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Hope of Life

Our trips to Guatemala to help Hope of Life are an incredible way to show the love of Jesus. Hope of Life serves the people of Guatemala where we are involved with the Total Village Transformation and projects in the village of Santa Rosalia de Marmol in Zacapa, Guatemala.

Here is more information about our 2020 trips:

Trip Dates
Saturday, February 29–Saturday, March 7, 2020
Saturday, July 11–Saturday, July 18, 2020

Due Dates
For February trip, deposit and applications are due by December 15, 2019; balance is due: January 19, 2020
For July trip, deposit and applications are due by February 9, 2020; balance is due: May 3, 2020

Pre-Trip Meeting Dates
Sunday, November 10, 2019, 1 pm in the Ren Students Space (497 Springfield Ave.)
Sunday, January 26, 2020, 1 pm in the Ren Students Space (497 Springfield Ave.)

Proposed Projects
Past projects have included building a school and supporting the Thomas family, who provides family-style orphan care.
February trip: TBD
July trip: TBD

Estimated Cost
$1,650 per person for February, $1,850 per person for July
This includes airfare (about $850), lodging, food, incidentals, medical insurance, and support ($800–$1,000). This is an estimated cost which could vary depending on final airfare and incidental costs.

Please note: The $850 non-refundable deposit is used to purchase airfare. Should you opt out of the trip, the airfare would follow the airlines cancelation policies, but is not refundable.

We recommend each traveler check with their employer to understand if any of the cost of the trip or hours worked while in Guatemala are eligible for their matching gifts program.

Checks should be made payable to Renaissance Church with Guatemala February 2020 or Guatemala July 2020 in the memo line.

Passport Validity
US Citizens traveling to Guatemala should have at least 6 months of validity remaining on their passports after the date of entry or they may be turned back by the airline or immigration. If you  are not a U.S. citizen and traveling with another passport, please make sure to check the passport validity details for your particular passport.


Notes for Application

  • 6th–8th graders may participate in the trips with a parent or guardian
  • 9th–12th graders may participate without a parent or guardian, but with permission
  • Applications for those under age 18 must be notarized
  • Team name and church name: Renaissance Church
  • Team leader: Linda Policarpio and Jeanne Hodge

Immunization Recommendations (given at least 6 weeks before departure)

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid Vaccine
  • Malaria Prophylaxis
  • Antibiotic prescription filled for travelers’ diarrhea

Travel Info
Getting to Hope of Life compound: It’s a long day of travel with 5–7 hours of flying (not including delays and connections) and 3-hour bus ride from airport to Hope of Life.
Getting to Santa Rosalia: From the Hope of Life compound, it is a 30-minute bus ride to pickup trucks, followed by 1-hour+ ride up side of side of mountain to village.
Some considerations:

  • Are you afraid of heights?
  • The ride up to the village is rough on the body.
  • Some people sit in the cab of truck, everyone else sits in the back of the truck bed.

Schedule of a Typical Week

  • Saturday: Arrive
  • Sunday: Church, visit Hope of Life compound, sort clothes/gifts for Santa Rosalia
  • Monday to Thursday (7 am–5 pm): Project in Santa Rosalia
  • Friday (7 am–2 pm): Finish in Santa Rosalia
  • Saturday: Leave for airport at 4 am

Other Activities and Connection Opportunities (when not in Santa Rosalia)

  • Serving at the hospital
  • Serving at the disabled center
  • Serving at the Village of Transformation (a place where children who have been abandoned or forgotten now call home)
  • Serving at Kelly’s House (children with physical and developmental disabilities)
  • Serving at Thomas’ and spending time with Evan, Hanna, and their children
  • Serving meals at dump
  • Visiting other villages
  • Trail maintenance at waterfalls (near Santa Rosalia)
  • Nightly devotionals

Weather and Climate

  • 80–90 degrees
  • Possibilities of: beetles, mosquitos, spiders, snakes, and scorpions

Work/Service to Expect
For the projects in Santa Rosalia:

  • Construction: digging (dirt/sand), lifting/moving buckets of sand, moving cinderblock, painting, mixing mortar
  • Interacting with the people of the village to understand their needs
  • Organizing clothing bazaar at Santa Rosalia

Safety Concerns
We are traveling to another country so there are many unknowns. However, throughout our travels, we are accompanied by a guide (who speaks fluent English), as well as armed guards. When the Renaissance Church group traveled to Guatemala in 2018, no one from our group felt unsafe. At the Hope of Life compound, it feels as if you’re staying at a 3-star resort and you will feel safe at all times. We will be surrounded by many other people from other groups also traveling to perform their own missions, so there is a great sense of community and safety. When traveling to the village of Santa Rosalia, we travel in pickup trucks up a curvy and bumpy dirt road to the top of the mountain (so if you have a fear of heights, this may bother you). For the 2018 trips, our group adjusted to this and felt safe on the mountain excursions. The drivers  are highly skilled and do this on a daily basis.

Types of Food

  • Lots of Fresh Fruit
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Meat
  • Peanut butter/jelly and ham/cheese sandwiches
  • Lots of water

Accommodations (on Hope of Life Compound)
March trip: Maple Leaf
July Trip: Maple Leaf

More about Hope of Life


Service Times:

8:30, 10, & 11:30 am

REN KIDS at 8:30 & 10 am, Nursery at 11:30 am
Middle & HIGH SCHOOL: Fridays, 7:30 pm
MIDDLE SCHOOL: Sundays, 8:30 am


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2 Kent Place Blvd
Summit, NJ 07901