Q: What are the qualifications for joining a trip to Latin America?
A: Anyone with a commitment to, or willingness to learn about, social justice should apply for a delegation. We encourage participation of people from diverse backgrounds.
Q: Is there a minimum age requirement?
A: The minimum age for a delegation is 15, except to Colombia where it is 18. Most trips are inter-generational (age 15-80+).
Q: How many people will be on the trip?
A: Typical trips range in size from 10 to 20 individuals, with 14 as the average number.
Q: What are the accommodations like?
A: Delegates will stay together in modest, but safe and clean guesthouses. This typically involves dormitory style rooms (2-6 people per room), and private baths for each room. When staying with a family, the homes are usually humble and rustic. Though conditions may be much different from those to which delegates are accustomed, WFP delegates consistently rate home stays as one of the highlights of their trip.
Q: What does my delegation fee cover and how much will it cost?
A: Your delegation fee covers just about everything except airfare: food, lodging, translation, accompaniment, facilitation, reading and preparation materials, orientation and on-the-ground transportation (in Colombia, internal airfare is also covered in the price). The prices of delegations vary depending on length of stay and country you’re visiting. By checking the online brochure on the delegation schedule page you can find the price of the specific delegation that interests you. If an online brochure is not yet available, open the brochures for other delegations to the same country. This can give you a good idea of what the delegation will cost. Also you can contact the delegation coordinator, this email address is given for each delegation on the delegation schedule page as well. Finally, you can contact the WFP National Office for details using the contact form.
Q: What happens if I am not be able to go on the delegation? Is my delegation fee refundable?
A: If you cancel more than 30 days prior to departure, your delegation fee is usually fully refundable, less the $100 non-refundable deposit. If you cancel closer to the departure date than 30 days, you are subject to cancellation fees, which may result in a refund of less than 100%. Contact the WFP National Office for details.
Q: Are scholarships available?
A: Limited scholarships are available. Extensive fundraising consultation is provided through the WFP National Delegations Coordinator or the trip leader. Delegates seeking financial assistance have a very successful track record of raising the needed funds.
Q: Is there any training or orientation before or during the delegation?
A: Preparation for the delegation is an important part of your experience. Before departing for your trip, you will receive reading materials that cover health precautions, items to pack, what to expect from your delegation, and a study guide. An extensive orientation and training session takes place the first day of your trip. This includes cultural awareness, health and safety guidelines, a non-violence workshop, and an introduction to consensus based decision-making. You will also become familiar with international development policies as well as the historic and current political reality of the country you’re visiting.
Q: I would like to coordinate a delegation for a group of people. Can you customize a delegation for my group?
A: We can custom design delegations for organizations, universities, and churches. If you are interested, and can recruit a group of 10 or more, contact WFP.
Q: Can I get academic credit for my delegation experience?
A: Some colleges offer credit for participation in a WFP delegation. Inquire with your school or with WFP.
Q: What type of skills will I learn on a WFP trip?
A: On your delegation, you will gain invaluable experience that will serve you personally, academically, and professionally for years to come. By going on a delegation, you will learn about grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, international peacemaking, conflict mediation and group process, cross-cultural sensitivity, diplomacy and much more.
Q: Who sets up the trip and accompanies the group?
A: All delegations are set up and facilitated by Witness for Peace International Team volunteers, who are based in our program sites for 2-4 years. These volunteers accompany the groups, providing translation and facilitation; International Team volunteers are extremely experienced leading delegations and can serve as a valuable resource in answering questions regarding U.S. foreign policy in the country you are visiting.
Q: Is it dangerous to travel to Latin America?
A: The safety of our delegates is of the utmost concern to WFP. We have been hosting delegations to Latin America since 1983 and have extensive networks in the countries in which we operate. This experience has allowed us to responsibly and safely coordinate delegations. Before beginning any delegation, participants receive an extensive security and health briefing, and go over common sense precautions. By following such measures, delegations are generally very safe. In Colombia, the level of political violence requires a much more extensive training and these delegations are not for everyone. Contact the National Office for more information on our Colombia program.