NICARAGUA 2017 TRIP GUIDE
99 BALLOONS changing the story of disability
ABOUT THIS GUIDE
We are excited to have you join us on this global trip to Nicaragua. We are hoping to develop a long standing partnership with our contacts in Nicaragua and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for the future of people with disability in the area. This guidebook will provide you with lots of helpful information to prepare for our journey. Please look over each section and let us know if you have any questions.
1) Pray for favor over all trip logistics. (flights, luggage, travel, health, funding, etc.) 2) Ask God to soften your heart to break with His. Disability in Nicaragua is hard. The easiest way to cope is to harden oneâ€™s heart. Our prayer is that instead we will look, see, and feel itâ€”ultimately changing who we are, and the way we see the world. 3) Pray God would prepare our way. As you can imagine communication and planning across continents is slow and tedious. We will do our best to plan though ultimately we ask and trust God to prepare good work for us to do. James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who give to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 4) Pray against conflict, egos, pride, and misunderstandings between all involved in this project. John 17:23 ...that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
REGISTER/DEPOSIT Register for the trip by November 30, 2016. This confirms your spot on the Nicaragua Team. Once your registration is complete, you will be able to access your trip requirements and personal fundraiser page. Make sure to launch your fundraiser-- this is where you can make a payment towards your trip costs, or friends and family can donate towards your trip. Be sure and complete the trip requirements as soon as possible.
FUNDRAISING Each participant is responsible for 100% of their fundraising needs. Below are some fundraising ideas to get you started: Fundraising Page:: Set up your fundraising page on Pure Charity and share your personal story on why you chose to be a part of this team to Nicaragua. Use the social media and widget tools on your fundraising page to share it on various platforms. All donations to your fundraising page are tax-deductible. We work with Pure Charity to administrate funds and produce tax receipts. Click here for Fundraising Page FAQ’s. Speaking:: We’ve seen folks receive the most support when they share about their trip at their church or in front of a group of people (community group, rotary club, etc). Share about the work you will be doing, about your heart for kids with disabilities, the goals of the trip, etc. Have a laptop or iPad available so folks can make online donations right there, and collect check donations as well. Check donations can still be entered through your online fundraising page; just have the donor select “Paying via check” during checkout.
Mail Letters:: Not everyone is tech-savvy. Mail letters to friends and family and make it easy for them by including the check donation form and an addressed envelope with the letter (checks should be mailed to: 99 Balloons' Fund at Pure Charity, PO Box 1234, Searcy, AR 72145). All checks must be made payable to “99 Balloons’ Fund at Pure Charity” with your specific Fundraising ID written on the check memo. In the letter, share about why you are joining this trip, and the work you will be doing to bless kids with special needs. Let us know if you’d like us to send you any pictures to include on the letter! Give Away Your Birthday:: Have a birthday, anniversary, or special event coming up? In lieu of gifts, ask folks to support your Global Trip by making a donation to your trip fundraising page (see #1). One idea would be to use your age as a suggested gift amount. Turning 38? Ask folks to give $38! Businesses:: Ask local businesses to support your trip. Set up a time to meet with the owner or manager and explain the goals of the trip and the work you will be doing with kids experiencing disability. Be sure and leave a letter or flyer with more information and your contact information. We can send you a Word document with 99 Balloons letterhead if you’d like. Remind businesses that their donations are tax-deductible. Let us know if we can help with any of these fundraising ideas, of if you’ve come up with another idea that we can help with!
99 NETWORK We desire to have a way for Global Trip participants to continue encouraging and supporting our global partners long after we leave. The 99 Network allows you the opportunity to stay involved by helping fund global projects benefitting persons with disability. Membership is $9.99/month and 100% of proceeds goes to global projects. All trip participants must become a member of the 99 Network. View a list of completed projects and set up your 99 Network membership by December 31st at: www.purecharity.com/99network
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
VACCINATIONS The following are recommended vaccinations according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Be sure your routine vaccines are also up-to-date - such as Measles/ Mumps/Rubella (MMR), Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT), Polio. Once you schedule an appointment with your health-care provider or travel clinic, they will help determine what you will need depending on factors such as your health and immunization history. Each team member is responsible for their own vaccines. Please see a health-care provider at least 4 weeks prior to the trip. Recommended Vaccines:: • Hepatitis A - CDC recommends this vaccines because you can get Hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Haiti, regardless of where you are eating or staying. • Typhoid - You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Haiti. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater. This can be administered in one of two ways:: 1. One option is to have a shot that is a dead virus. This lasts 34 months. 2. Another option is to take oral pills which are a live virus. This lasts 5 years. Malaria:: There are prescription pills that you start taking before the trip and continue throughout the trip for the prevention of Malaria, and sometimes need to continue taking for a certain amount of time after you return. Please follow your doctor’s advice and adhere to this.
