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Preparing our Team



So, you signed up for the mission team!! Congratulations on making this amazing journey with us to Guatemala. We do not promise that things will always go perfectly. We do not promise that there won't be changes of plans, or times when things seem a little rushed. But we do promise these things to you:

1. You will be loved. You will be surrounded by leaders who will embrace you as friends and family. You will feel a connection and a bond with your leaders, your crew, your team, and with our friends in Guatemala who are working with us to provide you with everything you need while you are there. And these families who are in the village, waiting for you to arrive, will surround you with the most sincere love and friendship you may ever experience.

2. You will laugh. It has been said that wherever our group is, the air is filled with laughter. We work hard to find the joy (and the humor) in all that we do. The moment that "this" becomes joyless, we will not be doing "this."

3. You may cry. Sometimes, experiencing real world poverty is difficult. Sometimes, saying "Good-bye," is even harder. Rest assured, you are never alone when it comes to dealing with the wide range of emotions that surround a life-changing experience of missions. 


What Do I Need to Do to Prepare? 

There will be a list of things to do before you arrive in Guatemala. You will receive informational emails from the leadership on a regular basis during the months and weeks prior to the mission. Check your email frequently to make sure you are not missing important dates and deadlines. Here are some of the most important things to take care of now.

1. Get Your Passport. You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. Current passport holders, please check to see the date that your passport expires, and make sure that you have at least 3 blank pages in your passport prior to traveling. Please note, many of you may recall "the year of the passport surge." In 2006-2007, the requirements for needing passports to travel freely between the US and Canada changed, which resulted in a huge increase in the number of people who applied for passports. There was a backlog of passports, and some applications took 3-4 months to process. With the regulations on travel, as well as the "Read ID" Give youself extra time to receive your new passport.

2. Download and read the Moving Mountains Mission Agreement for information as to the expectations of our volunteers.

3. Make an appointment with your doctor for a complete physical and updated immunizations. It can take months to get into your PCP, so plan ahead. Discuss the needs for current vaccinations (including tetanus) with your doctor. 

What will I do on the mission team?

When you register for the team, you will have an opportunity to select the work team(s) in which you are most interested (and able) to participate. From that information, we assemble our work crews. In May, you will be notified of your tentative crew assignment(s), and you will be supplied with information as to what supplies you will want to pack for that team. Of course, sometimes plans change, and last-minute crew changes occur. So we ask that all volunteers come with open hearts, open minds, and a positive mind-set. 


Our week schedule looks like this:

Sunday : Team Arrival/Meet and Greet/Family Dinner/Worship and Praise

Monday: Welcome Celebration in the Village/Work Project Trainings

Tues-Thurs: Work Crews on site in the village

Friday: All projects completed, Farewell Celebration in the Village

Saturday: Sabbath Day for Team: Tourism, Shopping, Rest

Sunday: Travel Day Home


A typical day on a work crew looks like this:


6:15 AM: Breakfast

7:00 AM: Depart for the village

7:30-11:00 AM: Work Projects

11:00 - 11:30 AM:  Lunch Break

11:30 - 3:00  PM: Work Projects

3:30 PM: Depart for Hotel

6:00 PM: Family Dinner

7:00 PM: Small Group Bible Study

8:00  PM: Large Group Meeting/Worship

9:30 PM: Quiet Hour Begins

Volunteer Forms


Hotel Information:


There are many informational emails sent to our team to keep everyone up-to-date on travel information, packing tips, and fundraising and social events for team members. Please keep checking this page for forms and additional information. 


Traveling to a developing country can produce a feeling of anxiety or uncertainty. It is common to have questions - lots of questions. So before you worry... check the list below. Still have questions? Email us! 

  • Where can I find the forms and documents for preparing for the mission?

  • All forms that team members need are sent to your email address. Copies of those forms are uploaded here, on this page.

  • What vaccinations do I need?

