Organize a delegation
Step One: Make Certain CoCoDA Is A Good Fit
Take an hour to read through our website and familiarize yourself with our organization and approach. If you're looking for a traditional service trip, we may not be a good fit. Make certain to read the pages on Why Central America, Unique Approach and FAQ. Determine if El Salvador or Nicaragua are intriguing destinations for your group. If what we offer fits your needs and interests, go on to step two.
Step Two: Identify Your Target Group and Delegation Theme
Identify the group with whom you'd like to create a delegation. Determine why this group might want to visit Central America. What would be their interests and motivations? What country would they like to visit? When and for how long could they travel? What could they afford? Take a moment to review the pages on Themes, Logistical Questions and Sample Itinerary. If you can imagine ten to fifteen people from your group joining a delegation, go on to step three.
Step Three: Identify An Interesting Project
All CoCoDA delegations engage with one of our projects. Sometimes this is simply seeing and learning. Often, this involves getting your hands dirty. A project is also something to attract interest for your delegation. Visit the page on Ongoing Projects and identify one or more projects that your group might find compelling. Go on to step four.
Step Four: Contact Us
Give us a call or send us an e-mail expressing your interest in organizing a delegation. By completing the first three steps, you've collected much of the information we'll ask for in our initial conversation. Based on that discussion, CoCoDA will begin creating a proposal for your delegation. While you're waiting on our proposal, you may want to read our Delegation Information Packets to prepare for the many questions people will have for you as you create your delegation. Once we provide you with a proposal, go to step five.
Step Five: Visit Central America (Optional)
While this step is optional, we encourage delegation organizers to visit El Salvador or Nicaragua before organizing a delegation. We will pay all your in country costs if you buy the plane ticket. We'll let you shadow another delegation, learn from their experience and see firsthand how a delegation works. When you return home, you're ready for step six.
Step Six: Seek Approval and Support for Your Delegation
Armed with our proposal, seek approval for your delegation. Your goal is enthusiastic support. Once you have this support, begin talking to others about your destination country, CoCoDA and your potential delegation. We can provide you with brochures to distribute. Suggest others visit our website. When feasible, we're happy to send a CoCoDA staff person to meet with prospective delegates and answer their questions. Once you have strong interest, go to step seven.
Step Seven: Schedule Your Delegation
Confirm and schedule your delegation. Using our Organizer's Manual, recruit and prepare your delegates for their trip to Central America. We'll help you collect the delegation fees and arrange travel insurance. We'll walk you through any issues or difficulties. Get ready for step eight.
Step Eight: Fly To Central America
Fly to Central America. We'll pick you and your delegation up at the airport. From that point on, you can relax and enjoy the experience.