February 6, 2018
Ten days before our departure for Guatemala, we learned from Habitat for Humanity International that all trips to Guatemala were cancelled until further notice. Habitat’s decision was based on a new system of Travel Advisories instituted by the U.S. State Department last month. The Guatemalan advisory suggests travelers “reconsider travel to Guatemala due to crime.” Out of concern for volunteer safety, Habitat decided to cancel trips. We were shocked and saddened. What a disappointment for our team of 12 volunteers. Many of us had begun packing our bags.
Our concerns and prayers are with the families awaiting a new latrine, cook stove or home built by Habitat volunteers, as well as the many Guatemalan Habitat staff and countless Guatemalans whose livelihoods are supported by Habitat volunteers and North American tourism. As vulnerable people, their lives and communities will be directly impacted by this action.
We understand that Habitat is working with the State Department and may reconsider this decision. If that happens, our team hopes to return to Guatemala as soon as possible. We will keep you informed, as space would likely be available if you would like to join us. –Susan Dittig & Greg Anacker, Trip Leaders