When should I arrive in and depart from the host country?
Plan for your flight to arrive in the gateway city, Queretaro (airport code QRO), anytime before 9:00PM on the first day (Saturday) of your service program. Plan your departure from Queretaro anytime after 6:30AM on the final day (Saturday) of your service program.
Will someone meet me at the airport?
Yes, provided you send your flight itinerary to Global Volunteers at least two weeks in advance of the service program arrival date. A Global Volunteers staff person or representative holding a Global Volunteers sign will meet you in the public area outside Customs. You'll travel with your teammates to your lodging.
What should I do if my flight is delayed?
Please notify Global Volunteers as soon as you confirm your new arrival plans so your team leader can arrange your transportation to the host community. If you make last-minute changes to your itinerary, or if you don't inform us of your flight plans, you must arrange your own transportation to the hotel or host community.
How late can I arrive in the host community?
Our orientation sessions are a critical component of the preparation for your assignments. If circumstances beyond your control prevent you from reaching the program on the opening day of the program, we require that you arrive no later than 9:00 AM on the following day so you can join your team for these sessions.
What should I do if I arrive before the scheduled arrival date?
If you choose to spend time in-country before the service program begins, please plan to meet your team at the designated airport within the specified arrival window on the first day of the program in order to be transported to the host community. Do not travel to the host community without the team leader or Global Volunteers representative without prior authorization.
FOOD AND LODGING
What type of lodging is provided?
You'll stay in a bright and comfortable tourist-class hotel within walking distance from the center of town and the work sites. The guest rooms are double-occupancy with private baths, twin beds, dressers and TVs. Single rooms are available for an extra fee.
What are the laundry arrangements?
Fast, inexpensive laundry services are near the hotels in both host communities.
What is the electrical power?
The electric current in Mexico is the same as in the United States - 110V. You will not need a power converter or adapter.
What is the local cuisine?
The diet in Mexico consists mostly of rice, enchiladas, tacos, tortillas and soups, with some vegetables and fresh fruit, including pineapple, bananas, melon, mangos and papayas.
Can special diets be accommodated?
Strict vegan or vegetarian diets cannot be accommodated at either site. If you have special dietary needs, we suggest that you bring foods to supplement your meals.
Will potable drinking water be provided?
Your team leader will provide bottled water, which can be replenished at the hotel or the University from their supply of purified water.
What are the principal health risks?
At higher elevations, you must take care to avoid altitude sickness indicated by headaches, dizzyness and low energy, which can become life-threatening if not treated.
What health precautions should I take?
For general recommendations, consult the following sources:
Centers for Disease Control
Health Canada Online
Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Travel Health Online
Is the water safe to drink?
We recommend that you bring a water bottle with you, and keep it filled with the purified water that will be provided to you by the team leader.
Is it safe to eat food purchased from street vendors?
We strongly recommend that you do not purchase food from street vendors.
What type of insurance do you recommend?
We strongly recommend medical insurance that covers you while you are outside your home country, and trip cancellation insurance. Your travel agent can refer you to travel insurance providers. Global Volunteers will provide you with emergency medical evacuation insurance.
What is the local currency?
The local currency is the Mexican peso.
What is the current exchange rate?
Where do I exchange money?
We recommend that you exchange a small amount of money (US$50) if you are coming from the US before arriving in Mexico. You can make this transaction in most American airports en route to Mexico. At the Queretaro airport, you can exchange money at exchange desks during limited hours, or use the ATM which uses the Plus and Cirrus networks. In the host communities, you can exchange crisp new bills in denominations of US$20 or less and travelers checks at several different banks and exchange offices. Exchange booths are open until 3:00 PM. Banks will not change money after 3:00 PM.
Can I use cash, credit cards or checks?
Many stores, even large ones, do not accept credit cards. Some major credit cards can be used for cash advances at ATM machines and at the banks. However, in both Dolores Hidalgo and Queretaro, you can exchange travelers checks at several different banks and exchange offices. Cash is always a reliable option, however, worn or torn bills may not be accepted either at stores or by banks.
How much money should I bring with me?
How much you will need depends on your personal spending habits and whether you will choose to go on an excursion on the weekend. Weekend trips cost between US$50 to US$150, depending on where you go and the kind of transportation and accommodations used. Your souvenir budget is discretionary.
How can my family contact me while I am in Mexico?
In the event of an emergency, your family should refer to the contact sheet that you will receive prior to your departure for Mexico. Be sure to leave a copy with them.
Can I make international phone calls?
Phone cards are needed to make phone calls from most public phones, and may be purchased at local pharmacies. There are many locations in the host communities where you can place long-distance calls.
Is internet service available?
Internet cafes are widely available within both communities. The hotel in Queretero offers wireless service.