Many volunteers and teachers ask us what vaccinations should they get when visiting Guatemala. There are no big epidemics in Guatemala at the moment of writing this article, but here are a few pointers from us:
–Malaria : Malaria is not a big issue in Guatemala, but if you are going to be visiting the tropical regions of Guatemala or are going to be spending a lot of time outdoors we recommend using mosquito repellent and avoiding getting bit by mosquitoes.
–Hepatitis vaccines A/B: If you are working in healthcare program and haven’t already had immunizations for hepatitis A and B , we recommend that you do so before starting your time as volunteer as clinics can receive patients that are infected with Hepatitis.
-Flu-shot: Not a must have immunization but it certainly helps while traveling as you will be meeting many people along the way.
–Zika and Dengue: Both are diseases transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that are mostly found in the coastal and jungle regions of Guatemala. While both diseases are not extremely common and usually have mild consequences if treated correctly, we recommend using mosquito repellent and a mosquito net at night to drastically reduce mosquito bites.
Remember to practice good hygiene, only drink filtered or bottled water and avoid eating in street food stands.
More in depth information and recoommendations can be found at the CDC’s website.