  • When you visit your doctor for your mission physical, he/she will recommend what is best for you. However, a current tetanus vaccine is required, and the Hepatitis A & B is highly recommended. The Covid-19 vaccine is also highly recommended for all international travels.

  • What medicines should I pack?

  • You should bring all of your personal medications with you, with an extra week's dosage in case you are delayed in returning home for any reason. We also suggest bringing cold-allergy medication, Imodium, and Tylenol/ Ibuprofen for your own personal use.

  • What types of clothing should I pack?

  • Clothing for travel should be comfortable. Clothing for work crews in the village should be practical, and modest. T-shirts and jeans are your best option. No shorts, no exposed shoulders, no open-toed shoes in the village.

  • Can I bring my laptop, smart phone, iPod, etc.?

  • You are welcome to bring your devices. However, we are not responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of your belongings. We also ask that all volunteers adhere to the "Acceptable Use of Technology" outlined in the Mission Agreement.

  • How can I connect with my family and friends back home during the mission?

  • There will be phones available for you to use to notify your families of your safe arrival into Guatemala. You can also use the internet connection at the hotel to communicate with your family members after mission team hours. We will provide information as to how to communicate using free apps so that you do not incur huge data charges while your are out of the country. Your family can check the Moving Mountains Facebook page for daily updates, and the mission team leaders send an email blast daily to those wishing to receive informational updates from the mission field. 

  • How much money should I bring?

  • You will need money to eat during layovers in the airport. You will most likely want to participate in shopping and tourism activities on your Sabbath day. You will need Guatemalan currency, and the easiest way to exchange your money is by using your ATM card. Other options are described in your email updates. We do not recommend traveling with more than $100-$150 with you.

  • What are my expectations as a volunteer?

  • You are expected to participate in all mission team activities, including meal times, Bible study groups, large group meetings, worship, and informational updates. There is down-time/family time/social time built into our schedule every day. There are also optional activities in which you can participate. Volunteers are expected to be positive and willing to be flexible as we adapt to changes in our schedules. All of our expectations are outlined in the Mission Agreement.

  • I am vegetarian/gluten-free/have a food allergy. Are there meal options for me?

  • We work with the hotel closely to provide for the diverse dietary needs of our team. We do our best to provide healthy alternatives for volunteers with specific needs. However, options are much more limited than in the US, so we recommend that volunteers with specific dietary needs pack extra snacks or supplements to bring along with them. 

  • Do I need to bring power adaptors and/or voltage converters?

  • No. Although there are limited outlets in each hotel room, you do not need any converters.

  • What precautions are taken by the group to ensure my personal safety?

  • Your mission team leaders and crew leaders take your safety very seriously. At no point will you be "on your own" in the village. You will not leave the hotel after dark. The hotel is extremely secure, and we hire professional drivers to transport us to and from the village. Each volunteer is expected to adhere to the safety guidelines that are outlined during trainings.

  • Will I be paired with other members of my family?

  • Typically families are housed together in one hotel room.  Families who wish to be teamed together for work projects are placed together. However, some families enjoy working on separate teams which allow them to share different experiences with one another. For liability reasons, youth under the age of 18 are paired with a parent/guardian for their work crew.

  • Why do you have a no tobacco/alcohol policy?

  • Substance abuse in the village is a real problem. Domestic violence, often fueled by alcohol, destroys families. It is out of respect for our hosts that we refrain from all alcohol and tobacco products, even while we are at the hotel.

  • Who are our partnering organizations?

  • There are many people in Guatemala that help us and we would never be able to "do what we do" without them. A special thanks to:

  • Sergio Barrios y Servicios Turísticos El Carmen (transportation coordinator)

  • Rodolfo Diáz and the staff at Hotel Candelaria (lodging and meals)

  • Fundacion Hunapu (NGO in Santa Maria assisting in work projects)

  • GIFTS Program (Child Sponsorship Program for the children in Santa Maria)

  • Cosechando Felicidad, Inc (for everything they do for our team)

  • One Life Church of Punxsutawney, PA (financial admin)

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