what to expect
Mission trips are generally seven days. Participants arrive on a Friday and we travel together to our hotel where we stay for the entire week. We commute daily to the small town of Nueva Santa Rosa, located in a remote area of coffee plantations southeast of Guatemala City, to provide clinic access. During the mission you will be working under difficult conditions. It can be hot, humid, and dirty. Clinic hours are long, about 10+ hours, and we see up to 450 patients each day. The working conditions can be physically and mentally stressful.
We stay in a small family-run hotel in the small city of Cuilapa which is about 45 minutes away from the clinic and located on the Pan American highway as it heads south to El Salvador. Three meals a day are provided, with breakfast and dinner served at our hotel, and lunch provided on-site at the clinic. You will have evenings to relax at the hotel, which has a swimming pool, hit-or-miss wifi, and bar.
Past mission participants have put together a list of suggestions of things to bring along with words of wisdom that you can read here. If you didn’t bring it with you, it's likely that we don’t have it! If applicable, bring your own stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, and otoscope, along with a flashlight, fanny pack, zip-lock bags, and bug spray.
what we need from you
Assembling and coordinating a team of 35-45 people can be a daunting task. Once a volunteer has been accepted to go on a mission there are several deadlines to be met such as payment for airline tickets, payment of the final mission bill, receipt of all medical forms, and other details.
You will need to arrange a flight to Guatemala City, arriving on Friday before noon. If you are not staying in Guatemala after the mission, your return flight should leave after 1 pm on the last Saturday of the trip. You will receive detailed information once your application is approved.
We actively recruit for physicians, advance practice clinicians (PAs, NPs and LCSWs), dentists, nurses (and nursing students), pharmacists, translators and general volunteers, whom we call All-Terrain Volunteers (or ATVs). Translators are always welcome! We often have students who travel with us and teenagers over 16 are welcome with parental supervision.
Please submit your application here.
how much will it cost?
The mission collects $625 from each volunteer to cover the cost of seven nights of lodging, three meals a day for seven days, all in-country transportation, water, security, evacuation insurance, and tips for hotel staff. Your fee covers medications and supplies for the clinic too! Alcohol, sundries, souvenirs, and personal purchases are not included.
You will be responsible for providing your own round-trip air travel and for the cost of one night's lodging in Guatemala City at the end of the clinic when many of us spend the final night together at the Hotel Barcelo near the airport. Often, volunteers choose to stay on after the clinic is over to travel in Guatemala or elsewhere.
In addition, we may ask your assistance to transport supplies and medications to Guatemala in your checked bag. As airlines are charging for additional bags, we ask for your cooperation to offset the cost of the mission by paying that additional expense. Each trip may have other costs added depending on the particular arrangements made for travel and lodging.
Total trip cost usually ranges from $900-$1600 not including costs for entertainment, shopping, or other small expenses.