Be aware that certain medications, like Doxy, may decrease the effectiveness of other medications you may be on. Mefloquine is easy (weekly), Doxycycline is cheapest, Malarone is best (but most expensive). Schedule an appointment with your health-care provider or travel clinic to discuss these vaccine and malaria options further. It is always good to at least have a consultation as soon as possible, so that you can determine the total costs for vaccines and have time to decide which vaccines you need/want, etc. Many insurance companies do not cover travel vaccinations, so be sure and check with your insurance provider prior to getting vaccines to determine whether or not they are covered.
TRAVEL PROBIOTICS While not required, travel probiotics can provide your body a layer of protection against new bacterias your body is not used to. They can be purchased as most health food stores. Begin taking them a couple weeks before travel to increase the strength of your digestive system.
TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE Your trip cost includes Travel Medical Insurance and Emergency Evacuation coverage. We will set that up for you and send you a confirmation of purchase as well as details on insurance coverage.
ZIKA VIRUS IN NICARAGUA Local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection has been reported in Nicaragua. Zika virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and infection is linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. If you or your spouse are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant, the CDC advises that you not travel to Haiti. You can read more about the Zika virus at www.cdc.gov
This list will give you a good idea of the things you ought to have with you. There may be some additional items you’d like to bring along, but just keep in mind to leave as many valuables at home and that space will be limited. Of course, if you have any questions about the items here or want thoughts as to where you can pick these things up, please let us know. Checked Baggage:: Maximum Weight - 50lbs per bag Maximum Size - 62 linear inches per bag Carry-on Baggage:: Maximum Size - 45 linear inches If you are carrying on any liquid, gel or aerosol items, here are a few things you should remember: • Use trial-size toiletries (3.4 ounces or less). • Toiletries must fit comfortably in one, quart-size (7.5-in x 8-in), clear plastic zip-top bag. • The zip-top bag will need to be presented separately at airport security, so make sure it is easily accessible when you approach the screening area. A note from our partners regarding what to wear: Sleeveless shirts are acceptable, as are shorts outside of church. Pack one “nicer” outfit for Church (for women - skirt to knees, no sleeveless). Weather:: Expect highs in the the low 80s and lows in the 60s
THINGS TO CARRY ON Passport A few snacks Cash for Souvenirs (small bills) Medications (travel probiotics) Camera Pillow Magazines/Books Journal and Pen Bible Money Belt Clean Change of Clothes Sunglasses Bring all your regular medications with you (and a travel letter for these medications from your doctor), Paracetamol, Loperamide (Imodium) for diarrhea, Antibiotics for travelers diarrhea (ask your doctor), rehydration salts (such as hydralyte) for diarrhea, antimalarials (start before you leave - talk to your doctor for details). Know your blood type.
THINGS TO CHECK Sunscreen and Aloe Durable Water Bottle Light Rain Jackets Battery Operated Fan Sturdy Shoes Antibacterial Wipes or Hand Sanitizer Insect Repellant (30-50% DEET) Full Set of Toiletries Flushable Wipes Head Lamp or Flashlight Ear Plug and/or Eye Mask for Sleeping Hat Bath Towel
MONEY You will have an opportunity to purchase souvenirs. US dollars are accepted in Nicaragua for souvenir shopping. Be sure and bring some small bills in case vendors don’t have proper change.
SLEEPING Sleeping will be in twin beds. There is limited access to electricity and no access to internet. Please bring your own towel and be prepared to leave it behind. Our partners in Nicaragua will clean and reuse them.
DOCUMENTS Make a copy of your Passport, Emergency Contact Information, Medical Insurance Card, and any credit cards you are taking, and leave the copies with someone at home. If its not necessary, don’t take it (i.e. Sam’s Club Credit Card, Fitness Club ID, driver’s license, etc). Make additional copies of the above documents and put them in your carry-on or personal bag, including a colored copy of your Passport. DO NOT put these in your checked luggage. Please ensure that your Passport has at least 6-month validity from the date of departure. For example, if your team is traveling in January 2017 then your passport must be valid through June 2017.
MOBILE PHONES We will supply your team leaders with a mobile phone to use during the trip in the case of an emergency. However, you may want to arrange for global roaming services for your personal mobile phone that will allow you to send and receive text messages; please check with your service provider for global plan options. We also recommend downloading "WhatsApp" as this a good way to send text messages back to the states. We strongly encourage you to keep your phones away while you’re in Nicaragua. Use your time there to engage with the kids, their parents, and Pastor Carlos.
IMMIGRATION You will be entering under tourist status. Answer questions you may be asked but don’t volunteer extra information and don’t give specific names or contact information. You will be given a form on the airplane to fill out and present with your passport on arrival. You will be asked to give your address in Nicaragua – make sure you have this info on hand. Lodging Address: Carlos Emilio Baez Gomez Comunidad las Mercedes Carretera a Jicaro Frente la casa de la familia Matute Municipio Jalapa, Nueva Segovia. Nicaragua LUGGAGE If your luggage/bag does not arrive, then you must report it at the customs office before leaving the Airport. As you won’t have anything to declare you can grab your luggage and exit the airport. Please stay with your team as you exit.
