There are a two major reasons for our dress code: culture and appropriateness.
We ask that you dress modestly because the local church cultures that we work with emphasize modesty. We ask that you dress for labor because it will protect you from potential harm that comes with the work that you may be doing.
In Honduras and Haiti, pants are best suited for our work. Pants help protect you around the worksite (especially if you are doing physical labor) and they protect you from the sun and (wait for it...) mosquitoes, which reduce your risk of contracting malaria, Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya.
Similarly, closed-toe shoes work best for the worksite, the medical clinic, and the Refuge. Feel free to wear modest shorts and don your flip flops when you are relaxing at the hotel or lodge, however, we ask that you don't wear spaghetti strap shirts or short skirts either. Again, think sun and mosquito protection.
We basically try to stay in line with local church culture, which is pretty modest, unlike local secular culture. Thanks for your cooperation with these guidelines, we appreciate it!