Travel to Nicaragua On Hold

Due to the civil unrest in the country, JustHope has suspended travel to Nicaragua for our partner groups. While our in-country programs continue to provide services, the situation on the ground is too uncertain for us to bring North American groups to Nicaragua at this time. We hope to provide opportunities for our US Partners to travel with us in the future, but for now we are not scheduling any trips. Stay in touch with Marc St. Martin, Director of Partnerships, for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can also view or print a simple list of all of these Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Registration
  • Pre-Trip Preparation
  • In-Country
  • Post-Trip
  • How can I register?

    Find your trip on our list and click on the link to register. Registrations must be completed online by the participating individual or their parent/guardian. If you are not able or do not wish to complete the forms online, please contact our office for paper forms.
  • Are there deadlines and late fees?

    Participants should be sure to register three months before their trip, and complete all of their paperwork and payments no later than two months before their trip. Each trip's information page will have specific due dates. If you need to register late, we may allow it, provided you can supply the needed information very quickly.

    Any participant who does not provide their paperwork by their trip's due date may be assessed a late fee of $50. If you are still waiting for a passport renewal or have other reasons why you cannot provide the needed information, just let us know. We're quite nice about it.

  • Do I have to create an account on your site?

    Yes. We require that all participants create a login account for JustHope.org. This will enable you to access and update your personal information (passport, health insurance, etc.) and keep track of your payments. If you are a repeat participant, it will also allow you to maintain the same information from year to year.
  • What insurance do I need to have?

    You'll need to have current health insurance, as well as medical evacuation (medevac) insurance. General health insurance does not include evacuation from foreign countries due to medical reasons. Medical evacuation insurance has very reasonable costs and protects you against potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars should you need evacuation. If you are traveling as part of a school-sponsored study-abroad trip or a medical rotation, your institution may carry evacuation coverage for you. You can shop for policies at SquareMouth.com, but be sure not to check "trip cancellation insurance" which is not required and raises the costs considerably.
  • Can you give me a simple list of all that I need to provide to JustHope?

    Here it is:

    • Online trip registration
    • Payment
    • Basic health insurance information
    • Medical evacuation (Medevac) insurance information and confirmation scan/sheet
    • Copy of the photo page of your passport
    • Flight information
    • For physicians on Global Health trips: Credentialing information
  • I need to cancel, what is your refund policy?

    Please read our Trip Participant Refund Policy.
  • Can children go on a trip?

    Yes. Children as young as 11 have participated on JustHope trips. We set no age requirement, though we would discourage participation by very young children.

  • How can I pay my balance?

    If you have already registered, please mail us a check (JustHope, PO Box 4542, Tulsa OK 74159) or use this page to pay your balance online. If someone else is making a payment on your behalf, be sure they indicate who and what trip their check is for, or fill in the appropriate information on the online form.

    If you aren't sure how much you've already paid, you can check your dashboard to see what completed contributions you have made. If others have made payments on your behalf, you'll need to contact us directly.

  • Is my trip fee tax deductible?

    The short answer to this question is "maybe." It depends on what your accountant says. The IRS allows for deductions for travel in order to do "charity work" (not the language we use to talk about our Nicarguan partnerships, but that's the language the IRS uses). Some of your trip fee is related to your travel expenses (room, board, in-country transportation), some provides support for the specific projects your group is working on, and some provides administrative support for JustHope. If you would like to deduct your trip fee, talk with your tax professional about it. JustHope provides email receipts for trip fees that can be used for tax reporting.
  • How do medical professionals on Global Health trips get credentialed?

    Attending doctors (MD, DO, PharmD, etc.), Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners need to provide the following in order to be credentialed to practice in Nicaragua. (We do not need to credential RNs.) Each item must be notarized.

    • Medical diploma.
    • State medical license. Must be valid through the duration of your trip. If you are waiting on a renewal, please send the other documents now with a note as to when you expect your new license to arrive.
    • Basic professional information (as on a CV). DO NOT simply send in your CV. Please use the online form sent to you by email or complete this form on paper.

    About notarizing these documents: In some states, notaries are not permitted to notarize copies of official documents. If you run into this issue, ask the notary to attest to an affidavit of your statement that it is a true and exact copy (rather than attesting to the copy itself). See an example here.

    Mail all of these notarized documents to

    JustHope
    PO Box 4542
    Tulsa OK 74159

    If you use a delivery service that requires a street address, use

    JustHope
    c/o Fellowship Congregational Church
    2900 S. Harvard Ave.
    Tulsa OK 74114

    All documents need to be physically in the JustHope office no later than two months before the trip.

    If you have questions or difficulties, please contact us.

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  • Do I need to get vaccinations?

    You should talk to your doctor about your specific needs regarding vaccinations and other heatlh-related concerns. The Center for Disease Control also has recommendations. If you are traveling to any other countries before you arrive in Nicaragua, be extra sure to check vaccination requirements for all countries and carry any needed certificates of vaccination.

