“The GOD’S CHILD Project offers anyone an opportunity to live with host families and build a home for the poorest of the poor. You interact with families and learn their ways, as well as offer ideas to improve their lives. The children are so wonderful and are always smiling. Even though these people are poor, they always have a smile on their face.”
– Dale Besterfield, 2007 St. Louis, MO, USA
Organizing a ServiceTeam may seem overwhelming, but early planning helps make preparations an enjoyable group activity. The GOD’S CHILD Project has coordinated hundreds of successful ServiceTeams and will help you with yours. Be sure to stay in contact with The GOD’S CHILD Project as you plan your trip.
Although we recommend reserving the dates for your ServiceTeam Experience up to a year in advance, we require that you reserve your dates at least two months in advance.
6-12 months before departure
- Contact The GOD’S CHILD Project to pre-register your group and reserve dates. We recommend reserving your preferred dates at least 12 months in advance.
- Hold an informational meeting for those interested in joining a ServiceTeam.
- Estimate trip costs so you can plan and begin group fundraisers. In addition to helping finance your trip, fundraisers create a sense of purpose, goals, and team spirit.
- Apply for passports.
4-6 months before departure
- Research airfare prices; contact travel agencies specializing in group travel.
- Send ServiceTeam applications to the Bismarck office PO Box 1843, Bismarck, ND 58502
2 months before departure
- Purchase airline tickets; confirm dates with the Bismarck office
- Collect donated clothing and/or medicine to bring to Guatemala. Make sure to publicize these events to maximize your success.
- Visit a physician to discuss your trip and any associated health risks.
45 days before departure
- Deposits ($140 per person) are due to the Bismarck office, along withfully-completed ServiceTeam applications, liability waivers, and medical forms.
- Pre-pack donations into suitcases that you can donate to The GOD’S CHILD Project.
21 days before departure
– Final payment of all due balances must be received by the Bismarck office.
1-2 weeks before departure
- Group leader will receive an itinerary from ServiceTeam Coordinator in Guatemala
- If you plan on using a credit card or debit card during your trip, notify your bank or credit card company of the dates you will be abroad to avoid any trouble.
3 days before departure
- Check with your travel agency or airline for any changes regarding travel advisories, flight changes, etc. Confirm flights with the airlines.
- Make sure you have copies of your passport, driver’s license, credit or debit cards, and any other important documents you will be brining with you.
- Please be at the airport at least two hours before scheduled departure time.
Staying with a host family is the part of the ServiceTeam Experience that many enjoy the most, as it allows you to experience life in a typical Guatemalan family. These middle-class homes are modest, but clean and modern. Families are carefully selected for their food preparation and cleanliness standards.
Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will assume that you will be staying with a host family while we plan your ServiceTeam Experience.
Of course, if you wish to stay in a hotel, we invite you to make your own reservations. Please alert our ServiceTeam staff as soon as you decide to find alternative lodging.