FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do local people feel about us going to their villages and communities?
Timor Unearthed programs are guided by the communities we partner with. We conduct regular stakeholder engagement meetings, provide training and support, and hold a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with our homestay community. Our homestay program allows families to diversify their income through sustainable tourism and share their culture.
Our families have received training in child protection, food safety, hospitality and have participated in homestay exchanges with other programs in Timor-Leste. Our families are very welcoming and open to sharing their community and lifestyle with students. They take a lot of pride in their culture and history and this experience is a great opportunity to share this with the global community. They understand this is an educational experience for students. Most people in the village are subsistence farmers and do not have any other source of income other than selling coffee and produce at local markets. This experience offers families an alternative source of income through sustainable tourism.
We provide regular consultation and review sessions with our host families to ensure our homestay experience is positive for all involved. Our homestay coordinator, Norberto, is a local to the village and assist in facilitating our homestay experiences. We have always recieved positive feedback from our homestay community.
What support is offered to our group leading up to the trip?
What bathroom ammenities are avaliable? Is there phone reception?
We always select accommodation providers that are safe and hygenic. For the most part of the program the bathroom facilities will include mandi (bucket) style showers with cold water, and squat toilets.
Is Timor-Leste safe?
The people of Timor-Leste are very hospitable and friendly. This is reflected in survey data collected by The Ministry of Tourism and The Asia Foundation in 2014, which revealed that 84% of travellers surveyed rated personal safety and security as either 'good' or 'very good'. The official advice of the Australian Government's Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade is to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in Timor-Leste (01/01/2020). This includes paying close attention to your personal security at all times and monitoring the media about possible new safety or security risks.
When can we travel to Timor-Leste?
We operate travel programs in Timor-Leste all year round. December-April is wet season, which means access to very remote areas may be restricted due to road conditions. We strategically plan our travel program activities and locations we visit to best fit the season.
Who are our guides and support in country?
All our immersion programs are facilitated by very experienced senior tour guides. We also will have several junior tour guide staff who will be on the program as an opportunity to recieve training and mentorship from our senior staff. All our staff have received training opportunities in safe driving, workplace health and safety, first aid, child protection, sustainable travel and tour guide skills. On the immersion you will have 24/7 support from the Timor Unearthed management team.
What is the food like? Can you cater for dietary requirements?
While in Timor-Leste you can expect to eat local food which includes rice, beans, vegetables, beef and chicken.