Home Hospitality Program

Information and Suggestions for Hosting International Visitors

The primary purpose of the EPCIV Home Hospitality Program is to provide an opportunity for our international visitors to meet Americans informally, in their homes, while sharing a meal.  This allows our visitors to meet and talk with Americans outside their schedule of meetings with officials, and in that way get beyond the stereotypes.  The American – and El Paso – tradition of hospitality provides the context for greater international understanding.  It’s an easy two-way exchange: our visitors learn more about us, while we can learn more about them and their cultures.

As soon as you know who your guests will be, invite a few friends who: 

Share the visitors’ area of professional expertise 
Have traveled in the visitors’ country or speak their language
Enjoy foreign travel or learning about other countries 
Enjoy meeting and talking with people 
Potential EPCIV members are excellent choices 

Once you have hosted a dinner or two, invite new members to a dinner so they can become familiar with this type of event before they serve as hosts.  Your scheduler for home hospitality can provide new member names.

Smaller groups are generally better suited for conversation.  Give the invited friends copies of the visitors’ bios ahead of time to help get the discussion started.  The bios are not always provided by the programming agency in a timely manner nor do we always receive information on dietary restrictions.  The staff will send information to you as soon as it is received; you may determine from the visitor’s home country if there might be dietary restrictions such as the consumption of pork.  Many members serve alcoholic beverages such as wine at home hospitality dinners.  This is always acceptable but non-alcoholic alternatives should also be available.

Each visitor receives a large personalized proclamation recording their visit.  This is a Jose Cisneros print with the visitor’s name and country in calligraphy with the host(s) signature(s).  

The proclamations must be picked up at the EPCIV office at 279 Shadow Mountain Dr., Suite 211 by appointment. Call the office to make sure the proclamation has been delivered before you go!  

Please be aware that you may receive a small token of appreciation from the visitors – and some hosts offer a souvenir of El Paso or the US, although this is in no way required.  Gift ideas include small calendars with scenes of the local region or the US, small photo books, or a local craft item.  You will probably exchange email and other addresses.  You may wish to keep a guest book to record your experiences, or take photos – if you do, please share with the EPCIV office staff so they may be posted on the website (www.epciv.org)!

The information sheet you receive will give you the address and telephone number of the visitor pick-up point, if they are not providing their own transportation. If they do not have their own transportation, you will be responsible for transportation of the guests to and from their hotel.  You may wish to call ahead of time to make contact with their State Department escort, and definitely do so if there is any change in your hosting plan.   Most visitors have a demanding schedule with early starts; please keep this in mind when arranging the dinner and bringing it to a conclusion.

Relax, enjoy the evening with our visitors; and thank you for sharing in our El Paso Home Hospitality Program.

 

 
December 6, 2010
Serene & Marge Bartoletti - A Project for Spain
Helping promote Citizen Diplomacy:
"One Handshake At A Time."
Parks, Biodiversity and Ecotourism Management June 2009 
Sand Dunes at White Sands
Parks, Biodiversity and Ecotourism Management June 2009  At Sacramento Ranger Station Cloudcroft NM with Smokey Bear 
Kazakhstan Visit August 2010 
K-9 Unit
July 2012 Moldova Group
Home Hospitality at Anai Padilla's home