We love questions and are always happy to provide the answers. Here are the questions most people have before signing up:
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Absolutely not. You are immersed and learn while you are in- country. Dependent upon the program Spanish lessons are as well included. Knowing Spanish up front is not a prerequisite for success by any means.
What are the pre qualifications for programs?
Do you have a partnership with my university?
What’s covered in country?
In short, everything except for flights. Our team will meet you at the airport in Guatemala and take care of everything else along the way. Just bring you open mind, open heart, sense of adventure and passion.
Can you tell me a bit about safety and security?
Social Entrepreneur Corps places the highest priority on health and security issues. To date, Social Entrepreneur Corps has been fortunate in that no participants have suffered from any notable health or security problems. Social Entrepreneur Corps continuously maintains leadership in the field with participants to oversee security and health issues continuously. These leaders live and work in the communities and as such have deep knowledge regarding their regions. All participants are equipped with a cell phone upon arrival in country, check in with the proper authorities and are provided with the training and information necessary to appropriately minimize health and security risks. Leadership is available on a 24 hour basis and has a full database of health facilities and police stations/contacts. In addition, Social Entrepreneur Corps maintains strong relationships with the Peace Corps.
How do you select the home stay families?
All home stay families are trained by Social Entrepreneur Corps. As such, these families understand the needs of the participants and specific expectations of Social Entrepreneur Corps. The home stay is an essential step in helping participants gain an understanding of how local people live and work. It is an invaluable way to improve on classroom Spanish. The vast majority of Social Entrepreneur Corps participants end up forming great friendships during this process.
Criteria for Social Entrepreneur Corps home stay certification:
- The house is maintained in a clean and orderly state.
- There is a private room for the participant with the minimum of a bed, a dresser, and a light, flooring, a window, and a lock on the door.
- There must be a bathroom with a door.
- The house has an outside door with a lock.
- The family creates a kind, safe, and welcoming, and supportive living environment.
- The family agrees to provide three meals a day, a constant supply of bottled or filtered safe-drinking water, and the participant should be offered to have their laundry done weekly.
- The host mother completes training on safe food handling and preparation, water sanitation, keeping clean and healthy homes; furthermore, they learn how to provide language, emotional, and cultural support for participants. This training consists of the following key elements:
- Emergency Plan and 24 Communication Chain – Who to call and what to do in an emergency
- Expectations and standards of hygiene and security of the house, and in particular, the room where the participant is living (i.e. each student’s room needs to have its own door with functioning lock and key).
- Specific best practices for keeping a healthy and safe participant (i.e. food preparation and curfew)
- Suggestions to help bridge the communication gap and language barrier
- A formal contract in which families agree to provide the participant with the services required. All families must undergo continuous training on an annual basis and receive positive participant/leadership evaluations as a requirement for renewing the contract.
- The family understands the importance of disinfecting fruits and vegetables and preparing food in a way that keeps in mind a participant’s stomach.
- The family understands the responsibilities and challenges that come with hosting a foreigner, and is willing, capable, and excited to do so.
Do I need to bring a phone?
No. We provide participants with a local phone. You can use this to call locally or call internationally and calls are fairly inexpensive. There are no charges for in-coming calls so we would encourage your parents, etc. to buy a few phone cards at the local convenience store. Internet is ubiquitous and cheap so you will be able to communicate through this means often.
Do I need travel health insurance?
We do require that you have travel health insurance. Please purchase this before leaving. There are many plans and they are very inexpensive. Here is one option that we use. There are many others.
have more questions?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org