TIME DIFFERENCE Nicaragua is in Central Standard Time (CST)
WHILE YOU'RE THERE
SECURITY Watch your valuables at all times. Carry your passport and money in a secure place where you can see it. Some people use a money belt that goes around the waist and others wear a wallet on a string around the neck. It’s a good idea not to keep all valuables in the same place. Keep emergency phone numbers and details from your team leader on you in case there are any issues. Carry them on paper as well as stored on your phone. You may have opportunities to venture away from the compound, or walk through the village. Whenever you are away from the compound, we request the following be adopted: • Always follow the advice of leaders, and if you’re unsure, ask them. • When/If walking through the village, go with another person and let one of the leaders know where you have gone. • No one is to go out alone after dark. SHOPPING There is a market we may visit during our stay in Nicaragua. This will be based on the desires of the team. Should the team decide to visit the market, there are many beautiful souvenirs to buy while we are there. COMMUNICATION There will be no Internet access at the farm in Jalapa. Your team leader will have a phone to use in the case of an emergency.
Always wash your hands before eating and drinking. Make sure glasses, tableware and utensils are clean, and if not then do not use them. Maintaining a high level of hygiene is essential.
BEVERAGES Drink • Water, sodas, or sports drinks that are bottled and sealed • Water that has been disinfected (boiled, filtered, treated) • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water • Hot coffee or tea • Pasteurized milk Don’t Drink (or brush teeth) • Tap or well water • Fountain drinks • Ice made with tap or well water • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice) • Unpasteurized milk **Note:: You will have access to filtered water every day to fill refillable water bottles. Further, we will purchase bottled water throughout the week for our team.
FOOD Eat • Food (including all vegetables) that is fully cooked and served hot. • Fruits you have peeled yourself. • Hot food from roadside vendors (if you are a little daring), but no 100% guarantee • Pasteurized dairy products. Don’t Eat • Food that is cold (i.e. been sitting there for some time) • Salads • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat • Shellfish, especially uncooked and if it’s very hot weather • Condiments (such as salsa) made with fresh ingredients • Buffets (except at nice hotels), as food that’s been sitting around attracts flies • Unpasteurized dairy products • Ice cream
NICARAGUAN FOOD Pastor Carlos will provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the farm in Jalapa. They have taken into consideration our normal diet, so the meals provided should be tolerated by our digestive systems. However, it is not unusual to get sidetracked on our outings. It is advised to bring snacks with you. IE granola bars, trail mix, etc STOMACH UPSETS Most stomach upsets will disappear within 3 days. However, let your team leader know if you have been feeling sick for more than 24 hours. If you have an upset stomach, then ensure that you: • Rehydrate by drinking lots of clear fluids, preferably water • Take rehydration salts; these replace crucial trace elements your body loses via diarrhea & vomiting. (i.e. Gastrolyte, Gatorade) • There are anti-diarrhea agents such as Imodium & Lomotil, but be sure to read the instructions and don’t exceed the recommended doses. • When it comes to eating again start off with something basic such as rice or toast. Avoid highly spiced foods which might make you feel worse. • If you see a doctor while in Nicaragua, remember to get receipts for a doctor’s time and medications prescribed. Your insurance company will need these to reimburse you. • You might want to bring some crackers or granola bars along with you, just in case you get sick.
QUICK FACTS • Population - 6.08 million • Capital - Managua • Village We Are Working In: Somoto/Jalapa • Official Languages - Spanish
RELIGIOUS VIEWS REGARDING DISABILITY Surveys have found the vast majority of Nicaraguans are Christian with 73% adhering to Roman Catholic practices. One challenge that people with disability in Nicaragua face is disability can be equated with sin, making it more difficult to receive assistance from people in one's community.
GOVERNMENT PERCEPTIONS REGARDING DISABILITY Nicaragua is recognized as the poorest country in Central America according to an article written by Susan B Matt in Disability Studies Quarterly. This means that children with disabilities in Nicaragua have very few resources. Between 10-15% of the Nicaraguan population are experiencing disability. There are few laws protecting those with disability and many them are not reinforced.
CULTURAL BELIEFS REGARDING DISABILITY There appears to be a mixed cultural response to people with disability in Nicaragua, according to Susan B Matt in her study published in Disability Studies Quarterly. While some people are accepting of those with disability, many people still have a negative view of this portion of the population. People with disability are often ostracized. It is not uncommon for parents to believe that it is their fault their children have disabilities. However, many parents remain hopeful their children will gain independence in the future. Also, some medical treatment, such as physical therapy, is becoming available.