46 posts

How do I get to Santiago Atitlan?

There are various options, listed in with the quickest, most comfortable and costly first. Private van — We can arrange a private van to pick you up at your hotel or at the airport. If you arrive on an evening flight, we recommend that you spend the night in Guatemala City, as the travel time to Santiago Atitlan is 3.5 hours. With a private van, the driver can take you shopping (cheese, wine, things you cannot find in SA) and make any stops you want along the way. Cost: Q800 or about $107. To schedule a private van pickup, please email volunteer coordinator Febe Sosof prior to your departure with all flight arrival information, so that your flight can be monitored. We cannot arrange airport pickups without your airline and flight information. If there are any flight delays, please email Febe with updates. The driver will be waiting for you as you exit the airport. If you cannot find one another, go to the information center and contact the driver (5346-5911) or the volunteer coordinator (4045-5776). Please carry these numbers with you on your flight. Tourist shuttles  — Shuttles run by Atitrans can pick you up at your hotel or airport. (A […]

How do I change money?

The airport has an exchange kiosk, although the exchange rate is not good. There is a yellow 5B ATM machine downstairs, on the left. Good hotels in Zone 10 have reliable ATM machines, as does the new Walmart in Guatemala City. There are two reliable ATM machines in Santiago Atitlan and three banks. Traveler’s checks can be changed in the local banks. Dollars and Euros are more difficult to change.

My flight arrives at night. Where should I stay in Guatemala City?

We recommend that you stay near the airport or nearby zones 9 or 10, where there are small, simple airport hotels that cost $15 – $30 per night. The luxury hotels in Zone 10 provide shuttle service to and from the airport and have drivers at the airport exit with signs. These links provide information about travel and hotels: General travel information for Guatemala City www.wikitravel.org/en/Guatemala_City Hotels near the airport (over $50) www.channels.nl/airports/airports_gua.html List of hotels/hostels near the airport, many of which include airport pickup and drop-off service: Dos Lunas Guest House (www.hoteldoslunas.com/) 21 Calle 10-92, Zona 13 – Aurora II info@hoteldoslunas.com or hoteldoslunas@gmail.com Tel: (502) 2261-4248 or (502) 2261-4337 Hostal Los Volcanes (www.hostellosvolcanes.com/) 16 street 8-00 Zone 13 Aurora 1 info@hostellosvolcanes.com Tel: (502) 2261-3040, (502) 5853-7016 or (502) 2261-3584 Hostal Aurora II 20 Calle “A” 9-58, Z.13, Aurora II hostalaurora2@hotmail.com Tel: (502)2261-4505 or (502)5201-1493 Hotel Bed & Breakfast “Mi Casa” (www.hotelmicasa.com/) 5 Avenida “A” 13-51 Zona 9. info@hotelmicasa.com Tel: (502) 2339-2247

What is the relationship of the Hospitalito, Asociación K’aslimaal and AMIGOS Hospitalito Atitlán?

Asociación K’aslimaal (Tz’utujiil for life or rebirth) is the Hospitalito’s founding organization and its members are the hospital’s board of directors. The organization has partnered with the community to ensure that the Hospitalito is a stable institution committed to the improved health of the people of Santiago Atitlán and its environs. AMIGOS Hospitalito Atitlán is a US nonprofit organization that has partnered with K’aslimaal to raise funds for the hospital in North America. It is the Hospitalito’s principal international fundraising arm.

Can I bring my family?

Many of our volunteers have brought their families. Guatemala is a great place for children, exposing them to a different culture and giving them the opportunity to learn Spanish. Long-term volunteers with children can take advantage of several bilingual English/Spanish primary and high schools in Panajachel, which is across the lake. A number of children of Hospitalito staff travel there daily.

How much money will I need?

Guatemala can be very inexpensive. However, there are good restaurants and tempting items to buy that can upset even the best-planned budget. Restaurant meals run between $3 and $5 for breakfast and lunch and more for dinner. The trip across the lake to Panajachel or San Pedro costs around $5 round-trip. If you watch your spending, prepare food at home, walk or take the Q3-5 transportation around town, you can get by on about $50 per week (excluding housing). However, you should budget more if you are bringing a family.

What else do I need?

Other things you should consider bringing: • Good walking shoes • Daypack • Hat • Good small flashlight • Sunscreen • Swimsuit • Towel • Insect repellant (if you plan to travel to the lowlands) • Motion sickness cuffs or medication • Sleeping bag/pillow (depending on where you are staying)

What’s appropriate dress for work?

Appropriate dress is essential for those who interact with patients. The dress code is business casual, but without a coat and tie. Doctors generally wear slacks and a shirt with a collar or a longer skirt and blouse and closed toed shoes. When seeing patients, physicians should wear white coats.

What should/shouldn’t I wear?

It is best to bring layers, so you can be comfortable during the day and warm at night. April to November is the rainy season with rain most afternoons. The high temperature reaches about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are few cold and rainy days. Bring fast drying pants. Jeans don’t dry during rainy season and are difficult to hand wash. A poncho and/or umbrella are essential. The rest of the year, the temperature gets up to around 75 degrees during the day, and it is cool at night. Note: The Tz’tujil people in the area are very conservative, so it is important to respect local standards. Please do not bring old military-style and camouflage clothing as this type of dress can mentally trigger the tragedies that the community experienced during the civil war.