Medical Care Facility in the Andes in Peru
Are you a doctor or nurse? Or do you want to study medicine? We are searching for open-minded and dedicated volunteers who like to work in medical services! At the medical centre you will work with doctors and nurses and help them care for the local communities in the Urubamba Province of Peru. The medical facility currently only has one small clinic, which tends to a number of nearby communities (totalling about 7,000 people), providing first aid and basic healthcare. As a volunteer you will assist in various areas of medicine, e.g. in dentistry, but you will also learn about medical administration. The program is suitable for professional medical staff, medicine students and for all volunteers interested in the medical field.
This is your chance to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a clinic in South America!
€ 799,00 – 1st month
€ 749,00 – 2nd month
€ 699,00 – 3rd month, and after
VOLUNTEER IN A CLINIC!
- Accommodation incl. breakfast.
- Pickup and transport from airport.
- Pre-arrival pack.
- Welcome dinner.
- Complementary t-shirt.
- FREE 20 hour intensive Spanish course.
- 24 hour support.
Healthcare is a serious issue in Peru, especially outside of the cities in small villages. Due to being understaffed and under-equipped, this medical facility can only provide basic medical care, and for serious conditions and emergencies patients have to travel to Cusco. However, the only “ambulance” is a small, 20-year-old run-down converted van, which is not reliable when having to transfer patients urgently to Cusco. The project site also has a severe lack of medical equipment; there are no x-ray machines and all files are paper-based. This is a great opportunity for all types of volunteers to get involved in the medical field and make a difference within a poor Peruvian community. You will learn about daily medical work and the situations medical staff face in Peru. As the project’s location is in the Andes and because 85% of the population speak Quechua as a native language, you will gain a profound experience of traditional Andean life in South America!
Challenge yourself, work independently, and show initiative and patience with patients!
As a volunteer in the medical centre you will:
- tend to the elderly and children.
- attend to hospitalized patients (serving meals, etc.).
- work in the administration area.
- work in the midwife area.
- work in the dentistry area.
- work in the health clinic area.
- work in the pharmacy or laboratories.
- assist nurses.
- prepare and clean medical materials and equipment.
- run daily errands and learn to manage other administrative tasks.
- assist with monitoring tasks by filing reports for NGO Taxi.
- maintain a diary of your time at the project (photos and blog).
The exact tasks you will be asked to carry out will depend on the current needs and priorities of the project as determined by your medical supervisor and NGO Taxi management. The tasks stated here are therefore examples of some of the possible types of activities you will be asked to do.
The working week comprises 30 hours from Monday to Friday. You will work from 8am until 1.30pm, as outpatients are only attended to at these times; however, if there are no patients, you are sometimes allowed to leave earlier.
The project site is located in a district an hour and a half to two hours journey from Cusco (traffic dependent), the ancient Inca capital. You will be working in a small rural community, so you can expect to encounter a simple and basic lifestyle surrounded by the beautiful snowy peaks of the Andes and ancient Incan ruins. However, as idyllic as this sounds, you must remember that as this region is so rural, life can be very tough for its inhabitants. Most live in basic mud houses with no plumbing, intermittent electricity, and a lack of safe drinking water. Poverty levels are high here because almost everyone relies upon agriculture to support themselves, but as the community is situated at such a high altitude and the weather can be so changeable, they often receive fairly small crop yields, meaning that the cycle of poverty continues.
You must pay for the hour and a half to two hour trip there and back from your accommodation to the project site. You can either take a bus (about €2 each way) or share the costs of petrol with medical staff (€1.50 each way).
Accommodation and Food
The standard accommodation is a basic hostel in Cusco, with an hour and a half to two hour commute to the project by bus or car sharing. This accommodation does not include food. However, you can choose to stay in a different type of accommodation at the time of registration. Your full accommodation options are: family homestay, hostels and hotels of different categories, and the NGO Taxi HQ. Prices vary for each and depend on the level of comfort and meals per day you want to enjoy during your program period. It is recommended that you stay at HQ (also an hour and a half to two hour journey to your project site), where you will receive food and can socialize more with your fellow volunteers. When working on the project site, you can either take a packed lunch or buy your lunch from the local market.
You do not need a medical background, the clinic just requires volunteers who are sincerely interested in medicine or nursing and are keen to give a helping hand. Therefore this opportunity is open to all types of volunteers; however, those with a medical background will be prioritised. This project is a fantastic opportunity for those who are considering a career in medicine to come and discover what working in a clinic really involves. As this project involves children and adults in vulnerable situations, you will need to provide a current and certified complete criminal history record as well as a health certificate before placement can be pursued.
This project supports and encourages teamwork along with a great deal of flexibility, autonomy and initiative. If you are open and ready for it, you’ll learn how to deal with aspects of daily life and be able to adapt to different situations. It is important that you are able to handle upsetting situations as you are likely to encounter poverty, malnutrition, and difficult domestic circumstances on a regular basis.
Generally, you should be ready to respond to changes and be able to deal with the unexpected for any work in South America.
You must be able to speak enough Spanish to be able to communicate with the staff and patients (ideally at an intermediate level). The project already includes a 20-hour intensive language course, which is designed to prepare you for your tasks at the clinic. If you have basic, little or no Spanish knowledge, you can take additional Spanish lessons prior to the project in one of our affiliated schools (individual or group lessons). Or you can complete your language course on-line via videos, Skype or in a virtual classroom (please specify in your application form).
Additional Information and Specials
You should arrive at the latest on a Sunday in order to begin the project on a Monday.
Length of stay:
A minimum stay of 4 weeks is required, but we advise at least 2 or 3 months in order to get the most out of this opportunity and to give the most back.
You can inquire in advance concerning immunization requirements by consulting medical authorities in your country of origin, e.g. in the US check with the Centers for Disease Control and Protection http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/peru.
Please note that owing to the nature of the work, piercings are not permitted. You must keep your clothes clean and presentable, and if you have a medical uniform, please bring it! The project site can accommodate up to 3 volunteers. Come and volunteer with some friends of yours!
Sometimes you will find that you work with clinic staff only. At other times however, there might be more volunteers, so be prepared for the variety in the people you will meet and work with.
But why not volunteer with your best friend?!
Tell us with whom you want to volunteer and we will arrange your fellow volunteer experience for you.
Free Time Activities
- Mountain biking.
- Visit to Machu Picchu.
- Dance classes.
- Cooking classes.
- City tours.