- What is the population of Pachuca where the team will be working?
About 1.5 million people.
- What is the political situation in the country/area?
- WEATHER AND ENVIRONMENT:
- What is the weather like in Pachuca?
MARCH - MAY: Dry. Can be pleasantly cool in the morning and evening. HOT in the afternoon.
JUNE-OCTOBER: A little cooler because it is the rainy season. It usually only rains in the late afternoons, but somedays it can be overcast and quite cool all day. Other days it can be sunny and hot. Mornings and evenings are usually cool. A light jacket or sweatshirt is always a good to have.
NOVEMBER - FEBRUARY: It can get quite cold here in the winter (in the 30's and 40's at night) especially with no central heating in the block houses. If the sun is out then it may warm up nicely during the day.
Current Pachuca Weather
What ever the high is for the day add at least 10 to 15 degrees, because that is what it feels like in the sun.
- What is the elevation of the project area?
- Is sun protection needed?
YES!!! The UV rating in Pachuca is always 10 (the highest on the scale). Bring a hat.
- Are the bugs bad? Do you have mosquitoes, flies, ticks, spiders, etc.
We don’t really have any bug problems here. There are spiders, flies, an occasional scorpion (not the deadly kind), but you hardly notice them.
- What type of clothing is best?
For the most part, what you would wear at home is fine for here. The exceptions are shorts (especially for women) are not commonly worn here, except when playing sports. Shorts are acceptable for going to tourist locations (like the pyramids). Also, comfortable walking shoes are a MUST! A light jacket and/or sweatshirt is a good idea no matter what time of year you come. It can always be cool in the mornings and evenings. The winter months are much colder, so more warm clothes are advised.
- How much will this trip cost?
We usually request $45 per day/per person for food (including eating out), lodging and local transportation. Other costs would include the cost of the project (which would vary depending on the size of the group and the size and type of project...i.e. construction, VBS, etc.)
- What is the local currency? What is the current rate of exchange?
Mexican Pesos Current conversion rate
- How should we bring personal money?
There are several options. Everyone should bring a little cash with them which can be exchanged at the airport. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash here (in Pachuca) and you don’t get a very good exchange rate with them. We do recommend that, at least, one person bring one credit card (if not everyone) because they are widely accepted and useful in case of emergencies. NO PERSONAL CHECKS!
We have found that the easiest way to bring money into the country is through ATM machines. They give you a good exchange rate and they are everywhere here. It really depends on what people feel comfortable doing. Using credit cards and ATM cards it is just a matter of being cautious (just as you would in the U.S.)but its not anymore “dangerous” . We take people to where we know the safest ATM's are located.
- CHURCH/MISSION BACKGROUND
- What is the name of the church in the area?
Iglesia Cristiana de Nueva Vida
(New Life Christian Church)/ Aros de Amistad (Circles of Friendship)...the church’s name is New Life Christian Church...but because of the cell groups it is commonly known as “Circles of Friendship (Aros de Amistad)” because that is what we call the cell groups.
- CONSTRUCTION PROJECT(S)
- Project Location?
We have a building in a poor neighborhood of Pachuca. We originally built it as a Community Center (called CLAVE) and housing for our family. We moved in in September 2004. In May 2009 it became the building for New Life Christian Church. Though most of the major construction has been completed, there are still small projects that teams could work on here.
- What is the voltage in the country? Are adapters needed for electrical appliances?
110 (same as U.S.).
- Who will meet us at the airport?
Greg or Vicki Syverson
- How will we get from the airport to the job site?
We will take a hour and a half bus ride from the airport to Pachuca.
- Where will we stay when we are in Pachuca?
There are 3 options: 1)Stay with mix of Mexican and missionary host families
2)Stay “all together” (depends on size of group) with the missionaries.
3)Stay in a local hotel (most expensive option and needs more investigation for actual costs but thought I should at least mention it as an option as there have been groups who have requested it.)
- Do we need to bring sleeping bags, sheets, pillows, towels, etc.?
To stay with host families no sleeping bags are required. To stay all together in the missionaries’ house it depends on the size of the group on whether we have enough bedding available here. We have plenty of towels here but a hand towel is a good idea. Pillows shouldn’t be needed but those who prefer their own pillow are welcome to bring it.
- Will there be showers available daily?
- Who will be doing the cooking and cleaning up?
The missionaries will arrange for all meals, but we do have a kitchen in the community center if someone is interested in working in that area.
- Do we need to bring food from the U.S. for the team to eat?
- Can we bring snack stuff?
- Are restaurants easily available for the team?
- What does a typical meal cost in a moderately-priced restaurant?
$10-15 We will probably schedule 3 times to eat out that will be budgeted into the cost per person/per day. Any additional times the team requests to eat out may have to come out of their personal spending money.
- Are pure water and ice available?
Yes. Bottled water and bag ice are readily available.
- Can we drink the tap water?
- Do we need to bring our own utensils for cooking and eating?
- Will we be able to wash clothes?
Yes if necessary
- What are the phone numbers to contact in Pachuca?
We have a "internet phone" that has a U.S. phone #. That phone # is 1-217-718-4140
- What is the closest medical facility?
We have several decent hospitals in Pachuca and there is an "American" hospital in Mexico City (at least an hour and a half away).
- Are U.S. health insurance plans accepted?
No. Health Care in general (except at the American Hospital) in very inexpensive. We know of several churches whose policy it is to get Emergency Medical evacuation insurance for everyone on their short term missions teams. This is probably a good idea and we can find out more about that for your team if you need assistance in that area.
- ENTERING AND LEAVING PACHUCA
- Is a passport needed?
- Is a visa needed?
Tourist visa is issued at the Mexico City airport upon arrival. Make sure you hold on to it. You will be fined if you loss it.
- What shots are required?
No shots are REQUIRED for visiting Mexico. Personally we would only recommend that everyone (at least) has an up to date Tentanus shot.
- Is there an entrance fee and an exit fee? Do they have to be paid in U.S. Dollars?
- Will our luggage be inspected when we enter the country?
Definitely a possibility, but not always. It is random and not that big of a deal.
- Are there any forms that we have to fill out when we get to the country?
There are visa and customs forms to fill out and they will be given to you on the airplane to fill out before arrival.
- What will our address be during our stay?
Syverson address (not for mailing): Lopez Mateos 106
Col. Lopez Mateos 3ra. Sección
42094 Pachuca, Hidalgo
- Can we bring used or new clothing or other things to give away to the poor?
Yes,if you would like.
- Should we give what we are leaving away or let the mission do that?
Usually let the mission handle the giving of it but if you build a relationship with someone (like a host family or worker on the job site, etc.) it is definitely acceptable to give a gift to a new friend. If staying with host families, it is recommended to bring small gifts (something that reflects where you’re from or something of your life) to leave with them.
What should we NOT bring?
(Expensive watches, Ipods, ?????)
Expensive watches and jewelry are not recommended. Ipods are fine to bring if you like for traveling. Common sense is the best guide here. Don’t bring anything that you wouldn’t want to see lost or damaged in the travel.
- Will we have time to go sightseeing?
Yes. Usually a day is planned to see the pyramids which are about 45 minutes away. Other evening or Sunday afternoon excursions are also possibilities.
- What are some areas of interest??
The pyramids, a local colonial mining town, big statue of Jesus, downtown
- Are their local souvenirs and are they affordable?
Yes and yes.
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