The trip fee is $1,090 per person for 2018 trips and $1,290 per person for 2019 trips. The fee covers all in-country transportation, meals, accommodations, travel insurance, and including excursions where possible.
Other costs include:
We estimate that most total trips will cost between $2,500 and $3,500 plus personal spending money for shopping and tips.
We attempt to get as close to the orphans as possible with the vehicles, but there is walking involved. This is rarely more than a quarter mile on unpaved, sometimes rocky or inclined terrain. One can always choose to opt out of visiting an area that is difficult to access.
ZOE is careful to only travel in areas we feel are safe. The ZOE staff members take our safety extremely seriously. They know their own culture well and do everything possible to ensure we do not get into difficult situations. The ZOE staff leaders will give team members tips to help us interact well with those we meet. It is important that we listen to the ZOE staff leaders at all times. For U.S. State Department Travel Information and Advisories please see: http://travel.state.gov/travel/.
ZOE cannot legally give advice on what medications you need since we are not health care professionals. We advise you to contact your doctor or travel clinic for this information. Your doctor will often consult the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) to find this information. The American Zoe Empowers staff finds it helpful to take a general antibiotic such as Cipro or similar, an anti-diarrhea agent such as Imodium A/D, and anti-malarial medication such as Malarone or Doxycycline, and a sleep aid such as Tylenol PM, or Ambien, in addition to our doctor recommended immunizations.
Yes, Zoe Empowers trips typically include some tourism, such as a safari, visits to local museums or historical sites, and/or dining at area restaurants. Tourism varies per country so please check with Elena at elena@WeAreZOE.org for details regarding a specific trip.
The accommodations vary based on the country. Please contact Elena at elena@WeAreZOE.org for specific accommodation info for your trip.
In general, the hotels chosen by our Zoe Empowers staff are comfortable. They usually provide internet access and we typically plan for breakfasts and dinners at the hotel restaurants. In Africa, the hotels will likely provide mosquito netting. Laundry services are also usually available at the hotel.
Our goal is for everyone to have their own room and this is usually the case. However in country plans can change and it is possible that you will have a roommate if the hotel is overbooked. Earplugs are a marvelous idea.
The Zoe Empowers recommended travel agent works hard to ensure everyone’s itineraries match as closely as possible. Usually the Zoe Empowers group meets in the U.S. before the first international leg of the flight. Occasionally we may meet some people at the destination airport, but when this happens we walk you through exactly what to expect. Our destination airports are small and fairly easy to navigate with many helpful people around, and ZOE’s program staff members are always there to meet us once we are through baggage claim. Even if you are not a seasoned traveler you should be able to follow the crowd to the right location.
Yes, we stop at several places throughout the trip for you to purchase items if you choose. You will even learn how to barter. In Rwanda, some of our orphans also make baskets, wood carvings and wonderful cards which you can purchase. In both Rwanda and Kenya we have orphans who are accomplished tailors and can make custom clothing for you. Be sure and ask them to put in some extra room or else your clothing will fit…. exactly!
Most Zoe Empowers countries use a 240 volt current for electrical outlets (the U.S. has 110 volt outlets); many cameras, shavers, hair dryers, camcorders, laptop computers etc. are able to use either power source and some have a switch that needs to be flipped to enable the use of a different power source. We recommend that you examine your appliances to determine if they can be used with 240 volts. You will still require a plug adapter which will allow you to plug into a wall socket. These can be purchased at many places including Radio Shack, Best Buy, WalMart etc. If your appliance can not handle the alternative power source, you can try a power converter although these are more expensive and less dependable.
Guatemala uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, the same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so US travelers will not usually need a converter or adapter unless your device has a third prong.
Yes, Zoe Empowers staff will make sure you have access to bottled water whenever you need it. It is important that you drink enough liquids during the trip.
Please where comfortable clothing and shoes. Any modest clothing is appropriate to wear (shorts and low/high cut clothing is rarely seen). The Zoe Empowers program staff and orphans will dress up for our meetings, but our American teams typically wear casual clothing. Bringing an extra pair of shoes is recommended in case one pair gets muddy or wet. Some people want to pack light and wash clothing in country. This is possible but if the weather is wet, then drying clothing can take days, even if using the hotel laundry. Most people bring a change of clothing for each day. Men tend to wear dress shirts and ties for Sunday worship and women tend to wear nicer outfits as well.
Our Zoe Empowers staff members are working with children on the edge of poverty and emergencies come up regularly in their lives. Our itinerary will likely modify several times during our stay, although the sample schedule below is typical:
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