Frequently Asked Questions
- What do your trips include?
MVP trips include In-country expenses (food, accommodations, & travel), Visa/Exit Taxes, Travel Insurance, Contingency Fund Money, and a Team T-shirt. MVP will coordinate air-travel for all 2013 Mission Tours as well. We will discount the cost of the tour for anyone who already has a Visa/Travel Insurance from a previous MVP Trip.
- Where do you sleep?
We sleep in 8-10 locations, sometimes the floor, sometimes in a hostel, sometimes under the stars. We recommend bringing a sleeping pad or air matress and a sleeping bag. Some locations need a mosquito net too, your team leader will let you know if you should bring a net. We joke that we give our overnight accommodations "stones" instead of "stars". You'll sleep in some one-stone locations, many two and three-stone locations, your final night will be in a 4 or 5 star hotel though! The hospitality we receive from our host in each community is always warm, in order to serve in rural locations team members must give up some of their usual comforts.
- What should I pack?
Clothes, don't forget those... 7-10 changes of clothes is generally plenty (with clean underware for each day). Sometimes there is an opportunity for laundry. Your team leader will communicate more details about the weather and conditions on the ground you might need any specific supplies for. We always recommend the following: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain jacket, footwear you can work in, toiletries & personal hygiene essentials, toilet paper, sunscreen, and insect repelent. Weight limits in luggage making packing difficult. It is tough to balance bringing enough for yourself along with all the supplies for the mission. Your team leader will provide some insights to you.
- What kind of shots do I need?
The only requirement is Yellow Fever, however there are additional recommendations from the CDC
- Do I need to get a Visa?
One will be purchased when you arrive in the country it is included in the cost of the trip. You need to bring a few things with you including a visa form, photo, etc. If you already have a Visa the cost of your trip will be discounted accordingly. Be sure to communicate the country who issued your passport to your team leader when you apply, we want to be sure that each team member is eligible for a visa. See recommendations from the State Department. Your team leader will share more information with you about this process.
- How much money should I bring?
$50-100 is plenty to spend along the way and purchase plenty of souvenirs. In cities there are also ATMs should you need some more cash. An American dollar goes along way in Bolivia. All of your in-country expenses (travel, lodging, & food) are covered spending money will simply cover if you want to purchase an extra snack, time at an internet cafe, etc.
- What kinds of food do you eat?
Lots of rice & and potatoes it seems like. We eat as a team in a restaurant in the community or at the place where we are staying. Often a meal will include soup, a protien (chicken, beef, or fish, sometimes an egg), with rice and or a potatoes. As often as possible we try to get fruits and vegetables, it may not always be possible. The Bolivian host will always ensure that the food being served is safe to eat. Though a pepto bismol tablet never hurts as many North Americans' systems are not used to the food. Three stage water filters are recommended for all North American team members, treated water is also available.
- What's a contingency fund?
Sometimes we encounter people needing advanced medical care or assistance we cannot provide on a short term trip. The contingency fund pays for that person to receive care or to purchase medicines, etc.
- What medicines and supplies do I need to collect?
Over the counter medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and vitamins (especially children's, but avoid the gummies as they might melt if traveling to a hot climate). The team members with medical backgrounds will work together to put together the pharmacy with the Bolivian doctors on the team. Evangelical and education supplies are also needed. Your team leader will help your team organize a mission critical supply list based on the itinerary for each trip.
- Is it OK if I do fund raising?
Yes, go for it! You're more than welcome to ask for gift or hold a fund-raiser. MVP Bolivia is a volunteer organization, no one is on staff. Your trip supports no one's salary, it only funds your team's mission tour. If a person is going to donate on your behalf and would like a tax receipt please have your donor send the funds to the corresponding mission board mentioned for each trip, and be sure to indicate on the check who the gift is for and the trip.