FAQs – Trips
Who can go on a trip? How do I sign up? Who can go on a trip? How do I sign up?
Whether you are a long-time sponsor or just learning about NPH for the first time, NPH USA trips are open to anyone who is interested in learning about our work to help vulnerable children overcome poverty and become leaders in their own communities. Those who participate in a trip will experience the NPH culture and way of life and meet the incredible children, staff, and leaders of NPH. All public trips are listed in the Travel section of our website. To secure your spot on a trip, please be sure to complete the online registration and make your deposit payment before the deadline noted on the registration page. Trips often sell out, so it is best to register early.
Why do some trips have different pricing for minors and adults? Why do some trips have different pricing for minors and adults?
Many of our youth trips include experienced adult chaperones who have volunteered their time to help lead the group in collaboration with NPH USA staff. This helps to provide a positive, safe experience for the young people on our trips while allowing other adult participants to immerse themselves in their NPH experience without feeling that they must be responsible for supervising the group with whom they are traveling. To help us engage our designated chaperones by offsetting their trip expenses, an additional “chaperone fee” may be included in the pricing for minors on certain trips.
What are the meals and accommodations like at NPH? What are the meals and accommodations like at NPH?
Meals vary from home to home but are generally simple and consist of basic ingredients common in Latin America, such as rice, beans, eggs, tortillas, chicken, and cheese. If you have a food allergy or other dietary restriction, please notify us before the trip so we can work with the home to ensure that a suitable option is provided for you. Those with food allergies should also pack snacks to help supplement their diet if needed. Visitor groups will have the opportunity to eat meals with the children as well as eat on their own in the visitor house. Most visitor accommodations are dorm style, with rooms shared by several visitors or a family. Room assignments are typically made based on gender and age.
What expenses does my trip payment cover? What expenses does my trip payment cover?
All NPH USA immersion trip fees include meals, lodging, in-country transportation, travel insurance, and a charitable contribution to the NPH home you are visiting. Some trips include airfare, local excursions, special projects, or events at the home. Please see the description of your trip for details about what is included in the cost.
Vision trip fees vary widely from one trip to another and may include some or all the items listed above. Depending on the trip, there may be additional costs for offsite meals and hotel accommodations. Please read the trip details carefully before registering.
I am going on a trip that includes airfare, but I would prefer to book my own flight. Is this allowed? What is the cost difference? I am going on a trip that includes airfare, but I would prefer to book my own flight. Is this allowed? What is the cost difference?
You may arrange your own airfare if:
- You are traveling from a city which is different from the group’s originating city.
- You wish to continue traveling after the group’s return.
If you intend to arrange your own flights, please notify us before registering for the trip. The cost of the trip will be adjusted to exclude the cost of airfare.
I am interested in an immersion trip. What kind of work will the group do at the home? How much time will we spend with the children? I am interested in an immersion trip. What kind of work will the group do at the home? How much time will we spend with the children?
One of the meaningful things about visiting NPH is the opportunity to work in the capacity which is deemed most needed at the home. This could mean helping in a specific area of the home such as the kitchen, garden, recycling area, or farm. Whatever area you work in, you will be contributing to the NPH family.
Spending time with the children is the most important aspect of an NPH trip. Whether by playing games, taking part in activities, or simply hanging out together, being present with the children to have fun and learn together is essential. As the kids of NPH attend school in the morning, most groups will spend time with the children in the afternoon and evening.
I am a medical student or professional. Can I volunteer in the clinic during my visit? I am a medical student or professional. Can I volunteer in the clinic during my visit?
The clinics at NPH homes are well staffed with professionals who know and care for our children. However, there are sometimes opportunities for medical professionals or students who are visiting the home to observe in the clinic or assist staff with tasks such as distributing medicine. This is handled on an individual basis and is at the discretion of the home’s visitor coordinator and medical staff. Basic Spanish proficiency is strongly recommended. If you are interested in working in a medical setting during your visit, please notify us in advance.
Does NPH USA offer any short-term or long-term volunteer opportunities? Does NPH USA offer any short-term or long-term volunteer opportunities?
NPH welcomes international volunteers from around the world who work alongside local staff in a variety of capacities including education, healthcare, youth development, administration, and more. Volunteers must be able to commit to a full year of service, beginning in January or July, and complete an application process. NPH is not able to offer placements for short-term volunteers. More information on the International Volunteer Program can be found here.
