Academic Services at La Union

ESSENTIALS

  • Valid passport: Expiration dates within 30 days of arrival are NOT valid.
  • Photocopies of passport
  • Visa if you plan to stay in Guatemala for more than 90 days
  • Photocopies of health insurance information
  • Two extra 2x2” passport photos in case of emergency with lost/stolen passport
  • Small daypack/backpack
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Towel/washcloth (for showers and the beach)
  • Small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Toiletries - soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste/brush, floss, razor, deodorant, comb/brush, feminine products, etc. (also readily available for purchase here if necessary, although the quality of deodorant may not be to your standard)
  • If you wear contacts, bring sufficient contact solution and extra pairs of contacts/glasses just in case
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Insect repellent and anti-itch cream for bites
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer

ELECTRONICS

  • Guatemala uses 110-120 volt electricity, same as the US/Canada. Plugs are typically 2 pronged flat types so US traveler will not need a converter or adaptor. However, outlets rarely have 3 holes so if your appliance has a third prong, you will need an adapter. If your appliance is built for 220-240 volt electricity, you will also need a converter or voltage transformer.
  • Necessary chargers for your electronic devices
  • Mp3 player/IPod and headphones (optional)
  • Camera with extra memory card, battery and charger (optional)
  • Cell phone (optional since in Guatemala it is easy to buy one for about $20 with minutes to call worldwide) *note that if you wish to bring a Smartphone make sure that your data plan is disabled as international data roaming can cost upwards of $5 a megabyte! If your Smartphone is unlocked you can purchase a local SIM card for around $5. If you choose, however, to use your Smartphone service provider with an international calling plan, be sure to check international calling rates/fees and let them know you will be abroad.
  • A laptop computer, netbook or tablet device (optional). We provide FREE UNLIMITED WIFI INTERNET INSIDE LA UNION and at all of our guest houses.

OPTIONALS

  • Sunglasses
  • Curling iron, straightener, or hair dryer (to be used by 110-120 volt electricity)
  • Ziploc or plastic bags for toiletries and wet clothes
  • Mesh/nylon laundry bag to transport laundry to and from the laundrymat
  • Prescriptions and over the counter medication if needed (in carry-on bag, in original bottles. Includes inhalers, EpiPens, allergy, vitamins, motion sickness, cold/flu, Pepto-Bismol, pain medication, etc. Sometimes it´s also helpful to carry a copy of the prescription from a doctor.
  • Antibiotics are available at most pharmacies without a prescription (Z-packs, Cipro) if needed and are decently priced, although you may want to consider bringing some prescribed from your home doctor in advance.
  • Personal first aid kit (bandaides, thermometer, Neosporin, etc. These items are also readily available for purchase if necessary)
  • Money Belt: neck strap or waist (for money, passport)
  • Watch and/or travel alarm clock
  • Spanish/English dictionary
  • Journal and reading materials (La Union provides small notebooks for Spanish classes)
  • Umbrella during rainy season, approx. May - October (also available to purchase here)
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MONEY

  • We recommend traveling with cash (US dollars), as it is the best way to avoid international withdrawal and processing fees with an ATM and checks, as well as fraud. DO NOT bring cash in checked luggage. Always keep it on you, for example with a money belt, when traveling or in a carry-on bag always in sight.
  • Banks are easily accessible for exchange
  • Debit/ATM card (helpful to have for emergencies, or if you are more comfortable withdrawing money than bringing cash)
  • Visa or MasterCard credit card (also helpful for large purchases or emergencies)
  • La Unión gladly accepts travelers checks. However, few banks in Guatemala accept them and many people have said they are more trouble than they are worth. La Unión does not accept payment by credit or debit cards.

*Note: Inform your bank and credit card company with exact dates and countries of travel prior to departure. Also, be sure to check the international processing fees and costs for transactions abroad. For example, some companies charge 1% of all purchases, in addition to international processing/withdrawal/exchange fees.

CLOTHING

  • Bring cotton, light synthetic, or other quick drying clothing.
  • 5 Short-sleeved shirts/tank tops (avoid spaghetti strap and revealing styles)
  • 2 Pairs of comfortable shorts
  • 1 Pair of lightweight pants
  • 1 Pair of socks for every 2 days (i.e. 5 pairs for a 10 day trip)
  • 1 Pair of underwear for every 1-2 days (i.e. between 5-10 pairs for a 10 day trip)
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Swimsuit
  • Comfortable walking shoes (everyday tennis shoes/running shoes)
  • Cobblestone streets, dirt roads are no fun with strappy sandals - take a pair that's tried and true
  • Sandals or flip-flops for the beach and showers
  • Poncho or lightweight raincoat with hood
  • Fleece or jacket for nights
  • Hat with visor for rain and sun protection

LEAVE AT HOME

  • Valuable or expensive-looking jewelry.
  • Irreplaceable family objects or documents.
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IMPORTANT NOTES

  • From November to January Antigua is very cold in the early mornings but often becomes sunny and hot during the day.
  • From January to April Antigua is sunny and very hot during the day, but generally cools down comfortably at night.
  • May to October is the rainy season, however, it usually rains only two hours maximum per day and is usually in the evenings and nights. During the day it is often warm (mid 60´s F/ low 20´s C) though not all days.
  • No vaccinations are required to travel to Guatemala, although it is always a good idea to contact your doctor before traveling abroad and consult the Center for Disease Control website for the most up-to-date information: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/
  • It’s important to also check with your health insurance provider for information regarding international coverage and reimbursement. The normal procedure is that you pay any expenses out of pocket, and then submit the bills to your insurance company when you return home. Before arriving, however, be sure you know the policies and procedures of your carrier. If your company does not cover your time abroad, you may need to purchase a short-term coverage for overseas travel: HTH Worldwide Insurance Services 1-888-243-2358 www.gohealthplan.com Gateway Insurance 1-800-282-4495 www.gatewayplans.com
  • Be sure to check airline regulations for number of bags, weight limitations, fees, etc. prior to departure
  • If traveling from the United States, it’s also important to register with the US Department of State prior to departure. This can be done at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/
  • If you are traveling from Canada is important to visit and register in the website Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada https://www.voyage2.gc.ca
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