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FAQs

  • WHAT IS A HOMESTAY?

    WHAT IS A HOMESTAY?

    A homestay is a form of tourism which allows travelers to stay with locals at their houses with their families.  It provides a cultural exchange which promotes a true local experience and will be a give and take experience for the traveler and family involved. A homestay is an excellent opportunity for learning a new craft, a new language and all about traditions and heritage of a different culture. 

  • DO THE FAMILIES SPEAK ENGLISH?

    DO THE FAMILIES SPEAK ENGLISH?

    No, the family’s first language is either Spanish or their Mayan dialect which can be either Kakchiquel or Tzutujil (depending on the village where you stay). If you are not fluent in either of these, as most of the travelers, there is no need to worry; you will be amazed how well you can communicate! Also if you are interested, there are Spanish learning opportunities in the communities. 
     

  • ARE MEALS INCLUDED?

    ARE MEALS INCLUDED?

    Most of the families provide all 3 meals, if you only want to include breakfast or a certain amount of meals, let us know booking so we can make the arrangements. The family can also provide you with a space for you to store food and snacks. 

  • WILL I GET MY OWN ROOM AND BATHROOM?

    WILL I GET MY OWN ROOM AND BATHROOM? 

    You will certainly have your own room with a bed of your own and all basic and necessary commodities.  In most of the cases you will be sharing bathroom with the rest of the family; a few houses do have private bathrooms for guests. 

  • ARE THE COMMUNITIES SAFE?

    ARE THE COMMUNITIES SAFE?

    Most communities we work with provide a very wholesome and safe environment. Our homestay program has only been applied to the communities that are organized and can guarantee the safety of those who visit and those who are part of it. 

  • WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN I DO DURING THE HOMESTAY?

    WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN I DO DURING THE HOMESTAY?

    As mentioned above it is an excellent opportunity for learning something new, Etnica encourages a personalized experience with the artisans and members of the communities we work with. From learning a new language, fishing, weaving, ceramics, painting, cooking and farming; there are different creative experiences you can engage in.
     

  • WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL?

    WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL?

    This is a form of travelling  that allows travelers to involve themselves in local activities to develop their creative potential and participate directly with the destination they visit.

    Etnica promotes this way of  travelling because it is a way of discovering culture from an interactive and dynamic approach that can promote the value and importance of the heritage and people of the communities we work with.  

    We offer experiences & workshops that will allow you to learn and participate in local activities and will provide a cultural exchange from both sides.  Responsible travel also respects the charge capacity of each destination and  incentivates the growth of  low scale economies and increases community involvement.

  • HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED?

    HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED?

    We have activities that range from ½ day to a full week. Depending on the interests and amount of time you have available we can provide full information about your options if you are interested in a homestay or just on creative tourism. If you are also visiting the areas we work with on your own, we can make arrangements for you to participate in any activity of your interest. 

  • HOW DOES THIS HELP THE COMMUNITIES?

    HOW DOES THIS HELP THE COMMUNITIES?

    This modality of tourism is a low impact activity that provides an extra income for the community and allows participation and empowerment of different members of the community. It also incentivizes the value of their culture and allows them to share their values, way of life and what they aspire to accomplish. 

  • BOOKING & CANCELLATION POLICY

    BOOKING & CANCELLATION POLICY

    In order to cancel a package for which you have made a booking, please email us at info@etnicasc.com stating your order reference and “Cancellation” in the title of the email. You may telephone us to discuss your desire to cancel the package but cancellation will only be effective when we have received from the person who purchased the package a written confirmation of his or her decision to cancel the package. An email to us stating that you desire to cancel a package is an irrevocable notice and you cannot subsequently change your mind even if we have not yet acknowledged the cancellation in writing.

    If you cancel your tour:

    We will apply the airline’s cancellation policy to any flights in your package and reimburse your ground arrangements in accordance with the penalty timeline

    For cancellation of ground-only arrangements:

    (a) 90 days or more prior to the stated departure date, we will retain an administrative fee of $100 per traveler and reimburse the remaining amount;

    (b) Between 30 and 89 days prior to the stated departure date, we will retain 50% of the total booking cost and reimburse the remaining amount;

    (c) Less than 30 days prior to departure, we will retain 100% of the price paid by you for the package.

    If you leave a trip for any reason after it has started, we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services.

    We may cancel a package at any time prior to departure by giving you notice by email, letter or (if very close to departure) by telephoning you, if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable or safe for our local partner to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel a package prior to departure, in your sole and absolute discretion you may choose between (i) us applying the amounts paid towards an alternative trip, or (ii) receiving a full refund. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking such as visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights.

    AMENDMENTS TO BOOKED PACKAGES

    If you wish to change the date of one trip there is a fee of

    (a)         $100 per traveler if done at least 90 days prior to the scheduled date of departure, subject to availability; and

    (b)         $300 per traveler if done between 30 and 89 days prior to the scheduled date of departure, subject to availability.

    If you wish to change the name of one or several travelers of the trip, there is a fee of $100 per passenger if done at least 90 days prior to the scheduled date of departure. No name changes are permitted within 89 days prior to the scheduled date of departure.

    No amendments are permitted to your booking within 29 days of departure.