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1736 Gilrix Street
Petaluma, Ca 94954


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Photography by & Amy S. Martin Photography & Briana Marie Photography.

What to pack? 

Click here for a printable packing list.

Note: For ease of travel we recommend packing in a carry-on suitcase. Please be mindful of your toiletries and follow airlines regulations.

Personal Items:


□  Passport and second form of ID (Driver’s license, state ID card, or school ID card)

□  Framed photo to leave with your host family

□  Journal and pens

□  Headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries (small flashlights are good to give families when you leave)

□  Camera and extra batteries (you will not have your phone to take pictures)

□  Compact English-Spanish Dictionary

□  Hat (fully brimmmed is best)

□  Work gloves (2 pair)

□  Sunglasses

□  Sunscreen/lip balm

□  Pepto Bismol Chewable Tablets (2 boxes of 30 tablets)

□  Benadryl stick

□  Bug spray (Deep Woods Off/Sportsman or similar)

□  Old pillow case or garbage bag for laundry  

□  Wristwatch with alarm or travel alarm clock

□  Packaged snacks for travel/work days (granola bars, cliff bars etc.)

□  Two 2-quart reusable water bottles (one goes in your backpack for the flight)

□  Ear plugs (it can be loud at night)

□  Swiss army knife or Leatherman (optional - can be put in a checked bag at the airport)

Clothing Items:


□  Water shoes and/or Teva-type shoes (for bathing in the river)

□  Tennis shoes/hiking boots (for day-to-day work and hiking)

□  Sandals or shoes to wear at night (a little more dressy)

□  One pair of dress shoes (men)

□  2 swim trunks or bathing suits (women must wear tank top over bathing suit)

□  2 towels (a bath size towel and a thinner one for a quick dry)

□  4 pairs of shorts/Capri’s

□  T-shirts/tank tops (for work)

□  2 pairs of long pants

□  2 collared shirts for gentlemen for night time

□  1 or 2 cotton dresses or skirts and tops (on disco nights, you will want nice, modest clothes)

□  Light sweater or hoodie and sweats (for nights in the mountains)

□  6 pairs of socks

□  6 pairs of underwear

□  Lightweight cotton sleep attire (boxers and t-shirts work great)


□  Toothbrush

□  Toothpaste

□  Deodorant

□  Shampoo (travel-size for carry-on)

□  Body soap

□  Hand sanitizer

□  All purpose wipes (good for when water is limited)

□  Tissues



Gifts are really nice to bring as a "thank you" to your host family. In addition to thank you notes and your framed photo, think about bringing one or two (not all!) of the following:

  • handmade anything (always the best!)

  • T-shirts or baseball caps

  • Kitchen towels, pot holders

  • Wipeable/flannel-backed table cloths (Oil cloth)

  • Items such as playing/Uno cards, coloring books, and nail polish, which are gifts, but also activities to do with your family.

*Remember to be mindful of how you pack. It is easy to bring too much. Also, be aware of airline restrictions regarding carry-on bags (liquids, knifes, etc.).


Do Not Pack:

X Too much

X Large amounts of cash (Una Vida will exchange your dollars to pesos for you)

X Travelers checks

X Hair dryers

X Curling or Flat irons

X Too much make–up

X Electronics* (including iPods!)

X Anything you would be devastated to lose


*Bring cell phones for in-transit communication. Your phone will be collected by an Una Vida staff member in Miami or other connection point and returned for the trip home.