FAQ

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No, HOWEVER, you do need documents to get BACK into the United States. Acceptable documentation for land travel includes a passport for those older than 18 or a certified birth certificate for those 18 or younger. If volunteers who are younger than 19 have a valid passport, that is the best form of citizenship. If minors are traveling without their parents, it is also required to have a letter from the parents giving limited power of attorney and guardianship of the minor for a
specified period of time to an adult who will be traveling with the minor. The requirements to re-enter the United States are detailed on the US State Department’s website at http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/eng_map.html.

Typical Work Day Schedule*:

• 6:30 a.m. — Wake-up call
• 7:00 a.m. — Breakfast
• 8:00 a.m. — Start work!!!
• 12:30 p.m. — Clean up and store equipment as assigned
• 1:00 p.m. — Lunch
• 1:30-5:30 p.m. — Varies by day, but usually includes: playing with orphans, visiting with other volunteers, seeing the sights, taking orphans on excursions, shopping, etc.
• 6:00 p.m. — Dinner
• 8:30 p.m. — Evening devotional (includes announcements, song, thought, prayer)
• 10:30 p.m. — Lights out

*Subject to change depending on needs, time, weather,
temperatures, and sunlight

The United States Department of State frequently posts warnings for traveling outside of the U.S. This includes warnings for travel in Mexico. Though we have never had any problems, we do require that volunteers stay in groups of three or more at all times to mitigate any risks of harm.

The trip fee includes all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), starting with dinner on the first day of the trip. Breakfast is not included on the last day of the trip, as volunteers usually get up early and find their own accommodations on the drive back to the border. There may be exceptions with private trips.

Water at the orphanage is generally not filtered except in a few locations such as kitchens. Bottled water is available at grocery and convenience stores everywhere, as well as most restaurants. If you have any questions about the source of water or ice served to you – ask or don’t drink it!

All volunteers should plan on sleeping in a common room on bunk beds with firm mattresses. You will need to bring your own bedding—sleeping bag, sheets/blankets and a pillow. You are welcome to bring an air mattress if you aren’t comfortable on a firm mattress.

Yes, though we cannot guarantee that it will be uninterrupted. They use the same voltage as the United States.

No. There may be laundromats in town, but we recommend bringing enough clothes to wear for the week that you will not need to wash any clothes while attending.

Trip deposits of $100 per person are nonrefundable. The remaining trip payment is refundable up until two weeks before the start date of the trip. At the two-week mark, all trip payments are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Your full trip payment (including deposit) can be transferred to a new trip as long as the following three requirements are met:

1. The start date of your trip is over two weeks away.

2. The new trip is selected within 7 days of notifying our team about the change.

3. The payment has not been transferred from another trip previously.

If the start date of the trip is within two weeks, we unfortunately cannot allow any transfers or refunds.

The medical release form needs to be filled out once per calendar year. If you haven’t filled the release out in the current year, please fill it out again.

 

The guidebook review form needs to be filled out once per calendar year per location you visit. If you’ve been on a trip to the same location in the current calendar year, you do not need to fill out the form again. However, if you are going on a trip to a different location in the same year, you would need to review the guidebook for that location and fill out the waiver again.

We do offer a hardship discount for families that would not otherwise be able to attend one of our volunteer trips. The discount becomes available once the trip has reached its minimum number of volunteers paying at the full rate. The discounted price is $225/person. If you would like to apply for the family hardship discount, please email our volunteer coordinator at info@achf.org. Include in the email the trip you would like to attend and the number of family members who will be traveling with you.

NOTE: Discounted price of $225/person applies to regular trips. Extra days will incur an additional $35/person payment per extra day. (One extra day: $260, two extra days: $295, etc.)

If six or more people need transportation from San Diego down to the orphanage, around town for the various trip activities, and back to San Diego, a trip van will be provided. Please indicate your need for transportation on your registration. An extra fee of $100.00 is required to reserve a spot on the trip van. We also need all flight details such as airline/flight number and arrival and departure time. Please speak individually with the leader of the trip to discuss those options at orientation. At this time, we do not offer trip vans to the Rancho Del Nino Orphanage in Guaymas, Mexico.

Yes. Do not take pictures of people who object, and do not make promises you cannot keep. The people will expect you to fulfill any promises you make.

Yes. We will hold an orientation meeting where A Child’s Hope Foundation leaders will discuss the trip in more detail and answer any questions you may have. The orientation lasts about one hour depending on the number of questions you have. Please be early, as we will begin exactly as scheduled. We also ask that a parent attend with anyone less than 18 years of age who is planning to participate. Some orientation meetings may be held via web and phone conference. Attending an orientation meeting, in person or on the phone, prior to leaving for Mexico is mandatory.

At the orphanage many individuals will speak English, but you should learn to speak to the children in Spanish as much as possible. You will generally find some people at restaurants, stores, beaches, church, etc., who can speak English. Do not plan on having someone available to translate for you if you want to speak to the children or others. It is always a good practice when traveling in a foreign country to try to learn a few basic phrases in the native language. For this reason, we have prepared a list of common words and/or phrases which may be helpful. You will find them at the end of the volunteer trip guidebook for your trip location. Download a copy of the guidebook.