FAB Terms and Conditions

Maryknoll Lay Missioners (MKLM), formally known as the Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful, Inc., created the Friends Across Borders (FAB) program to help participants:

  • learn about mission and become partners in mission.
  • form friendships that transcend borders, with missioners and the people among whom we serve.
  • share in our MKLM mission spirituality.

Below are terms and conditions that we post in order to responsibly attend to the health and safety of FAB participants and ensure that they are duly informed of security and safety issues relative to their upcoming FAB trips.

FAB makes every effort to provide a reasonably safe and healthy immersion experience. Nonetheless, as a fundamental element of our programs,  participants travel to areas of poverty in foreign settings, and in doing so, undertake risks.

Assumption of Risk

By registering for a FAB program, the participant acknowledges that s/he is aware that the trip s/he is undertaking involves inherent risks in travel and work in volunteer settings, and that living and working conditions throughout the trip will differ considerably from the U.S. environment; and that such conditions are not within the control of FAB or Maryknoll Lay Missioners. The participant further acknowledges that there is a risk of illness, injury, or death, which may be caused by forces of nature, illness, and accident, or by willful or criminal conduct of third parties, or by terrorism.

Housing will be simple but adequate and appropriate to the nature of the journey as a mission trip. Trip organizers will make every effort to arrange for participants’ access to reputable health care facilities, but these health care facilities may not be as accessible or of the standard to which participants are accustomed in the United States. Maryknoll Lay Missioners may not have in place detailed policies and procedures to address such matters as accommodation of disabilities or complaints of discrimination or harassment.

Voluntary Participation

By registering for a FAB program, the participant acknowledges that s/he has voluntarily applied to participate in this trip; that s/he has read the terms and conditions of the FAB programs as well as all forms provided; that s/he  has read the preparatory suggestions/recommendations on each trip webpage; and that s/he has complied with all requirements described in each trip webpage.

Medical and Health Issues

The participant certifies that s/he is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility. The participant further certifies that s/he does not have any psychological/psychiatric, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. For trips that take place at higher elevations (above 5,000 feet) such as Bolivia, the participant certifies that s/he does not suffer from a respiratory, cardiac, or circulatory disorder. It is vital that anyone with medical issues make them known to us at the moment of the application. We reserve the right in our sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any FAB trip participant at any time prior or during the trip. In the event of removal from a trip, no refund will be made.

Hospitals, other appropriate medical facilities, or doctors, are often unavailable.  If needed, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. We assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. FAB will request a medical certificate signed by the participant’s physician before and/or after a trip when there are issues of concern on our part.

FAB Responsibility

Maryknoll Lay Missioners, including its members, employees, directors, agents, and representatives will provide mission awareness immersion experiences in the six mission countries where we currently serve, as indicated elsewhere in this website. As a sponsoring organization, we of Friends Across Borders (a program of Maryknoll Lay Missioners) will do our best to make sure that each trip meets our stated objectives, and we have full confidence in the experience of our local hosts, Maryknoll and otherwise, to provide a reliable support system at trip destinations.

FAB/Maryknoll Lay Missioners is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any third party, such as hotels or other lodging facilities, airlines, vessels, busses, vans or other transportation companies, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food services, or entertainment providers, etc. Without limitation, we are not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to personal property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, weather, force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities or the threat thereof, of any kind, epidemics or the threat thereof, illness, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, structural or other defective conditions in hotels or other lodging facilities, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely, dangers associated with animals, or vegetation of any sort, dangers incident to recreational activities, sanitation problems, food poisoning, lack of access to or quality of medical care, difficulty in evacuation in case of medical or other emergency, negligence of shipboard or other physicians or medical personnel or for any cause beyond our direct control.

In addition, the FAB participant releases Maryknoll Lay Missioners from her/his own negligence and assumes all risk thereof. Also, Maryknoll Lay Missioners is not liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the participant’s FAB trip departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

Responsibilities of Participants

Each FAB participant is responsible for understanding the conditions and requirements as described on this page, all instructions on forms to be signed, and the requirements for specific trips as detailed on the corresponding webpage in this site.

The participant is responsible for his/her preparation for the trip by reading the trip itinerary and supplemental trip information in the pre-trip materials provided, and for bringing the appropriate clothing as advised in those materials.

FAB trips do not include rigorous travel experiences, but trips can nonetheless be physically taxing. Each participant must be able to walk and climb several flights of stairs without assistance, carry her/his own luggage, and possess sufficient stamina to weather the tiring effects of normal travel and all-day every-day planned schedules.

Itinerary Changes

While we plan for an orderly daily schedule, the unanticipated does happen-  and when it does, trip participants are expected to adapt. We reserve the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem them necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds

We calculate our fees to break even only; that is, participant fees go directly to cover the cost of the trip in full. To reserve space on a FAB trip, a $200 non-refundable registration fee per-person is required. A second deposit of 50% of the total price is due 90 days prior to departure. Final payment of the balance is due no later than 30 days prior to departure. The deposit and all remaining payments must be made by check to Maryknoll Lay Missioners.

A reservation may be cancelled if full payment has not been received by 30 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 30 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted.

After making a reservation, the participant will receive a detailed pre-trip package with a packing list, visa information, payment schedule, immunizations information, waiver of liability form that must be signed and returned to us, and other information needed for trip preparation. Final trip details will be sent three weeks prior to departure.

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark. If a participant cancels 30 days prior to departure, a refund less an administrative fee of another $200 will be made. If a cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to departure, only 50% of the cost will be reimbursed. If a cancellation occurs a week or fewer days prior to departure, or if the participant leaves the trip early, for any reason whatsoever, no refund will be made.

We reserve the right to cancel any trip because of insufficient enrollment making the trip economically unfeasible for FAB, or because developments at the trip destination or en route are cause for concern with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of participants. If FAB cancels an expedition prior to departure, participants will receive full refunds and/or credit toward a future FAB trip equivalent to what they have paid. FAB will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participants in their preparation for the trip (e.g., nonrefundable airline tickets, visa fees, immunization expenses, etc.).

Group Discount

Parties of eight people or more traveling together will receive 5% off the FAB trip cost. Please inquire upon making the reservation.


Friends Across Borders reserves the right to take photographs or videos during the trip and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. By signing an application form, the participant agrees to allow his/her likeness to be used by FAB without compensation to participant.

Binding Arbitration

The agreement signed by any FAB participant with Maryknoll Lay Missioners, including its members, employees, directors, agents and representatives, is governed by the laws of the State of New York. Participants agree personally, and on behalf of their heirs, executors, beneficiaries and other interested persons, that if there is ever a dispute about the terms or enforcement of this agreement, it will be decided by a judge and not a jury, according to laws of New York State.