Volunteer

We are grateful for every single one of our faithful volunteers. Their life-changing talents bring healing to countless patients, young and old, in Guatemala. 

More than 1,500 U.S. and nearly 1,000 Guatemalan volunteers come together in faith every year to bring renewed hope and healing to more than 30,000 Guatemalan brothers and sisters. Our volunteers pay their own expenses to serve and ask their families and friends to support the overall mission via our Share The Mission program.

Become a Volunteer

Our volunteers are diverse, with unique experiences and skillsets, to serve in the following roles:

Surgical

  • General
  • Orthopedics
  • Gynecology
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Urology
  • Plastics

Medical

  • General
  • Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Dental
  • Physical Therapy

Non-Medical

  • Interpreters
  • Cooks
  • Photojournalists
  • Spiritual Leaders
Download Volunteer HandbookShare The Mission Toolkit

Trip Dates

May 1-8
Parsley/Woolf Surgery
Antigua
May 15-22
Parsley/Woolf Surgery
Antigua
May 22-29
Robinson Village
TBA
May 29 - June 5
Robinson Surgery
Antigua
June 5 - 12
Heinrich/Pond Surgery
Retalhuleu
June 12 - 19
Parsley/Woolf Surgery
Antigua

Load More Trip Dates

June 19 - 26
AGO/Tysse Village
Reu
July 3 - 10
Farrow Surgery
Retalhuleu
July 10 - 17
Johnson Village
Suchitepéquez
July 17 - 24
Pogo Surgery
Retalhuleu
July 24 - 31
Boutros Surgery
Antigua
July 31 - August 7
Moorhead Surgery
Antigua
August 7 - 14
Austin Village
Totonicapán
August 28 - September 4
Hartline Surgery
Reu
September 11 - 18
Estes Village
Suchitepéquez
September 18 - 25
Askenasy Surgery
Retalhuleu
September 25 - October 2
Chenault Village
Petén
October 9 - 16
Johnson II Village
Jalapa
October 16 - 23
Gallacher Surgery
Retalhuleu
October 30 - November 6
Hope In Motion Surgery
Antigua
October 30 - November 6
Hartz Surgery
Retalhuleu
November 13 - 20
Thompson Village
Totonicapán

FAQ’s

Serving Our Patients

How many patients will we see?

Surgery Teams: We expect you will see 50% less patients than you do normally between Monday and Thursday. This number is based on the volume of patients we can accommodate while adhering to the disinfection protocols and other policies mandated by the Ministry of Health and required at our partner hospitals.

Village Teams: We expect each team will see approximately 100 patients per day between Monday and Thursday. This number is based on the volume of patients we can accommodate while adhering to the protocols mandated by the Ministry of Health.

All Teams: This number may fluctuate based on infection rates in the country. We will always see the greatest number of patients we can see while still adhering to the necessary requirements.
Based on this patient volume, we expect to have 18-20 volunteers per village team and 20-25 volunteers per surgery team. Your team leader will provide more information on your team composition and specialties.

How will patients be screened before I see them?

Surgical patients will receive a COVID test at the hospital on the day prior to surgery. Patients and team members will have a temperatures check/symptom screening before they are allowed entry into the Obras, Hilario Galindo, and the Village Medical Clinics.

What if patients come to the clinic or hospital with COVID symptoms?

Patients with COVID symptoms, or previous exposure, will be sent to the nearest public health center or public hospital for care.

Will there be any changes to our medical and surgical program?

All Teams: We will not have a dental component on any teams in 2021 or until further notice. Mobility Clinics will be added to some teams as of September 2021, again depending on the various restrictions, logistics and patient need in country.

Obras Teams: There will not be a GI component this year.

What kind of PPE will be provided?

Faith In Practice is using the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and Guatemala guidelines for proper PPE use. We will provide in country the required amount of PPE for each mission team. Each team will have access to N95 masks, ear-loop masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields. In addition to PPE, there will be acrylic screens or other bio-security measures taken to protect volunteers and patients.

Are you looking for donations of PPE?

Faith In Practice is grateful for generous donations of PPE from Henry Schein Cares, Providence, and others. We will have ample PPE for your team, but please let us know if your hospital or clinic would like to make a larger donation of PPE.

What supplies and medications will Faith In Practice provide for teams?

Surgery Teams: We will provide the same surgical packs and basic surgical supplies as in previous years in addition to PO and IV meds.

Village Teams: The formulary and supplies provided will remain the same and additional quantities of medications have been added to all teams.

Can I bring supplies or medications?

Speak to your team leader if you normally bring supplies or medications. Team leaders will be working with Faith In Practice staff to ensure each team has what it needs to successfully complete its mission week. Customs forms must match the items in trunks exactly and will need to be turned in at the required 35 days to facilitate team entry.

I have questions that you have not addressed here. What now?

Talk to your team leader or reach out to our Volunteer Program staff at teams@faithinpractice.org

Application Process, Fees, and Cancellation

Are there any changes to the application process?

The online application process will remain the same, however, we ask you to first talk to your team leader. Team leaders will have up-to-date information on specialties and team composition and can share more about the plan for your team.

Is Sponsorship still available?

Yes, we will continue to offer sponsorship for those facing financial hardship. Talk to your team leader for more information on how to apply.

What if I have to cancel?

We understand that, at time, situations occur which may require a participant to cancel. We therefore strongly recommend participants obtain their own trip cancellation insurance to protect against this possibility.

If I need to cancel, will Faith In Practice refund my trip fee?

