You will need a passport to travel to and from Guatemala. It takes about 3 months to acquire a passport. It is possible to get one in 2-3 weeks but rush charges will apply. More information about how to get a passport. Be sure to make several copies of your passport. Leave one at home with family or friends, pack one in each of your bags. This will ease the process of applying for a replacement in the case of loss or theft.
Be sure to pack reasonably sized luggage, wheels are always a plus. You will be required to carry your own luggage through the airport and again on campus. Without paying penalties, the airlines restrict you to checked bags up to 70 pounds each and one carry-on.
In case you’re checked luggage is lost, be sure to pack some “essentials” in your carry-on so you will have enough to get by until your luggage is returned. If your luggage is lost, the airlines will either deliver it to the campus or it can be picked up from the airport. We recommend keeping a copy of the Casa Para Niños Aleluya contact information with you.
Guatemala has a required $3 (or Q20) departure tax to exit the country (cash only; no cards accepted). It’s good to keep this money separate from spending money, possibly with your passport.
Getting Through the Airport on Arrival:
Upon leaving immigration, you will possibly need several carts for your luggage. Carts are past the first baggage carousel on the left side as you proceed out of immigration. Carts must stay inside the handrail area that extends outside.
When you leave baggage claim, you will go through customs and then out into a huge lobby. There are glass doors that lead you out to a gated area. You may stand inside and watch for a sign indicating “Aleluya” or you may wait outside inside the gated area. Do not leave the gated area without first identifying the sign and introducing yourself to that person. There are many people hanging about that would love to ‘help’ you with your things.
Do not change money at the banks inside the airport. There will be other opportunities at a later time.