Gift for Host
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 14, 2012 12:36 PM Last Post By: ghost_toast
Dec 11, 2012 5:17 AM
Gift for HostHi!
A friend and I (we are from the US) will be flying into Guatemala City next week. A family, whom we have been connected with but have never met before, has offered to host us for the few days we are there. They have been ridiculously generous, offering all amenities and such, giving us the full "tourist" experience. We'd like to get them a gift for their premium generosity, but aren't sure what is appropriate. We suspect they are pretty well-to-do as they have a car and room to take us in. Any suggestions?
Dec 11, 2012 7:44 AM
Dec 11, 2012 12:50 PM
2In my experience, some gifts are universal...For starters, where are you from? You might bring them a product from your part of the country. For example, last time I went I brought parmesean and cheddar cheese. Home-made jams or pickles or pesto or scarves or hats (yes, it gets cold in the capital!) are always well-received.
If they have been the US before, you might also ask them if they have a hankering for some food that they like and you can bring. A friend of ours in Guatemala loves chai tea and maple syrup (both hard to find in Guate) so we bring her those.
Do they have kids? If so, you could go to a high-end toy store (NOT Target or Walmart) and pick out an age-appropriate toy or game. There are lots of educational type toys that don't require any English language skills. Think magnets, puzzles, and "Spot it" games.
Outside of Guatemala City, it's really hard to find high-quality household items. So if your host family were from outside the City, I would recommend getting them household stuff for gifts. Here are some great gifts for middle-class families:
--Teflon frying pans (although the new ceramic frying pans are probably better)
--A set of full-size bed sheets (200 count or above is hard to find in guate)
--A set of towels (the towels in Guate are super cheap)
--Nice chef's knife
--Set of tools
Dec 11, 2012 3:13 PM
3I agree with paty on this.
When people buy me clothes or a household item, most of the time I don't like it. I got this ugly watch recently and now I feel stuck wearing it when I see the giver.
Going out to eat in a nice restaurant is a wonderful idea. You might also bring flowers when you arrive.
Dec 11, 2012 7:35 PM
Dec 12, 2012 7:57 AM
Dec 12, 2012 11:16 PM
6Here's my list from a previous thread:
For host family gifts I like to take/send items that represent our area. In addition to a food specialty if there is one (maple candies, chocolate covered cherries, etc.) things like photo magnets, playing cards, tiny photo books, and picture calendars (even if it's most of the way through the year) with a state or regional theme make good gifts. I can see Mt. Adams in Washington state, Mt. Hood in Oregon, and the Columbia River from my house; I have photo magnets made and they're a big hit in the tropics because no one can believe I see snow year round. When I find a good deal on small English/Spanish dictionaries I take those to give out to teachers and family members and (in my case now) scholarship students. You don't want to take anything too fancy or it might make them feel uncomfortable or like they should reciprocate.
For kids I take small rubber finger puppets, stickers, pencils, and small pencil sharpeners; I don't give out candy or balloons for health/safety reasons. Sometimes I find those glow stick/bracelet things at the Dollar Store and take those, and some little hair doodads for girls. Pro team apparel/hats are popular but spendy and a lot to lug along if you don't know anything in advance about the family.
I don't give money to kids who ask (beg) for it but foreign currency can make a fun gift for host family kids if they're old enough to keep it out of their mouths - all the coins and a $1 bill, maybe.
Taking your family out for dinner or dessert is a fun gift idea and your teacher would appreciate that, too. Sometimes you'll notice something they don't have you think they'd like that you can buy locally. A few times I've taken a nice portrait of the family for my own memory keeping but have framed an enlargement as a gift before I left.
One of my best recommendations is to take a small photo album of your own family, house, pets, town, and friends - the perfect conversation starter, esp. if there's a language barrier. Happy trails!
Dec 13, 2012 7:39 AM
7Hopefulist's recommendations are great, and taking people out to a restaurant is fun. Upon reflection, I realized that my gift list was kind of spendy. But then again I am usually bringing down gifts for my in-laws and I know them well--and I know exactly what they need. (And since I sleep in their beds I know they need better bed sheets, ha ha ha!)
A note about restaurants: Guatemalans do enjoy going out to eat at "American-style" places like TGI Fridays or Italian restaurants. Keep in mind that they eat Guatemalan food all the time at home, and they might enjoy eating something different when the go out. I know, going to an American or Italian style restaurant when you are in Guatemala sounds like a stupid idea, but they might love it.
Dec 14, 2012 12:36 PM
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