Packing list for Guatemala

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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Guatemala and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. In addition, the climate in Guatemala varies greatly from cold to hot. The training center, in Santa Lucia Milpas Altas (near Antigua), is at high altitude. Therefore it can be very cold at night and in the training rooms during the morning hours. It can be quite cold for the training group that arrives in January, and quite rainy for the other two groups that arrive later in the calendar year.

It is important to keep this in mind while packing and be sure to pack accordingly (think layers!). There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Guatemala.

Contents

Clothes

General Clothing

Other Clothing Items

NOTE: The general characteristics for clothes are sturdy, easily washable, iron-free (if possible), and conservative.

Bring what you are comfortable in. Things you would wear on a weekend in the states. You do not need to change your whole style because you are a Volunteer. Good quality, used clothes are available in many Guatemalan markets or stores (called ropa Americana). Additionally, many Volunteers have noted their work requires business casual for special meetings or events. As one Volunteer noted: “Although many items on this list may seem like it, you are not preparing for a two-year camping trip, nor do you need to.”

Other Items

Shoes

NOTE: The overall selection and quality of shoes in Guatemala is more limited than the Untied States. It is difficult to find women’s shoes larger than size 9 and men’s shoes larger than size 10. If you have larger feet, you may want to consider a plan for getting extra shoes once the ones you bring wear out (e.g., bringing a two-year supply, having people bring you shoes when they come to visit, or arranging for people to send them to you).

Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items

NOTE: Peace Corps nurses will supply you with over-the-counter medicines such as: vitamins, painkillers, cold medicines, tampons, etc.

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