It is an honor to have you/your group interested in providing service as part of Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc. (StS). In order to ensure a pleasant, safe, efficient, and positive experience for everyone, we have revised the Visitor Policies. StS has many visitors who participate in our projects and aid in our mission to strengthen communities in rural Honduras.
These policies apply to any visitor for whom StS takes responsibility including all non-permanent staff traveling to Honduras for a set amount of time who use any StS service or facility in Honduras. Visitors are classified into the following categories:
Brigade members are those traveling with groups, typically for 2 weeks.
Rotators are those staying in Honduras for a month or more to complete a medical rotation.
Long-term Volunteers are those staying for an extended period of time in-country (at least three months) to complete a designated assignment within the organization.
Short-term Volunteers are those staying for a period of time between one day and three months.
- Use of any StS facilities/resources is limited to groups or persons who have approval by StS. All visitor activities requiring StS’s support must be approved by the General Director of Shoulder to Shoulder.
- All visitors must sign a Waiver of Liability (online) and submit an application 30 days prior to departure. Information provided on the application will be shared internally within StS.
- StS can accommodate groups ranging in size from 2-35 people. If the size of your group is outside of these limits please contact the General Directors to get special permission before making any travel plans.
- Permission for the use of StS assets and personnel for additional projects needs to be requested 90 days in advance of need. For example, if importing a large item, advance notice is required to complete legal paperwork and not interfere with operations in Honduras. Those requesting are responsible for paying all fees involved.
- U.S. Passports must have an expiration date of at least 6 months past the visitor’s entry date into Honduras. A non U.S. Passport holder must obtain a Visa from their home country/embassy, if required by Honduras for entry. This is the traveler’s responsibility. Late arrivals due to improper documents will be charged for additional transportation/personnel required to accommodate the traveler(s).
- Flight arrangements are the responsibility of those traveling, yet must be approved through the General Director. This includes late arrivals. Please note:
- There are 2 (Comayagua or San Pedro Sula) points of entry. Please make sure your entire group chooses ONE entrance and let the General Director know with 30 days in advance.
- Everyone in a travel group must arrive before 3 p.m. on the first day. Arrivals later than that will require staying in the arrival city that night. The brigade leader must clear group late arrivals with the General Director 30 days prior to arrival in country.
- Any changes in arrival dates must be approved by the General Directors at least 30 days in advance of the arrival date.
- If an early return date is necessary an additional fee will be incurred for the additional driver/vehicle (at least $300-400, with a max of 3 people due to truck capacity).
- In the case of an unanticipated late arrival due to flight delays the General Directors will determine the safest stop over point between the airport and the group’s final destination. Any additional costs incurred are at the visitor’s expense.
- Travel after dark is generally not permitted as a safety precaution. The visitor’s schedule will be arranged such that night travel is not necessary nor anticipated.
- Group leaders or individual visitors are not authorized to approve any transportation or scheduling changes with the exception of a dire medical emergency. Onsite StS staff will make changes only when absolutely necessary.
- Public transportation is permitted only with permission from the General Directors.
- For Camasca volunteers, let brigade coordinator know of planned trips outside of the region for safety and to know your general whereabouts.
Regarding Visitor Fees
- The General Director will determine the brigade fee as sufficient to cover the visitor/group’s needs including transportation, food, lodging, translators, and incidental expenses. If additional funds are necessary during the course of stay, the General Directors will communicate this to the individual visitor or leader. Airfare is in addition to this fee.
- All Brigade Fees are due 30 days before the group’s arrival date. If any individual does not pay their fee by this date, there is a possibility that the Pricing Agreement will require revision or the visit will not be able to take place.
- Late cancellations (less than 30 days), will result in a return of only half of the fee due to the fact that individual fees depend highly on group size. If the visitor cancels with at least 30 days notice they will be refunded their Brigade Fee minus a %15 administration fee. Medical emergencies or other extenuating circumstances may be considered differently in this policy.
- All visitors are responsible for payment of their flight. The airport exit fee is now included in the airline ticket of major airlines.
- All brigade members and rotators will have Evacuation Insurance included in their brigade fees. We will also automatically enroll brigade members for this insurance. Long-term volunteers have the option of purchasing insurance. It is important to note that the Evacuation Insurance does not cover all expenses and that brigade members will be responsible for any costs incurred. Please refer to our Evacuation Policy.
- There will be no support for visitors before or after the dates of a brigade, rotation, or volunteer assignment. Any visitors staying on site after a brigade will incur additional fees. Visitors wanting to travel or go sightseeing will do so at their own expense.
- For medical brigades wanting to distribute medications it is necessary to bring personnel capable of completing this activity. StS can help with the purchase of medications locally if order forms are submitted 4 weeks in advance of your brigade. Importing medicines are now subject to ARSA regulations and will require advance planning with StS staff at least 4 weeks in advance of arrival.
- Internet is rarely available and only limited to email. Do not plan to have any internet access while in Honduras. Do not plan to be able to do school work, complete medical records, or any other personal projects that require internet while in Honduras.
- Persons with special dietary preferences or needs (e.g. gluten intolerance) should not assume that they can be serviced. We have typically had a variety of foods for anyone with special needs, but any traveler with extraordinary needs should ask in advance about bringing any necessary food items.
- StS is not responsible for lost items such as luggage either while in transport or while housed on site. The insurance coverage does not cover loss of theft of personal items.
- Cultural understandings relative to attire vary significantly between the US and Honduras for both men and women. Please consult with STS staff relative to cultural norms. As a person representing STS, recommended attire is as follows:
- No informal t-shirts, camisole tank tops, or short shorts when working directly with community members (during free time or at night is acceptable)
- Shorts and tank tops should be of conservative length and size
- Longer shorts, pants, long skirts and conservative tops are most acceptable
- Scrubs are acceptable when working in StS clinics or any field clinic