Guidelines for Visiting Congregations

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Guidance for Delegations Visiting ILAG

Visitors from the United States, welcome to Guatemala and specifically welcome to ILAG — Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala.  Thank you for your visit! We hope your stay in Guatemala is filled with pleasant experiences that enrich your spirit and bring you closer to God.  In order to have a successful stay with ILAG at the Lutheran Center, traveling and in the communities we have the following suggestions for you.

Making a connection

  1. In some fashion a connection is made between yourselves and ILAG.
  2. You propose a visit and ILAG accepts.
  3. A schedule is suggested and agreed on by both parties.
  4. The group develops plans for community activities, gift giving, food preparation, etc.
  5. Money is deposited in advance that the delegation will use during your stay in Guatemala.
  6. Try to coordinate your flight schedule so you are not arriving too late in Guatemala City (after 8pm) and not leaving too early (before 9am).  But to save money we understand and this is only if possible.
  7. Questions?  Send us an email at iladeguatemala@yahoo.com.
  8. Someone from ILAG will meet you at the airport with transportation (usually to the Lutheran Center)

Your arrival to the Guest House at the Lutheran Center:

  1. With the guard at the gate register your name and number of pieces of luggage.
  2. The guesthouse manager will unlock your rooms; you will bring your belongings to your room.  We recommend the top bunk of the bunk for those who can climb up to it.

Things to Remember About Your Room:

  1. To open the door reach in the window and pull the latch (once it has been unlocked the first time).  When at the Lutheran Center do not latch the window in the door, just close it otherwise the door will be locked again.
  2. There are instructions for use posted in the bathrooms.
  3. Do not drink the tap water or brush your teeth with it.  (use bottled water or from the carboy in the guest kitchen)
  4. Do not throw paper of any kind into the toilet (if you do it is better to reach in and then wash your hands after, than to flush it)
  5. Keep the shower curtain stretched out to let it dry.
  6. Try to conserve water/electricity.
  7. For room #2 the light switch is to the outside, one light is difficult to tell if it’s on. Keep it off.
  8. There is a $100 deposit for each group in case of accidents (the balance of which will be returned to you on the last day)

Rules for the Kitchen/Dinning Room:

  1. Drinking water is in the carboy on the counter.
  2. Ask someone to show you how to light the oven/stove.
  3. To make coffee we have a Mr. Coffee and/or a 30-40 cup percolator.
  4. When vegetables come from the market/store they need to be washed with biocide (to kill bacteria).  Ask how this is done.
  5. Keep the refrigerator clean and orderly.
  6. Wash your own dishes using the sponge and soap paste.
  7. The towels are on the towel rack.
  8. The bookshelf has many extra things: first aid kits, books, tourist guides and more.

The Grounds of the Lutheran Center:

  1. The laundry room is located behind the guest rooms. Cost: first load per group is free, subsequent loads cost Q10 to wash and Q15 to dry.
  2. Locations to check out: fire pit, basketball/soccer court, church, library, roof access, etc.
  3. If you want to meet the guard dog (big and black) do it with a staff person and in small groups so he doesn’t get overwhelmed.
  4. The house is where the offices of ILAG are and you are welcome to visit them.
  5. Wifi is available mostly in the courtyard it is “Iglesia Luterana Agustina”.
  6. Do not leave the grounds of the Lutheran Center.

Meet the Staff:

  1. We will have a meeting with ILAG’s pastoral team, our office staff and the delegation.  We will make introductions and answer questions.
  2. Next the delegation meets with the team members accompanying them on their visits/trip.  We will discuss, the schedule, activities the delegation has for the communities and/or retreats and suggestions for behavior on the trip.

Getting Ready for the Trip:

  1. For most trips to the communities you will need boots and a mosquito net.  These are provided by the guest house.
  2. Pack only enough clothes for the trip, you can leave things in your room at the Lutheran Center.
  3. Don’t forget
    1. Bug spray
    2. Hat
    3. Toilet paper
    4. Medications you may need

Riding the Bus:

  1. Bags will probably need to be stored on the roof of the bus, help the driver by lifting them up to him and down from him.
  2. Leave room for the team members in the front of the bus.
  3. We will take many bathroom/snack stops so avoid eating and drinking (except water) on the bus.
  4. Remain seated as much as possible as the road can be bumpy and traffic snarled.
  5. On our rest/bathroom/lunch/shopping stops stay with the group and/or the team members.  Do not venture off on your own.  In some locations the team member may suggest staying in groups of two or three.
  6. Tell the team member immediately if you feel sick.
  7. You can take pictures through the windows of the bus.  Do not open the windows for this purpose.

Taking pictures:

  1. Always ask people first before taking their picture.
  2. Do not take pictures of children (except in the communities and you’ve asked first).
  3. If in doubt at all ask a team member first before getting your camera out.

In the Communities:

  1. Shortly after we arrive at the community, we will all meet to plan a schedule for our time in the community.
  2. Share in the activities without separating from the group and/or the team members.
  3. Listen to the needs of communities, we know your good heart and spirit will sympathize with these needs, but please do not promise anything until we have a chance to talk about opportunities as a group, the ILAG staff and the members of the delegation.
  4. Please don’t make any emotional relationships with people from the community.
  5. If you bring gifts for the children, you must have enough for all the children.  Please plan ahead during the connection phase for this.
  6. Acitivities should be planned between 8:00am and 5:00pm.

Evaluation and the Trip to the Airport:

  1. We will go over a final budget for the trip
  2. Get feedback from you on how we can do a better job.
  3. You will decide what to do with any extra money there is left in the budget.
  4. The bus will take you to the airport with plenty of time to catch your flight.