Maximo Nivel > Volunteer Abroad > Medical & Healthcare

Medical & Healthcare Volunteer Programs

Maximo Nivel’s medical and healthcare projects provide volunteers with the opportunity to work in hospitals, clinics, assisted living, and other healthcare facilities.

In Latin America, hospitals and clinics for low income families often lack funding and staff, making it difficult to keep the most vulnerable populations healthy. By volunteering in a medical placement you are truly making a difference in the lives of hospital professionals and their patients. You also have the chance to take part in week-long medical campaigns, vaccination programs; and you learn about healthcare systems in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru.

Healthcare Programs

Medical School-Years 1 & 2 | Pre-Med Students | Nursing School | Health Sciences

Healthcare placements are available for people who are not licensed and/or who are still completing their training. These volunteer projects are generally located in specialized living facilities and involve working with people who are physically or mentally disabled, assisting elderly patients, or working with HIV infected children or adults. Volunteers assist with all facets of caring for the patients, including general care and companionship, distributing/sorting medications, feeding, bathing, and ensuring patients’ overall well-being. This might include changing beds, conversation-talk therapy, workshops (e.g. exercise, dental care), and even arts and crafts.

Healthcare Volunteer Programs Abroad

Medical Programs

Licensed Medical Professionals | Medical School-Years 3 & 4

Medical placements provide volunteers with the opportunity to work in hospitals, clinics, assisted living, and other healthcare facilities. Volunteers usually work alongside doctors, nurses, therapists, or other medical professionals, though this is not always the case. Responsibilities and type of work depends a great deal on the placement available and what is happening at the project. Depending on your medical experience and Spanish language skills, volunteers may do things such as: shadow a doctor or nurse, assist with general check-ups, run medical campaigns, assist with triage, take blood pressure and other vital signs, organize patient records, prepare materials and equipment, and assist during mealtimes.

Medical Volunteer Programs Abroad

Your level of involvement at medical and healthcare projects is most determined by:
– Level of training and demonstrated expertise
– Spanish language skills
– Personality—initiative and ability to connect with people at the project
– Duration of your program

Important Notes:
All medical volunteers must bring their own scrubs and stethoscope.

Placement in medical and healthcare projects requires documentation of your medical school, nursing school, or other medical credentials.

It is important that medical and healthcare volunteers have realistic expectations with regard to the activities they can be involved in. The amount of activity at project sites depends a great deal on the field situation, and we cannot guarantee that placements are always busy, nor exactly what activities volunteers are involved in on a day-to-day basis.

CountriesCosta Rica, Guatemala, Peru
Program DurationMinimum 1 week
Work Schedule3-4 hours/day Monday-Friday; Working hours are split into morning and afternoon shifts; schedules vary according to the project’s needs.
Volunteer Requirements– At least 18 years of age
– Provide proof of academics and/or professional training
– Must bring scrubs, stethoscope, closed-toed shoes
– Flexible; Willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs
– Hard working, ready to do anything!
– Spanish language skills are not required
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What our Medical & Healthcare Volunteers are saying…

“This experience was amazing. You truly get a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and feel like you are making a difference. The people will also make a difference in your life as well as they are so grateful to have your helping hands. In my clinic we had the opportunity to triage the incoming patients and then shadow the doctors in the examine rooms and give vaccinations. We also got to travel to another community to give vaccines which was a really rewarding experience. If you are interested in getting hands on medical experience and getting to be a part of a new culture, I would recommend this program to anyone!!!”
“I found this both humbling and empowering. That they can practice the quality of medicine that they do with the financial restrictions they face is very impressive. I felt it was very clever [of them] to have me work in topical medicine as it is very visual given my limited to non-existent Spanish. To me, anyone volunteering at the clinic is afforded an extraordinary window into medicine in Peru and they can make a real difference. [Volunteers] bringing additional money can also make an extraordinary difference as the cost of an X-ray is only $6.00 and medicine is $1.00, yet a number of patients cannot afford even these small amounts, which could be life changing.”
“Thinking about volunteering in Guatemala with disabilities? If so, you’ve found the right place! I have spent the last month volunteering through the Antigua Guatemala program for children with disabilities. If you are thinking about volunteering with children who have disabilities, know that your experience will be challenging and rewarding at the same time. My daily activities mainly involved doing Physical Therapy exercises for the children at my center as well as helping the nannies with other small tasks. One of the biggest highlights of my experience was forming relationships with the children at my placement. Even though only one child at my project had a vocabulary that was larger than 2 or 3 words, it was so rewarding when the children began to recognize me and smile at me. These simple relationships taught me the beauty of communication without words.”
“The program staff was extremely helpful. Never did I feel unsafe or worried. We were given great recommendations on restaurants, places to shop, etc. The staff also booked us an amazing homestay in Cusco with a wonderful woman who cooked us breakfast and dinner every day! The actual program itself was also amazing. They kept our group busy the entire 3 weeks we were there, and always kept the schedule engaging, professional, and fun. My favorite memories include getting to really know the vibrant, big-hearted people of Cusco through medical campaigns and our fun excursions to Machu Picchu and other scenic areas on the weekends! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!”
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