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Visitor Policies

Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc. (STS) has many visitors who participate in our projects in Honduras and aid in our mission to strengthen communities in rural Honduras.  It is an honor to have you/your group interested in providing service as part of STS.  In order to assure a pleasant, safe, efficiently run, and positive experience for everyone, we have established the following Visitor Policies.

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 brigade members, rotators, and long-term volunteers.

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 to complete a designated assignment within the organization.

 Please read these policies carefully before signing the Waiver of Liability.

General

  1. 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 Honduran Brigade Team.
  2. All visitors must sign a Waiver of Liability and submit an application 60 days prior to departure (online). Information provided on the application will be shared with the other people on your brigade (if applicable) and internally within STS.
  3. STS can accommodate brigades ranging in size from 10-35 people. If the size of your group is outside of these limits please contact the Honduran Brigade Team to get special permission before making any travel plans.
  4. Permission for the use of STS assets and personnel for additional projects need to be requested 90 days in advance of need. For example, if shipping a large item to Honduras for use at your site, advance notice is required so it does not interfere with operations in Honduras. Those shipping goods are responsible for paying all fees involved.

Regarding Travel

  1. U.S. Passports must have an expiration date of at least 6 months past the brigade’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).
  2. Flight arrangements are the responsibility of those traveling, yet must be approved through the Honduran Brigade Team. This includes early and late arrivals or departures. Please note:
    • Tegucigalpa is the point of entry for all individuals and groups unless approval for a different point of entry was granted.  
    • Everyone in a brigade must arrive before 1:30 p.m. on the first day. Arrivals after 1:30 p.m. must arrive the day before the brigade unless the whole group is arriving late. This will require staying in the arrival city that night. The brigade leader must clear group late arrivals with the Honduran Brigade Team 45 days prior to arrival in country.
    • Any changes in arrival dates must be approved by the Honduran Brigade Team at least 90 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 maximum of 3 people due to truck seating capacity).
    • In the case of an unanticipated late arrival due to flight delays the Honduran Brigade Team will determine the safest stop over point between Tegucigalpa and the visitor’s final destination. Any additional costs incurred are at the visitor’s expense.
  3. The Honduran STS Staff is not permitted to provide transportation to any visitors after dark. The visitor’s schedule will be arranged such that night travel is not necessary nor anticipated. This is a safety precaution that cannot be waived.
  4. Brigade leaders 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.
  5. Public transportation is permitted only with permission from the Honduran Brigade Team.

Regarding Visitor Fees

  1. The Honduran Brigade Team will determine if the Standard Brigade Fee is sufficient to cover the visitor/group’s individual needs including transportation, food, lodging, translators, and incidental expenses. If additional funds are necessary the Honduran Brigade Team will communicate this to the individual visitor or Brigade Leader at least 90 days in advance. Airfare is in addition to this fee.
  2. All Brigade Fees are due 60 days before the brigade’s arrival date. If any individual does not pay their by this date, there is a possibility that the Pricing Agreement will require revision or the Brigade will not be able to take place.
  3. Late cancelations (less than 30 days), will result in a return of only half of the brigade 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.
  4. All visitors are responsible for payment of their flight and airport exit fee (about $40).
  5. 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 STS’s insurance. If not, the long-term volunteer must submit confirmation of their insurance with its contact numbers. This documentation must be submitted to the Honduran Brigade Team with the payment of fees. 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.
  6. 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 and may be accommodated only by requesting such travel at least 90 days before the arriving to Honduras.

Other Items

  1. 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 as long as order forms are submitted 6 weeks in advance of your brigade.
  2. 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.
  3. Persons with special dietary preferences or needs (e.g. gluten intolerance) should not assume that they can be serviced. There should be a sufficient variety of foods for anyone with special needs, but any traveler with extraordinary needs should ask in advance about bringing any necessary food ítem.
  4. 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 aceptable)
    • 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

By signing the Waiver of Liability you are certifying that you have read these Visitor Policies in their entirety and agree to uphold them to the best of your ability.