Frequently Asked Questions

What does the trip cost of $1,195 include?

The price of the trip includes comfortable accommodations, meals prepared by a private cook, transfers, transport within Guatemala, a full program of activities, emergency assistance, and an English-speaking guide. The cost does NOT include flights, alcoholic drinks, gifts or personal travel insurance.

Do I have to fundraise on top of the cost of the trip?

Fundraising is NOT required to participate in a bottle school trip. However, if you would like to fundraise, we suggest a $250 fundraising goal, but some people choose to do more or less than this.

See more information about fundraising.

How many people can come on each trip?

We can take a minimum of 15 people on each trip, and a maximum of 25

What age restrictions do you have?

There is no set minimum age for people to come on the trip. Although, if you are under the age of 18, you must be accompanied by a parent to be allowed on the trip. Please read the Bringing Your Family section for more information. There is no maximum age for coming on the trip. However, you should be in reasonable physical condition, as there is walking involved, not to mention the strenuous activity of helping to build the bottle school. If you are over 70, please contact us before booking your trip.

Who is Serve The World Today?

Serve The World Today is a for-profit company that runs voluntourism trips in partnership with Hug It Forward. Serve The World Today is a conscious business that uses a portion of proceeds from bottle schools trips to offset the administrative costs, overhead, and expenses of our charity partner. Read more about Serve The World Today.

How much money should I bring with me?

People on previous trips have found that $200 to $300 is a reasonable amount to bring. You will have the opportunity to buy lots of beautiful handicrafts which make great gifts! We will not be taking you to any “touristy” shops – all purchases will directly benefit indigenous communities in the areas where bottle schools are being built. Apart from gifts and souvenirs, the only other thing you will need money for are discretionary tips for our Guatemalan Staff (trip leader, assistant trip leader, bus driver, and private cook). Past guests have found that a total of $50-$60 is a reasonable amount to set aside to show their appreciation for the staff on the ground who take care of them throughout their trip.

What vaccinations do I need?

Please check with your doctor – we cannot give advice on this as we are not medically trained. There is some more information in the Health and Safety page..

When should I book flights?

Book your flights to Guatemala City – La Aurora International Airport (airport code: GUA) once your place on the trip has been confirmed. Please see our Flight information page for more details.

How do I pay for the trip?

Please visit our booking page to pay for your trip. Please email if you have any questions.

Members of the Rovia travel club qualify for a special discounted rate. Rovia members, please book via the Rovia DreamTrips web site to receive a special discounted rate (select “VolunTour Trip” under the “Trip Type” menu on the home page).

What should I bring?

Please see our “What to bring” guide for information on what to bring and what not to bring.

Will I be able to send emails and make phone calls?

There will be wi-fi access at the hotel in Antigua to send emails and make phone calls. There is also wi-fi internet access at the hotel in San Martin Jilotepeque, but it may be slower than you are used to and is not always reliable.

What will we be doing in the evenings?

You will generally be at leisure in the evenings, to rest and recuperate after a tough day, and spend time socializing with the group.

Will there be any excursions?

Your voluntourism trip includes both volunteering and tourism. Activities you will participate in include:

  • Visit to Mixco Viejo (Mayan ruins)
  • Visit to Tikonel, a women’s artisan cooperative
  • Walking around the UNESCO Heritage city of Antigua Guatemala
  • Cultural and historical talks
  • ..and much more besides!
For more details, please see our sample itinerary.

What do I do when I arrive in Guatemala?

We will send you a full guide to your trip after we receive your booking! We will tell you exactly what to expect when you arrive at Guatemala City airport, and you will be greeted there by a friendly face holding a big sign saying “Hug It Forward”. You will be in safe hands throughout your trip, thanks to the amazing Gerson (pronounced “Hairr-son”) who is our experienced, energetic, ever-helpful guide and trip leader who puts the trip together and makes it work beautifully.

Anything else I need to know before I depart?

Please make sure you all have read the Information about your trip section of this web site, and all of this FAQ page. It is extremely important that you have read this before coming!

Who can people contact in the event of an emergency?

While you are on a Voluntourism trip, please tell your loved ones they can call Gerson (the expert guide leading the trip) any time in case of an emergency (011 502 3020 3201). More contact details here.