must arrive on the same flights, and all will be taken to airport for departure at the same time.
  • Name of each team member​ (passport names and gender)​.
  • The number of men, women and married couples as this is used for hotel reservations. We also need address, phone number, and email address.
  • Your per person fees for all team members​ (per person RATE x NUMBER on team)​.
  • Any project funds that are needed for your ministry on-the-ground. The amount of these funds will have been determined in your discussions with Hugo Gomez Jr. (GCE STT In-Country Coordinator) prior to this deadline.
  • Invoices are available upon request for the per person team fees and the ministry project.

What is the ideal team size?

The ideal team size is between 7 and 12 people. While we can accommodate larger teams, the logistics of working in villages can become more difficult with larger teams.

Can we bring a youth or men’s or women’s team?

You can bring youth teams, mixed teams, women’s only or men’s only teams. As with any team, we recommend that you have one team leader for every 5-7 people.

Why do we stay in hotels during our trip?

It is important to be sure that you get a good night’s rest, a good breakfast and supper, and a shower each day. These small conveniences enable you rejuvenate after a long day of ministry in a village.

Can we camp in a village?

You may be able to stay in a village for one or two nights on your STT. If prior arrangements are made, you may be able to stay in the home of one of our trainers, or CHE committee members. Some teams that have completed several trips may elect to do this. If this is something you are interested in, and your leaders have been on several GCE STT, this may be an option. Please be sure to let the GCE STT In-Country Coordinator know beforehand so he can get approval from the village leadership and inform you of what you need to bring on your trip to make this possible.

If we are going to Guatemala, can we visit Antigua on the way back to the airport?

If you are interested in spending a 1⁄2 day in Antigua at the end of your trip, please let the GCE STT In-Country Coordinator know 30 days prior to trip so the proper arrangements can be made.

What will we eat?

You, usually, will be provided with two to three daily meals. Meal count and consistency is dependent on the travel time and schedule with visiting villages. Travel time, early arrival and late departure times will likely cause an irregular meal schedule. It is highly encouraged that team individuals bring sustaining snacks and meal replacement bars to aid with off schedule meals. Special dietary needs, are hard to acquire and must be discussed with the trip coordinator and/or in-country host prior to arrival. Meals will be served from approved safe restaurants. Meals and tips are covered with per person daily fee.

Can I drink the water?

You cannot drink the water from most sources. Water must come from filtered and bottled sources, and GCE approved restaurants.

Can we eat village food?

Arrangements can be made for you to eat village food. Because North American stomachs are not used to village food, we need to make arrangements ahead of time so that the food is prepared in such a way that the chance for you to get ill is minimized. Water must come from retail filtered & bottled sources.

Can we bring medications or supplies for medical clinics?

Yes you can. However, if you wish to bring medical supplies or medications you will need to coordinate this with the GCE STT In-Country Coordinator. He can give you information about how to pack these supplies and what supplies are needed at the time your team will be in Mesoamerica. He can also let you know if there is the need to apply for permission from any government authorities – and how to do that.

Can we bring gifts and toys to give to the children?

You can bring gifts and toys for children. However, the distribution of any gifts for children or people in the villages are determined by the local CHE committee. If you bring them, you may not be able to distribute them personally.

We have raised money to help a child or family. How do we know who to give the money to?

We are grateful for your heart of generosity. Any funds for children or families should be given to the STT in-Country Coordinator. He will work with the CHE trainers and the village CHE committee to determine which children and families need the funds the most. Money and gifts have to be given with wisdom and discretion. The goal of GCE is to build communities that are sustainable without outside funds and by giving money or gifts indiscriminately we can foster dependence, not independence and development.

What about political unrest?

In Mesoamerica, political unrest is not uncommon. Being local, the staff at GCE are aware of political unrest and are considering the impact of it before you come and while you are there. They take great measures to keep teams away from any areas that are not safe.