Does Faith In Practice require volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to serve on a team?
Yes. Faith In Practice requires all volunteers to be fully vaccinated with their COVID-19 vaccination. Volunteers are required to submit proof of vaccination at least two weeks prior to the trip departure. If we do not receive a vaccination card the volunteer will not be able to serve.
I am returning to Guatemala for the first time since the pandemic, what will be different?
There will be protocols and measures in place to keep patients, volunteers, staff, and partners healthy and safe. You can expect a reduced number of patients, social distancing, and PPE requirements.
Is the Faith In Practice staff in country who work with teams vaccinated?
Yes, all staff who work with teams are fully vaccinated.
Are Guatemalan Volunteers vaccinated?
Many of our Guatemalan volunteers have had their first dose and Faith In Practice is working with our volunteers to get fully vaccinated.
Any Guatemalan volunteer who is serving on the mission team and is not fully vaccinated will be disclosed to the team and additional measure will be taken to keep everyone safe.
What PPE is provided for volunteers?
Faith In Practice provides all PPE that we require volunteers to use while serving in Guatemala. This includes masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes, you must wear a mask to serve on missions.
Volunteers need to adhere to all state and federal regulations while travelling in the U.S., but we highly recommend travelling with a mask for the entire trip regardless of what is in place.
Once in Guatemala, there is a national mask law, and everyone must wear a mask in public indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes on buses, on the hotel grounds (anytime outside your own room), in the hospitals, medical clinics, and on the street.
What if I experience COVID-19 symptoms in Guatemala?
COVID-19 testing (antigen or PCR) will be provided if required at our partner hospitals or a nearby lab. Surgical team members will be tested on site at the hospital and medical clinic team members will be tested at the nearest private or public clinic. A staff member will accompany the volunteer.
If positive, the volunteer will be asked to remain in a hotel room until they test negative and will be monitored by a doctor and provided medications for management of symptoms.
If symptoms were to worsen, the volunteer would be provided transportation and admissions support to a previously identified private hospital in Guatemala City where treatment for COVID will be available.
Can I shop or eat in restaurants in Antigua?
Teams serving in 2022 will be asked to commit to a bubble from arrival in country through Friday morning of the mission week until further notice.
The team will have the ability to enjoy a free day in Antigua if the following criteria are met.
- There are no major changes to COVID conditions in Antigua during your mission week,
- All volunteer service work is completed and supplies are packed,
- If all volunteers on the team have received a negative COVID test for travel (administered Thursday)
Up-to-date recommendations will be given to the team during their mission week to help them stay safe during their free time.
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.
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 keep volunteers, staff, and patients healthy, but we cannot guarantee anyone’s health or safety. If you decide you are not ready to serve in these conditions, we will be ready for you in the future when you feel more comfortable and ready to serve.