    The most important thing you can do to avoid contracting mosquito-borne viruses (chikungunya, dengue, malaria, and Zika) is to prevent mosquito bites in first place.

  • Can you give me a simple list of all that I need to provide to JustHope?

    Here it is:

    • Online trip registration
    • Payment
    • Basic health insurance information
    • Medical evacuation (Medevac) insurance information and confirmation scan/sheet
    • Copy of the photo page of your passport
    • Flight information
    • For physicians on Global Health trips: Credentialing information
  • Should I read anything before I go?

    We encourage you to read this document to learn a little bit about Nicaragua and JustHope.
  • What do I need to know about traveling and arrival?

    Important question! All of the essentials are available in this Google Document: emergency numbers, locations, information about customs and immigration, and more. A couple weeks before you leave, be sure to print two copies of this document - one to leave with your loved ones and one to take with you.
  • What should I pack?

    There are two versions of our packing list: one for and one for Global Health (medical bridgade) trips and one for everyone else.
  • Should I register with the State Department?

    Though not required by JustHope, we encourage participants to register with the U.S. Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When doing this, you'll need to have an address in Nicaragua. Use one of the following:

    • Most non-medical groups: La Casa de Paz, Chacraseca, León, Nicaragua
    • Most Global Health (medical brigade) groups: Hotel San Juan de León, León, Nicaragua (though in 2018, we are using Hotel Europa, 3ra. Calle Ne, 4ta. Avenida, León, Nicaragua
    • If your group is going to La Flor: Best Western Las Mercedes, Managua, Nicaragua
    • If you aren’t sure what address to use, use the JustHope office address: JustHope, De la Iglesia Zaragoza, 75vras abajo, Casa rosada con verjas negras, León, León, Nicaragua
  • What about Zika and malaria and other tropical diseases?

    The viruses that cause Zika, chikungunya, and dengue are an ever-present concern in Nicaragua so use of DEET mosquito repellent and other mosquito bite prevention strategies(PDF from the CDC) are important and highly effective safety precautions. Because of the presence of Zika, women who might be pregnant and partners of pregnant women should know that the CDC advises against their travel to Nicaragua.

    Malaria is present but rare in our partner communities and the CDC (as of 2018) has no recommendations for these areas other than mosquito avoidance. If you will be traveling to the eastern half of Nicaragua before or after your JustHope trip, you should know that the CDC's recommends chemoprophylaxis for those areas.

    JustHope's experience has been that diligent use of DEET mosquito repellent and other bite prevention strategies (long sleeves/pants, netting, permethrin-treated clothing, etc.) have proven to be effective protection against these viruses for our participants.

    Regarding DEET mosquito repellent, we do not recommend 100% DEET, as that is such a high concentration that it is easily over-applied to no greater benefit. Repellents with under 50% DEET are ideal. More information about DEET is available from the CDC.

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  • Where will we stay?

    Groups visiting Chacraseca stay at La Casa de Paz, a guesthouse established for visiting groups. Global Health groups stay in a modest hotel in León, usually the Hotel San Juan de León.
  • What will we eat

    Most meals will be tipico Nicaraguan food - rice, beans, some meat - prepared by members of the local community.
  • How strenuous will the trip be?

    Different trips engage in different activities, but there is always a range. All participants will need to be able to walk over rough surfaces for at least 1/4 mile. Participants going to La Flor should be prepared for even more strenuous walking, as the town is in the mountains and not accessible by road. If you have concerns, please speak with your Trip Organizer.
  • What is the weather like?

    It depends on whether you will visiting Chacraseca (coastal lowlands) or La Flor (mountains). In both areas, the hottest and driest part of the year is March/April and it cools off a bit in June and July as the rainy season starts. Expect highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s and humidity above 50% for Chacraseca, and 80s/60s/>60% for La Flor. Explore the climate for Chacraseca and La Flor.
  • What do I need to know about traveling and arrival?

    Important question! All of the essentials are available in this Google Document: emergency numbers, locations, information about customs and immigration, and more. A couple weeks before you leave, be sure to print two copies of this document - one to leave with your loved ones and one to take with you.
  • On medical trips, what kind of health issues will we treat?

    Respiratory issues due to cooking stoves are common. Otherwise, standard chronic illnesses and injuries you would see elsewhere.
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  • How can I share my photos with JustHope?

    If you have permission of both the photographer and subject(s), you can share your photos and videos with JustHope. If you do so, you implicitly give JustHope permission to use the photos and videos in any way we choose. You can upload them to our private photo server or using the DS Photo app on your phone (android, iOS). The account name and password will be provided to you after the trip, or earlier if you ask for it.

    The upload process is pretty simple, but we have a tutorial video (just 3 minutes) that covers the basics. We appreciate descriptions and tags to help us organize the photos.

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