These are the expenses the trip will entail. Before beginning it must be understood that the cost being discussed are not concrete as things change with time.
Based upon the available literature from AMOS Health and Hope the per-night cost of the trip is $70.00. As this trip will be 9 nights, that brings the registration cost to a total of $630.00. This amount may change if AMOS Health and Hope discover that inflation is causing them to fall short of breaking even in the financial ins and outs of having volunteer groups visit them. AMOS Health and Hope is not attempting to generate any money through the volunteer teams.
The registration cost includes these following elements:
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Transportation to and from the project site
- Lodging while at the AMOS Health and Hope compound in Managua
- (Lodging at work location will be arranged with no extra expense)
- Meals while at the AMOS Health and Hope compound in Managua and also at the project location
- Guides and translators
- Orientation into Nicaraguan culture and local dos and do not’s
- A trip to the market to purchase souvenirs
- Potable water
- Laundry services
- Free Internet access while at AMOS Health and Hope compound in Managua
The price of getting to and from Managua, Nicaragua is of course subject to change. Six months before our departure date we will be able to learn what the price of travel will be and lock the price by making a team deposit to hold seats aboard an airplane. At the moment we are estimating a cost of $750.00 per person and prayerful that that it will be less.
Baggage is another matter that effects cost. At present travel to Central America will allow one checked bag without charge and a second checked bag for around $30.00. On our trip to Nicaragua we are hopeful each team member will be taking two bags in order to transport as many donated medical and clothing items as we are allowed to carry within the 50 pound per bag limit. We will somehow work the second bag cost into the overall per person airfare.
Typically the second checked bag that each team members takes to Nicaragua is a garage sale special and is left in Nicaragua when the team of volunteers returns. This reduces the cost of bringing the second bag back.
Other expenses while on the trip:
While traveling to and from Managua, Nicaragua there will be a layover where you may wish to purchase something to eat. Plan to buy something at airport prices once in each direction.
You will also have opportunities to purchase snack foods and soda drinks while traveling in Nicaragua, a couple of dollars on these stops is usually adequate.
While in Nicaragua it is a normal occurrence for the volunteer teams to spend a day sight seeing. While on the sight seeing trip each person is responsible for their own meal cost. You should plan to purchase two meals that day. While meals in Nicaragua can be purchased rather inexpensively the AMOS Health and Hope staff will select an eating establishment where they are positive that we ‘Gringos’ can eat without getting something that will make us ill. Expect to pay between $10.00 and $15.00 for each of these meals.
Regarding the cost of a ‘day around the country’, should our volunteer team decide to travel outside of Managua for sight seeing then the team is responsible for that extra expense. This expense will have to include the cost of the fuel for the vehicle and the driver’s wages. As a courtesy to the driver and translators traveling with us our team should be willing to pay for their meals and any snacks they get while on this outing. Towards this sight seeing day, consideration is being given to ask each volunteer team member to provide $25.00 up front to cover these expenses.
Souvenir money, how much you spend depends upon who much you purchase. For starters $100.00 is probably a good amount to plan on but you may wish to have more on hand should you find some great bargains.
For all the items listed above the estimate is in the neighborhood of $1,600.00.
Each volunteer team is required to pay for the material needed for the work project they will be doing. There is a wide range of cost for different types of projects and the cost range from about $2,000.00 to $10,000.00 per team. The project our team will do is to be discussed as a team sometime before the end of 2014. At present we are looking at a $4,000 to $5,000.00 project as a starting place. How we will pay for this project is also yet to be determined; a matter for the team to discuss as time passes.
(All before mentioned items fall under charitable giving as the money being spent is for the benefit of others and not for self. Any money put towards the above can be included in your itemized tax returns if you file in that manner. All money collected for the above should be run through the church office, either your own church or through Meridian Avenue’s, for giving records. Be sure to request receipts for amounts given.)
Other Personal Cost:
United States Passport cost:
If you currently posses a U.S. Passport please verify that the expiration date is no earlier than December 24, 2012. If the expiration date is earlier than December 24, 2012 then you will need to renew your passport at least 3 months before our departure date.
If you do not currently posses a U.S. Passport then you will need to obtain one, preferably at least 3 months before our departure date.
A United States Passport can be obtained through many U.S. Postal Office but not all. Check with your local post office to see if they provide the service and if not ask them for the location of the nearest post office that does.
Before applying for a passport at the Post Office you will have to have two copies of passport photos. Many Wal-Mart and some Walgreen stores can take these photos for you for a cost of $7.00 to $15.00.
The current fee for obtaining a U.S. Passport is $75.00 (check written to the U.S. Department of State) and you may wish to send an additional $17.50 to have the passport express mailed back to you. If not then the amount of the passport return mailing will cost less. The U.S. Post Office will assist you with making payment for these charges.