Culture Shock

In Our Country


Clothes that expose arm pits and thighs are not acceptable. People often dress-up when going into a city. Khaki pants, long skirts and jeans are appropriate. (While on campus, walking-shorts are fine.)

Gender Roles

Men are given the role of dominant, decision maker while women are given the role of submissive supporter. Female work team members should not confront male nationals.

In Our Home 

Tobacco and Alcohol

Work team members must refrain from abusive language, drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking. Many of the children come from abusive backgrounds and we must be sensitive to potential temptations.


Please remember to respect the property and privacy of the Casa Para Niños Aleluya staff. This is their home so we ask that you follow the same considerations that we demand of the children — enter only with permission and stay only when invited.

Sexual Abuse

Remember, many of the children have come from sexually abusive situations and what may appear to be very innocent to you may not seem so innocent to a child who has suffered abuse. Guatemalans in general are very “touchy” people. Just remember to “avoid all appearance of evil.” Also be aware that working with abused children may raise your own personal issues if you have ever been abused before. Please prepare yourself ahead of time so you will be emotionally ready for your visit.


Passports, money, airline tickets, etc., should be given to your team leader to be put in the safe. Many of the children have lived on the streets and have provided for themselves in whatever way available to them. Please do not provide temptations to them by leaving valuables laying around.

 Work Ethic

Everyone’s job description, including Mike and Dottie’s is “whatever is necessary,” which is both physical and humbling at times. Always keep in mind that the team is here to serve, not to be served.

 Denominational Beliefs

People from many denominational backgrounds pass through our gates. There may be a difference of opinion with some doctrinal issues. However, any problems you may have with Casa Para Niños Aleluya’s teachings must be discussed with the staff in private — NEVER with the children.



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