Guatemala Application Information

Welcome to the Hands & Feet Ministries (HFM) Guatemala 2020 Webpage! On this page you will find all of the details that you need for our upcoming trip to Hope of Life (HOL) in Zacapa, Guatemala.

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Trip Dates ↓

May 16th thru May 23rd, 2020

Trip Cost ↓

The cost is $1750 per person if you are traveling from one of our hub cities (Pittsburgh, PA or Grand Rapids, MI). The trip cost includes all airfare (if booked by HFM), ground transportation, food, lodging, travel insurance, devotional material, a t-shirt and ministry supplies.

If you are departing from a non-hub city, or if you choose to make your own travel arrangements, the cost of the trip is $900 plus airfare. We encourage and welcome team members wishing to travel from other cities, but the total price of the trip could change (up or down) subject to airfare prices in their respective markets. HFM is willing to negotiate airfares for team members traveling from non-hub cities, but you must indicate that you want that to be done on your behalf when you are filling out your application.

Discounts may be available for families with three or more members. (inquires – jay@handsfeet.org)

A $150 per person non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a seat for the trip. Checks should be made out to Hands & Feet Ministries and sent to 300 Colonial Drive, Waynesburg, PA 15370. After filling out the online application, please mail your check. Your slot will not be reserved until your deposit is received.

As mentioned. we have secured group rates for the Pittsburgh, and Grand Rapids markets with a limited number of seats in each market. Your $150 deposit must be received by January 31st, 2020 to secure one of these group seats. In previous years we have extended deadlines in certain situations. Unfortunately, we will not be able to do so this year.

After February 1st people can still sign up to go on the trip; however, they may be responsible for arranging and purchasing their own airfare if seats are not available.

Please check with Jay (jay@handsfeet.org / 724-263-8552) to see if any extra seats are open. If you choose not to travel with the group, you can choose any airline you wish to use but will need to arrive in Guatemala City by 1pm on Saturday, May 16th and depart no earlier than noon on Saturday, May 23rd to align with ground transportation. Team members arranging their own air travel will need to have the $900 trip cost paid to HFM by April 1st, 2020.

Applications will not be accepted after April 1st, 2020.

Funding Deadlines ↓

50% of the total amount is due by February 5th, 2020 and the balance of funds on or before April 1st, 2020. Team members flying out of “other than hub cities” and utilizing HFM to arrange fares must have enough funds in their account to cover the cost of the tickets prior to the purchase.

Application Process ↓

Regardless of previous trip involvement, EVERYONE MUST FILL OUT AN ONLINE APPLICATION! Those traveling with the group must be done before January 31st, 2020 and all others before March 30th, 2020.  After reading all of the information in this webpage, click on the link at the bottom to go to the application page.

A valid passport that expires after November 23, 2020 is required for travel to Guatemala. If you do not have a valid passport and are a US citizen, click here to begin the application process. Processing time may vary depending upon when you apply so this should be done immediately.

Your passport number is required to fill out the application. If you currently do not have a valid passport, you may fill out your application now using a fictitious passport number (111111), but the valid passport number must be emailed to jay@handsfeet.org as soon as you receive your it.  Your deposit must also be paid immediately to hold your seat.

Release Form ↓

At the end of the online application there is a link to the Hope of Life/Hands & Feet Ministries release form.  After you type in the two-digit verification number you will be taken to a page that contains two different types of release forms.

ALL APPLICANTS MUST FILL OUT A RELEASE FORM!

The first link is to a document that allows adult applicants to sign the release form electronically.  Applicants should read the form and then follow instructions on how to add your e-signature.  When “signing” the document, everyone should select the “Type it in” option on the left side of the screen and then type their full name (first, middle, last) in the signature line on the form.  This is a very quick and easy way to sign your release form.

Unfortunately, the online form is not available for minors.  Each team member that is under the age of 18 years of age at the time of travel will need to click here to download, print, fill out and notarized their release form which will include signatures from parents/guardians.   Notaries are required to witness the signing of forms by parents/guardians, so do not sign them until you are with the notary.

Communication ↓

After filling out your application, your name will be added to bulk email distribution list.  The software is called MailChimp and emails will appear to come from jay@handsfeet.org.  If you do not begin to get emails, check your spam/junk folder to make sure they are not going there.  You can also add the email address as a “safe sender” with most email hosts.  These emails will contain important updates about the trip.  Please make it a priority to read all emails.  We promise not to send out information unnecessarily.