If a volunteer cancels 45 or more days before the trip departure date, Faith In Practice will refund 100% of the paid trip fee. If the request is made 44 to 16 days before the departure, we will refund 75% of the paid trip fee. There will be no refund for cancellations made 15 days or less prior to the departure date unless the volunteer has been exposed to COVID (see below). The application fee, which supports pre-trip administration costs, is not eligible for refund.

I may have been exposed to COVID but do not have symptoms. Can I still go to Guatemala?

We ask that volunteers withdraw from the trip if they have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID within 14 days of the trip departure date, or if they have experienced COVID symptoms and have not received medical clearance. In these cases, the trip fee will be refunded if cancellation becomes necessary.

Travel Requirements and Flights

Is COVID testing required for travel?

The U.S. and Guatemalan governments have specific requirements for travel. Faith In Practice will make every effort through our Volunteer Program staff in Houston to keep you apprised in advance of your trips through various methods.

To enter the Guatemala, travelers are required to provide a printout with proof of a negative COVID test within 96 hours of your scheduled departure to Guatemala OR proof of vaccination (a copy of your vaccination card). If the traveler is presenting proof of vaccination, the second dose must have occurred two weeks prior to departure for Guatemala. Those unable to the proof of vaccination will not be allowed to enter. Please note that if for any reason the printed proof is not provided upon entry, the traveler will be escorted to a public health room and will need to pay $45 to have an antigen test that produces a negative result to be admitted to the country.

To return the U.S., travelers are required to provide a printout out with proof of a negative antigen or PCR test within 96 hours of travel. The scenario is changing quite frequently for the U.S. requirements and the last official update was January 26, 2021. Faith In Practice staff will arrange to have volunteer testing done at partner hospitals and will manage the provision of the needed documentation, as part of the team logistics.

Please note: To avoid difficulty upon arrival, please ensure that the name on your proof of vaccination paperwork (vaccination card) matches the name in your passport.

Are there any other requirements for entry into Guatemala?

At this time, there are no new requirements. A visa is not required to enter Guatemala from the U.S. A valid passport that will expire no less than 6 months from the date of entry is still strongly recommended.

Will Faith In Practice provide PPE for the flight?

No, Faith In Practice will not provide PPE for the flight. We ask that each volunteer prepare to bring PPE for traveling to and from Guatemala. Faith In Practice will provide PPE after teams arrive in Guatemala. There is a national mask law in effect in Guatemala that volunteers will need to comply with at all times except when in their own hotel room.

When should I book my flight?

Your team leader will share the official team flight information once you have been approved and placed on a team. Please do not book your flight until you are officially placed on a team.

Can I come in late or leave early?

Due to safety and security requirements, all team members must arrive in Guatemala on the same official team flight. All teams will arrive on Saturday: Hilario Galindo Surgery Teams must arrive by noon; Obras Surgery Teams and Village Teams must arrive by 9 pm. Your team leader will share more information with you about flights. When leaving Guatemala, team members must depart on flights within the same timeframe and ride the team bus to the airport.

In-Country Logistics

Will I still have a roommate?

Until further notice, Volunteers will be assigned single rooms, except for volunteers who are currently members of the same household or those who have been vaccinated and request to room with someone else who is also vaccinated. The decision to assign single rooms is a question of health and safety for 2021 or until the COVID-19 challenge is no longer an issue. Please note that as the health and safety situation changes, over time, Faith In Practice will move back to customary rooming arrangements for volunteers.

How will COVID affect our in-country transportation?

Guatemala currently mandates that transit, including shuttle buses, be occupied at 50% and there is a required temperature check and hand sanitizer application. Faith In Practice will adhere to current guidelines. All team members must be on team transportation and all in-country transportation will be in caravan for safety.

At this time, there are no new requirements. A visa is not required to enter Guatemala from the U.S. A valid passport that will expire no less than 6 months from the date of entry is still strongly recommended.

We will still have a free day? Can I shop and go to restaurants in Antigua?

Yes, teams will still have a free day on Friday. With regard to activities in Antigua, staff will advise you of the current policy based on the situation at the time of your trip.

Health and Well-Being

Does Faith In Practice require volunteers to be vaccinated to serve on a team?

Effective, March 1, 2021 Faith In Practice will require all volunteers to be vaccinated in order to travel to Guatemala and serve on medical missions. Please provide the proof of vaccination (vaccination card) at least two weeks prior to your trip to teams@faithinpractice.org.

What if I experience COVID-19 symptoms in Guatemala?

COVID-19 (Antigen or PCR) testing will be provided if required at our partner hospitals, Obras and Hilario Galindo. Surgical Team members will be tested on site at the hospital in the event of symptoms; Village Team members will be tested at the nearest private or public clinic and will be accompanied by a staff member.

What if I test positive in Guatemala?

Staff will assist in making arrangements for team members who test positive to quarantine in a hotel room in Antigua. If care is needed, staff will arrange for transportation and admission to a private hospital in Guatemala City, where standard treatments for COVID will be available.

I know there are many protocols and measures in place, but I’m still nervous. Should I come?
There are many factors to consider and we will be making every effort to help keep volunteers, staff, and patients healthy, but we cannot guarantee anyone’s health or safety. If you decide you are not ready to serve this year, we will be ready for you in 2022!

We will strive to keep the Answers to these Questions updated.

Please note that the situation remains fluid and flexibility is important.
In any situation where Faith In Practice and Guatemalan law and regulation are in conflict, Guatemalan law and regulation will supersede.

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