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Additional Packing Notes

¡Hola estudiantes!

The moment has arrived to start packing your bags and preparing for your summer in Guatemala. By now, all of you (WE HOPE) have read all the dragons materials that have been sent out. Check out the Course Preparation Manual. There you can find a thorough packing list and many other useful tidbits of information. This should be helpful in preparing for our course.

Following up on this, we have included below our very own customized packing list just in case you might be forgetting something and to provide you guys with a few extra tips related to our own program.

FIRST OF ALL:

  1. PACK LIGHT! It is very common to see students bring extra weight because they are bringing stuff  they THINK they need but really don’t. You can leave at home those leather pants, fancy travel hammocks, inflatable pool toys, tennis rackets, soccer cleats and other accessories you think you want, but deep down in your heart know you won’t actually need.
  2. AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING IN THE HOUSE IS WORTH TWO IN THE STORE. Don’t think you need to buy a brand new quick-dry wardrobe and show up looking like Indiana Jones. Much of the clothing you use at home will probably look cool, feel great, and work perfectly this summer! Jeans and t-shirts are our go-to garments. Bring the clothing you like and are comfortable wearing.

We will be spending about half of the program in tropical, hot, and humid rainforest. We RECOMMEND t-shirts, light long sleeves, shorts and loose lightweight pants that are comfy too.

But what about shorts? Yes, you can wear shorts too! Just make sure they aren’t very short shorts; they should come down to mid-thigh. We can talk about why once we are here together but it’s mostly for cultural reasons.

Leggings, do THEM girl!! Just please remember to wear something long on top of them, don’t do tight leggings and a crop top.

Bring swimwear, we will be swimming at Río Negro and definitely during our time at lake Atitlán. A modest swimsuit is best.

Prioritize sun protection! The sun is very strong, and we will spend lots of time outside. Some cover up with pants, long sleeves, hats, sunglasses, and light clothes. Others prefer sunscreen lotions (which can be bought easily in Guatemala, by the way). What kind of person are you? The only WRONG answer is, “A sunburned person.”

Expect rain! Summer in the US is rainy season here in Guatemala. We recommend a shell style of jacket that you can use in warm temperatures, over a t-shirt, and in cold weather/over a layer, because we’ll be in different climates and altitudes. Some people have taken the umbrella route and really rocked it. Something waterproof to cover a backpack can come in handy too – if it rains as we trek, we’ll trek as it rains.

Cold layers? Just one or two. We will mostly be in tropical, humid climates but around Lake Atitlán it can get a chilly at night. You’ll need a light fleece, cold layer or some kind of light sweater. No need for heavy cotton, fleece, or puffy jackets, or tech gear. It’ll be mostly t-shirt weather accompanied by some rain.

SHOES: The awesome trio! Aain, less is better! But yes, you need that extra pair of shoes for when you get out of your hiking boots.

  1. Pair of boots/hiking shoes for hikes, walks, ideally waterproof, comfortable for walking long distances.
  2. Comfortable tennis or running shoes for cities and casual wear.
  3. Hiking sandals – Chacos, Tevas, something to walk in, get wet in, and be comfortable for showers/around the house. Flip flops can work too.

Most importantly, pack extra underwear and socks! We’ll be able to do laundry about once a week, perhaps by hand more often, and we’ll be out and about in all kinds of weather. To stay healthy and happy, hygiene is KEY, so pack enough of the essentials to be changing them out very frequently. Jeans and other outer layers can be reused, however. What does Itza do?: I will bring underwear for at least 9 or 10 days in a row, but thats just ME! 😉

Everyday items

  • Water bottle
  • Daypack: for day hikes, treks, day activities, for going to spanish classes
  • notebook and something to write with
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Rain jacket

Treks and hiking:

  • Headlamp
  • Some kind of camping utensils are good but not absolutely necessary (spork, etc) (I have a wood ones, so we don’t buy plastic stuff)
  • Sun protection: hat, long sleeves, bug repellent
  • You DO NOT need to bring a sleeping bag or pad. It takes up a lot of space and we will be able to rent or borrow these when we trek.

Okay patojos (look this word up for extra credit!), that’s all for now.  Be on the lookout for our tentative itinerary to be published soon!

Hasta pronto,

Itza, Jesse y Teto