What is it like to come to Guatemala and drill water wells for the people? Where in Guatemala is Water for Life located? What are the accommodations like? How is the food? Is Guatemala safe? Do I need shots? Is the equipment any good? What if I get sick or hurt?
There are many questions that a person may have when they begin to consider coming to Guatemala to work with Water for Life International. For people who have traveled to third-world countries before, these questions are not so daunting, but for people who have never traveled to poor countries, the unknown and different can be a little frightening. I will attempt to address some of the questions.
Our shop and headquarters is located in NE Guatemala. This region of the country is the Peten region. Our office and shop is located near the town of Poptun, which is about 80 miles (on a good highway) from the cities of Santa Elena and Flores. There is a good airport there with connections to Guatemala City and Cancun. The airport is modern, but lacks air conditioning and there are no services in the gate areas. Once you are past security, you cannot go back out, so make sure you have what you need.
Although there are places in Guatemala City where it is not safe, Guatemala is mainly a safe country to be in. I have never felt threatened personally in my travels, but I try to have someone who speaks Spanish with me.
Many of our volunteers travel by bus from Guatemala City. The buses vary greatly. In some, the air conditioning does not work and occasionally the bathroom is unusable. Travel in groups with someone who has been there before and you will not have any trouble. Usually we make arraignments to pick up our volunteers or meet them as they come in.
The food is good. We have access to the cafeteria at ICAP the secondary school. It is about 200 yards away across the campus. The vegetarian diet served there is standard Guatemala food. Lots of beans and rice, vegetables, fruit and juice and of course tortillas. We also have a small kitchen area near the apartments.
We provide health and accident insurance for our volunteers. You do not need shots, just a passport. There is good dental care available in Santa Elena and good medical care in Poptun. We will take care of you. Come and help us.