Fundraising ↓

Fundraising opportunities and ideas are available.

For all fundraising questions, please e-mail
Waynesburg Area: Betty Sondericker (bettysondericker@yahoo.com)
Michigan: Sean Loftus (seanloftus11@gmail.com)

Additionally, for those that choose to send out support/prayer letters, or if you have donors that wish to support your trip, please click here for a support supplement letter.  A copy of this letter must be sent with any support letter or shared with potential donors so that they know where and how to send funds.  Simply download the form, add your name to the blank line on the form that says, “Name of the individual or family you want to support here” and send it with each support letter.  Funds received at HFM will be deposited into each team member’s support account and a recap will be available periodically.  At the end of the trip, a list of personal supporters will be available upon request.

If you need some help writing your support letter, click here for a document that will provide some suggestion on how to do so.

Furthermore, if anyone would prefer to make a donation via our online giving page they are welcome to do so.  Please be aware that any donations that are received via the online method are subject to a 3% PayPal fee.  This fee will be deducted from the donation before being added to a team member’s account.  (click here to be directed to online giving)

In addition to the trip cost, we will also be raising an additional $100,000 to fund a new mission outpost in the little-reach Mayan communities. Hope of Life has purchased land in the jungle area several hours from the main campus and we will be raising funds to help construct buildings and facilities that will allow teams to do ministry in this area. It is estimated that there are less than 4% evangelical Christians in these communities. We are asking all team members to become involved with efforts to raise funds to help fund this project. There will be group fundraising projects in the Waynesburg, PA along with other locations in Michigan. Additionally, we would request that everyone prayerfully consider raising funds over and above the required trip cost to assist with this cost. Any funds sent to HFM for this project should be designated as “Guatemala Ministry Fund.”

Team Guidelines ↓

We are aware of the fact that our team is usually compromised of people from many different beliefs and denominational affiliations, as well as a wide variety of personal standards.  We have learned over the years to work together in spite of differences and to focus on common goals and purposes.  In an effort to maintain as much unity as possible and not be offensive to the culture in which we are ministering, guidelines have been established to help define more clear parameters.   It is expected that each team member read and comply with these guidelines.

Click here to read the “Mission Team Information Packet” that covers our guidelines and many other important details that will help you navigate the process of arriving to, and functioning at the Hope of Life campus in Guatemala.  It covers a variety of topics including information about the ministry and Guatemala, details around travel and transportation, required documents, customs, immunizations, emergency contact data, suggested packing list and other very important details that will be helpful as you plan for your trip.  Please take time to read through it and follow instructions provided.

In addition to the information packet, click here to view an “Introduction Packet” that provides a brief overview of HFM and HOL, as well as some details about the country of Guatemala.

In addition to your personal items, we are asking each HFM team member to bring a jar of peanut butter (crunchy or creamy – your choice) and a set of sheet for a single bed (white preferred).  Both of these items are difficult to find in Guatemala and there is a high need for them.  If you would like to donate other personal items when you leave such as shoes, clothes, towels, etc, they will be much appreciated.

Work/Ministry ↓

As we have in the past, we are planning a variety of exciting and significant work/ministry opportunities.  Though not limited to this list, these efforts consist of the following types of activities:

  • Construction of homes, medical facilities, dorms and ministry buildings
  • Mobile Medical Clinics
  • Orphanage ministry/outreach
  • School Programs
  • Hunger relief/food distribution
  • Ministry programs & evangelistic outreaches (music, drama, children’s teaching)
  • Care-giving at elderly home and Rescue Center
  • Sports outreach
  • Light maintenance and repair work.

Specialized skills are not required to participate, but any kind of construction skills are always helpful. Appropriate training and certification is required for participating in certain aspects of the medical outreach opportunities.

We are looking forward to an exciting and productive trip this year!

Team Leaders Contact Info ↓

As always, feel free to contact any of the team leaders should you have any questions:
Jay Buckhalter– jay@handsfeet.org
Tom Schlosser– thomaslschlosser@gmail.com
Sean Loftus– seanloftus11@gmail.com
Katie Axford – katieaxford@gmail.com

Apply ↓

Before clicking on the link below to fill out an online application, make sure to have your passport in hand as you will need it to fill out your application.

Click here to fill out the online application.