Do we have to be able to speak Spanish?
No, Spanish skills are not necessary, but we do need some fluent Spanish speakers at each site. You may wish that you could converse with the local residents and people you meet. If you are able, we recommend learning some conversational Spanish for your own personal benefit.

Can I participate if I am not affiliated with Yale?
Absolutely! We encourage family and friends to participate on the Service Tour. All helping hands are welcome. Please note that children must be at least 10 years old to participate, and all participants under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

When do I need to arrive in Monterrey?
Participants can arrive in Monterrey at any time on Saturday, March 13, 2010. Dinner that evening will be on your own; we’ll arrange an informal after-dinner gathering so you can greet each other as you get settled. We’ll begin our official program orientation on Sunday, March 14 at breakfast.

Can we attend a portion of the tour, either arriving late or leaving early?
No, we work as a family of volunteers-members of a team who will share different responsibilities and project assignments. We will have work teams for all of the projects, and teamwork means all hands on deck! You can certainly travel to Monterrey early or stay longer on your own, if you’d like.

I would like to travel to Mexico with other members of the Yale group. Is there a group flight to Monterrey?
The program fee does not include international air arrangements. However, we will recommend an optional group flight between the U.S. and Monterrey, so you may book that flight if you choose. Stay tuned for more information about the optional group flight; details will be available when your registration is confirmed.

Will there be financial assistance available for this Service Tour?
Depending on the availability of scholarship funds, we hope to offer financial aid awards for some alumni and student tour participants. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as well as expertise needed for the service projects. Please contact Remy Shaber atremy.shaber@yale.edu if you would like to receive a financial aid application.

We encourage those of you who can to please contribute to the Service Tour Scholarship Fund! Scholarship gifts are fully tax-deductible and enable talented alumni from diverse backgrounds to participate, enhancing the experience for everyone.

What will the weather be like?
It’s Mexico in March!…you can expect warm days and cooler temperatures in the evening. Keep in mind, you may be working outdoors. It can get very hot on sunny days, and quite cool on overcast or rainy days. We recommend that you be prepared for different temperatures.

What will we wear?
Comfortable work clothes. You will be working at community centers and project sites in impoverished communities, often outdoors. All excursions and group activities will be casual. There is no need for a need for coat and tie unless you’d like to dress up at your discretion. You may want to bring one nicer outfit for the evening with our Monterrey Tech friends, but formal attire is not necessary. You may wish to bring a swimsuit if you choose to swim during the trip.

What will accommodations be like?
Thanks to the generous support of Monterrey’s historic Gran Hotel Ancira, we will be staying at this lovely hotel in the heart of downtown Monterrey. The Ancira is walking distance from the River Walk, Macroplaza, museums, and other cultural highlights.

I have specialized skills that may be valuable to the service projects and I’d like to be involved in the project development. How can I do that?
Glad you asked! For several projects, we work with a committee of specialized alumni volunteers who provide expertise to help shape our service projects. If you may be interested in joining a volunteer committee for the Mexico Service Tour, please contact Remy Shaber at (203) 432-1955 or write to remy.shaber@yale.edu .

What about medical emergencies?
Monterrey offers top quality medical care and an array of both public and private hospitals. The Service Tour program fee includes Travelex 360 Emergency Medical insurance. For details about this medical coverage, please contact Travelex at 1-800-228-9792.

What if I have to cancel my participation unexpectedly?
Please be aware that after the December 15 registration deadline, the program deposit is non-refundable. Following the January payment deadline, all Service Tour program fees are non-refundable. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which would cover your expenses resulting from cancellation due to illness or accident. We are happy to send you a brochure from Travel Insurance Services, or you may obtain coverage through the company of your choice.

What if my questions are not answered here?
We’ll be delighted to address your particular questions and concerns. For more information, please contact Remy Shaber, Service Tour Coordinator, at (203) 432-1955, or via e-mail atremy.shaber@yale.edu .

See you in Monterrey!