Health and Safety

Traveling and working in another country can take a toll on the health of your team. The team will be eager to work hard and experience new things. The team needs to be careful that their enthusiasm does not set them up for sickness if they do not pace themselves and listen to their body. They are not only adjusting to a new culture and each other, but they must also adjust to a new climate, foods they might not be used to eating, and possibly hard physical labor. It should not come as a surprise if members of your team get sick. We do ask that the team pace themselves, and be honest about how each person is feeling. It’s okay to break for water and rest if it will keep people healthy.

Water

The only water suitable for drinking in El Salvador is bottled water. Due to the climate, we encourage teams to drink all the bottled water they can, to prevent dehydration and heat-stroke. They should bring some type of water bottle to carry with them at all times. It is recommended that they drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight to stay hydrated during the day.

Sunscreen

Due to the location of El Salvador, the suns rays are much more direct and powerful. Sunscreen should be applied several times a day. SPF 35 or higher is highly recommended

First Aid

Although we will be aware of the closest clinic, hospital or doctor during your week of ministry, there may be times where the nearest medical facility is 1-2 hours away. For this reason, we recommend all teams to have at least one person on your team that has had both first aid and CPR training. The team leader will be responsible for bringing a team first aid kit. This kit will need to be with your team at all times as you travel. Your team leader should keep a spare copy of every team member’s medical information in the kit. Each member might consider bringing a small personalized first aid kit with medications or items they use frequently. If they are on any medications that will need to be taken during your week with us, we encourage each member to bring a duplicate set of medication in case medications get lost. During travel, carry one set in a carry on bag, and one set in a checked bag in case a bag is lost or misplaced.

Things that crawl, fly and bite

In most developing countries, mosquitoes, ticks, sand fleas, flies, and other bugs can ruin your trip. We encourage each member to use insect repellent. Apply repellent to wrists, ankles, neck and behind ears. Be careful of using repellent containing concentrations of DEET above 30%. We encourage all participants to wear covered shoes or boots anytime we minister in the country- side. Teams may visit areas with snakes and spiders, but, most likely, none will be seen. Please do not pet or touch stray animals, as stray animals in El Salvador may carry a variety of communicable diseases and sicknesses.

Medical Emergencies

We will work closely with your team and team leaders to inform and prepare you in case of any medical emergencies. El Salvador does have some hospitals and clinics that are adequately prepared to handle most medical emergencies. Please do not hesitate to inform a missionary and/or a team leader immediately if you are aware of any type of medical emergency.

Immunizations/Medical requirements

Contact your doctor or local clinic to find out what immunizations and medications you will need and make sure all needed immunizations and required vaccinations are either updated or administered in time.

 

Health knowledge

It is recommended that you inform yourself and your team about the health issues you may encounter. Your local doctor or clinic can help you. To find more health information, try the following websites: Center for Disease Control, Travelhealth.com

• Jetlag
• Heat exhaustion and dehydration
• Water borne illness
• AIDS
• Malaria
• Dengue Fever
• Motion Sickness
• Travelers’ Diarrhea
• Food Poisoning
• Swimming safely
• Animal bites
• Insect Bites and Insect Borne Diseases
• Altitude

Medical insurance

We absolutely require all team members to have travel/health insurance. You must bring a copy of your medical insurance card on the trip (front and back).

Personal prescriptions

We encourage you to bring a duplicate prescription with you in case your original prescription is misplaced. If misplaced, you may not be able to find your required medication here.