If you would like to stay involved but a long-term commitment is not for you, NPH USA also offers local volunteer opportunities with our regional and national offices. You can find a current list of local volunteer opportunities here.
Is it okay if I do not speak Spanish? Is it okay if I do not speak Spanish?
While it is helpful to have basic Spanish proficiency language skills, there are no language requirements to participate in a trip. All NPH USA trips include a minimum of one bilingual (Spanish/English) staff member or volunteer leader.
I have a godchild at the home I will be visiting. Can I bring him/her a gift? I have a godchild at the home I will be visiting. Can I bring him/her a gift?
You are welcome to bring your godchild a gift, but please also be mindful of the guidelines detailed in the NPH International Visitor Policy. The best gift to bring is one that your godchild can share with all of the children in his or her section, such as a board game, books, or art supplies, or to give a simple, meaningful gift, such as a framed picture or photo album of your time together. If you are unsure about a specific gift, please contact us before the trip or consult your trip leader.
My godchild lives with their family with support from the NPH OneFamily program and does not live at an NPH home. Will I still get to meet him/her? My godchild lives with their family with support from the NPH OneFamily program and does not live at an NPH home. Will I still get to meet him/her?
NPH will make every effort to arrange a visit between you and your godchild during the trip when it is logistically possible. Requests must be received by NPH USA at least 3 months in advance of the trip.
I went on a trip and met a child I would like to sponsor. What should I do? I went on a trip and met a child I would like to sponsor. What should I do?
This is great news! We are thrilled that you made a connection with one of the children at NPH and would like to continue that relationship as a sponsor. To ensure that the child is available for sponsorship and request to sponsor him or her, please contact your NPH USA regional office, call our national office at 1-888-201-8880, or email email@example.com. You will need to provide the child’s name and your payment details. Once your sponsorship is confirmed, you will receive a welcome packet with your new godchild’s photo, biography, and additional information and instructions related to our child sponsorship program, including ways to start communicating.
What are the health risks associated with the country I will be visiting? Do I need any immunizations? What are the health risks associated with the country I will be visiting? Do I need any immunizations?
NPH USA cannot provide medical advice or recommendations on immunizations. We strongly suggest that you consult your physician for recommendations based on your personal health history. You can also find country-specific recommendations on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Are background checks required? Why do I need to provide my social security number? Are background checks required? Why do I need to provide my social security number?
Because of the vulnerable population that NPH serves, background checks are required for all visitors ages 18 or older who will be staying overnight at an NPH home. This helps us to ensure the safety of the children NPH cares for, as well as everyone on the trip. Background checks are valid for one year after being completed and are included in the prices of all immersion and vision trips. If you have undergone a background check within one year prior to the trip’s departure date, you may submit those results rather than complete a new background check.
In order to complete the background check, certain personal information, including a social security number, is required. NPH USA respects the sensitive nature of this information and has measures in place to keep it secure. If you have any questions, please contact our office.
Do I need a passport and/or visa to go on a trip? Do I need a passport and/or visa to go on a trip?
A valid passport is required for any international travel. Furthermore, most countries require that your passport is valid for at least six months past your travel date. U.S. passport holders do not need visas to travel to most of the countries to which NPH USA organizes trips, with the exception of Bolivia. Country-specific details regarding passport validity and visa requirements can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.
Can I bring donations? What items are most needed? Can I bring donations? What items are most needed?
In kind donations are always appreciated, and there are plenty of items that the homes regularly need more of. Please ensure that all donated items are in new condition and that clothing donations consist only of small to medium sizes. You are welcome to inquire with us about the specific needs of the home you will be visiting, but some items that can generally always be put to good use are:
- Toiletry items such as toothbrushes
- Sports equipment such as soccer balls, volleyballs, etc.
I cannot go on any of the trips that are scheduled, but I would still like to visit NPH. Can I visit on my own? I cannot go on any of the trips that are scheduled, but I would still like to visit NPH. Can I visit on my own?
Yes! Individual, family, and small group visits can be arranged. Please be aware that this is contingent on the availability of visitor accommodations at the home you plan to visit. To get started on planning your visit, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the country and date(s) in which you are interested in visiting.
Where can I find more information specific to the NPH home and/or country I will be visiting? Where can I find more information specific to the NPH home and/or country I will be visiting?
For further details about visiting any of the NPH homes, please see the country-specific visitor guide below. For any additional questions, please email email@example.com.