Volunteering in El Salvador: COAR Mission Trips
Planning Your Mission Trip
PLANNING YOUR MISSION TRIP
Begin at least 3 months in advance…
Inquire at the COAR office about dates, availability, cost, etc.
Apply for passports
Obtain VIRTUS or similar Child Protection Traning for all 18+ visitors
Identify the group leader
Identify at least one FLUENT Spanish-speaker who will accompany the group
Get legal releases from all travelers (both COAR’s and your own group’s)
Schedule preparation meetings
Consult your travel doctor
What we will help you with:
Lodging at COAR
Food at COAR
Activities with the COAR children
Sample itineraries (Romero’s tomb, museums – whatever is reasonable to fit into each day. Call our office and we’ll send you ideas.)
Local transportation (Airport pick-ups, other sights, etc.)
Air travel from Wednesday to Wednesday is usually cheaper.
Plan to arrive in El Salvador before 6:00 PM.
When planning your itinerary, plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. Don’t leave them to spontaneous decisions as you might in the U.S.
Preparing the group
Experiencing solidarity requires preparation. Groups are encouraged to meet at least three times as a group before travelling in order to get to know each other, set expectations, reflect on preparation materials.
Preparing the community
Involving friends, family, and church members in your trip before you go will enhance the experience as well as provide support when you return. Fundraisers for a specific project that you can attest to when you return will also bring your community into your experience.
Reading and movies
There are many books, movies, and documentaries about El Salvador. We encourage members of your group to view or read these and come together for reflection before the trip.
We encourage your group to leave electronic entertainment devices behind. The childrens’ school and house routine must be respected – that means early to bed and early to rise – 5 am! The food available at COAR is healthy and wholesome but simple. Travel by bus on poor roads will be hot, dusty, and bumpy. Most sites, including COAR, require lots of walking.
Mass, prayer, worship
COAR is a Catholic school. You are welcome to attend Mass or organize your own prayer service or vacation Bible school with the children. Contact our office to ensure time in the schedule.