Answers to questions about the Campamento experience
- Who can join the trip? Girls 15 – 18 with their parent or a chaperon as well as women 18 and up. You do not have to be a Saint Ed’s parishioner or Catholic. Catholic Sisters run the home. We study Bible stories. We go to Mass at least once during the week. You are welcome! You can be from any part of the country, although we’re based in Minnesota, we have had travelers from Massachusetts, Florida, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and Oregon.
- Exactly how much does it cost? The flight is the largest cost at around $1,000 (from MSP to SDQ). New, replacement or renewal of a passport book: $110 if age 16 and older;$80 if under the age of 16. The last major expense is a visit to the travel clinic. That is about $100 and is sometimes covered by insurance. Travel health insurance is about $15-30. Tipping the driver, other small expenses and shopping can range from $40 to $200. Some of it depends on how much you’ll shop for souvenirs. The total is close to $1,400 – 1,600.
- How do you keep these costs so low compared to other mission trips or Spanish immersion camps? Everyone makes campamento happen. No one is a mere passenger, you’ll help plan and create the camp experience. There is no paid administrative overhead. St. Ed’s helps us with office expenses, meeting rooms, storage, handling private donations, as well as financial support to support camp activities.
- How are you going to raise that money? Travelers pay their own way.
- How many people will we take? 8 is the ideal number of travelers per week, with 6 the minimum and 10 the maximum. We’re hoping for two weeks of travelers, so the range is from 6 to 20 travelers.
- What is the mix of return travelers to first-time travelers? It’s usually about half of each. Many travelers return at least once.
- Can youth participate? Yes, 15 and older, but they need to come with a chaperone. Several mother/daughter teams have told me that it was a wonderful experience to share.
- What are the sleeping arrangements? We sleep in the girls’ dorm with about 6 travelers. They clear out rooms for us, so we have beds, mosquito nets, towels, and closets. We use our own (travelers’) floor bath. Consider earplugs to block the unfamiliar (to us) noises from roosters and dogs. Eye covers help, too, at least at first. After a while you might be so tired, you just crash. Bring something light to read in bed with a headlamp. A portable battery operated fan helps, too.
- What is a traveler gets sick or injured during the trip? We require travelers’ health insurance for this situation. We recommend https://www.insuremytrip.com/ for travel insurance. See the Preparing for the Trip page for more insurance options.
- What other resources will we need? How will they be paid for? The Sisters provide transportation, room, and food. We really don’t go out on our own typically. Sometimes at the end of the trip we’ll go to a restaurant in the capital.
- Do you have to speak Spanish? No, please see the “What to do if you don’t speak Spanish” page.
- Can I go for two weeks? Travelers go for one week, Saturday through Sunday. This way, on the middle Saturday, we all meet up and exchange stories. Some travelers choose to stay and visit the country themselves after camp.
- How do I get a passport? http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/new.html
- Other questions? Search this site or contact me.