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Medical Mission Trips to Costa Rica

Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to Costa Rica! This is a very unique opportunity to work with populations that have little to no access to healthcare and make a huge impact on their lives.

The Need

Costa Rica has a two-tiered healthcare system, however, there are still strong health disparities. The poor and lower class of Costa Rica greatly outnumber the middle and upper class. Consequently, this uneven distribution of wealth has made it difficult for many struggling families to access the healthcare they need. Costa Rica’s tropical weather attracts many tourists each year, but this climate also brings multiple mosquito- and water-borne illnesses. 

One of the primary goals of clinic is to help the Costa Rican government’s ongoing effort to increase personal hygiene by educating residents about the importance of proper hand washing techniques. During clinic, you and the rest of the volunteer team will educate locals on how to stay healthy and how to care for their loved ones. You can expect to provide infectious wound care, nutrition information, and education on proper family care. Your patients will also require treatment for stomach issues, hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory infections. One of the main focuses of this mission is dentistry. Community members from both Costa Rica and Nicaragua are encouraged to attend clinic, so the demand for dental care will be high.

Our Work

International Medical Relief began partnering with Costa Rica in 2019. In the short period of time since, we have worked with 300 volunteers and staff to serve more than 3,500 patients. IMR will continue our preventative efforts by providing medical relief and sustainable health services to the community that include community health training, medical treatments, medical supplies and equipment, and clinic operations. IMR strives to continue to help the Costa Rican government’s ongoing effort to increase personal hygiene by educating residents about the importance of proper hand washing techniques. 

With diligent planning and preparation, IMR is dedicated to ensuring that specific goals are met on our missions, each in correlation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 17.

IMR works to elevate vulnerable populations through shoulder-to-shoulder care with our local partners, creating workforce density, and a cadre of future healthcare and public health leaders in association to UNSDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing. 

In correlation with UNSDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals, our organization works in collaboration and at the request of local hosts where we are under their direct influence and affluence. IMR never goes into a country without a formal invitation where there is a great community need for medical or dental care, and health education.

The Mission

Costa Rica is home to 800 miles of expansive beaches, three volcanic mountain ranges, several rainforests, countless valleys, and vast wetlands. Nearly half of the country is covered by dense forest, and one-quarter of the country’s jungle is protected land. The forests here are inclusive of tropical rainforests, dry forests, and clouded forests. Together, they provide habitats for over 1,500 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals, which is almost 5% of the Earth’s biodiverse makeup. The charming and friendly people who inhabit the country have immigrant ancestors from countries including Spain, Jamaica, and China. As such, the nation’s rich culture has evolved from its Spanish European and indigenous histories.

Lodging & Transportation

Families will be the highlight of your clinic days. Multigenerational families will be the heart of every clinic. You will be able to provide care for the entire family, ensuring their health and well-being for years to come. There will be lots of opportunity to provide education around well-baby care, nutrition, and hygiene – which fits well with Costa Rica’s ongoing efforts to increase the effectiveness of hand washing. Ziplining, jungle walks, bird watching, perfect beaches, waterfalls, adventure parks, volcanos, hot springs, surfing, horseback riding, monkeys, and more await your exploration in this beautiful and wild country.

The children…taught me how little it takes from each of us giving just a piece of our heart, time, served with a slice of kindness to change the world around us. I feel so fortunate to have experienced this first day on my mission trip to Peru with IMR. It was an eye opening experience at many levels, but at the heart of it all was the enthusiasm, generosity, and love of all those I volunteered with. I look forward to future service trips around the world with International Medical Relief.

Dr. Amina, Team Peru

Trip Highlights

Families will be the highlight of your clinic days. Multigenerational families will be the heart of every clinic. You will be able to provide care for the entire family, ensuring their health and well-being for years to come. There will be lots of opportunity to provide education around well-baby care, nutrition, and hygiene – which fits well with Costa Rica’s ongoing efforts to increase the effectiveness of hand washing. Ziplining, jungle walks, bird watching, perfect beaches, waterfalls, adventure parks, volcanos, hot springs, surfing, horseback riding, monkeys, and more await your exploration in this beautiful and wild country.

Food & Water

All food is typically provided during your stay. Please refer to your unique itinerary on our website to review which meals are provided each day. We may hire local people to cook for the team during our visit, or we may eat at restaurants or hotels. Lunch in clinic may include sandwiches made by the team or a feast prepared in your honor by community leaders. We recommend bringing snacks to eat during the day or evening or to supplement your lunch. High protein/high fat/high energy snacks are best. IMR also provides all of the drinking water for the team. Hydration and nutrition are extremely important for the health of the team. You are the best judge of your own health so please pack appropriate snacks and stay well hydrated on the trip.

Extend Your Stay!

You’re journeying across the globe. Why not extend your stay in Costa Rica to experience some of its top tourist attractions? Join us on an exclusive trip extension provided by our partner Worldwide Navigators and some visit of the area’s highlights.  Explore La Fortuna, undoubtedly one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful destinations, teeming with colorful gardens and views of the mammoth Arenal Volcano.

Itinerary

Itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Full Mission (7-8 Days)

Day 1

You and the team will fly into the Liberia Airport (LIR). Upon arrival, your team will travel to Upala, a small town just south of the Nicaragua border. After you check in to your hotel, you’ll attend the team orientation to prepare for the upcoming week of clinic.

Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, you will assist your team in preparing for clinic. Clinic sites are set up close by your accommodation in community centers, schools, and churches.

You and your team will provide training for local healthcare providers to continue IMR’s long-term, sustainable education efforts. Education is as important as medical and dental care for our patients. Each clinic includes basic health education according to the specialties and skills of the IMR volunteers, as well as the needs of the local people. When communities become empowered to take health and wellness issues into their own hands, they become self-sufficient. IMR provides learning opportunities for the local communities through classes and hands-on learning to sustain their well-being beyond our visit.

Days 3-5

After breakfast at the hotel, you will begin to serve the hundreds of Nicaraguan families that cross the border each day seeking care at IMR clinics. For three full days you will continue to listen to stories of the community as well as work hard helping those in need. On your final day of clinic you’ll likely reflect back on all those whose lives you touched during the week – and the lives that touched yours.

Day 6

Today you have the opportunity to tour Costa Rica and participate in a number of activities! Eat traditional gallo pinto, fresh fish, and tostones. Tour the nearby volcano or spend the day at the beach!

Day 7

Wake up and enjoy your last morning in Costa Rica with breakfast at your accommodation. You and the team can depart back for the airport at anytime, or stay and continue to explore Costa Rica! Airport transportation is provided for all group flyers.

Crisis Management & Emergency Response

We take security very seriously at IMR. It is our job to ensure that security precautions are in place, but please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee your safety on the trip.

  • We continuously review all current activities occurring on the ground, and we work with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to know the ground situation to the best of our ability.
  • A security training conference call is available to our volunteers where we detail our security procedures that are in place for the trip.
  • We take many security precautions such as radios, a buddy system, emergency evacuation plan and security planning.
  • We protect the privacy of our volunteers in the field and provide them with customized contact information for their use.
  • During our mandatory briefing, team members review our safety protocols, evacuation procedures, protocols for illness, natural disaster and terrorism.
    We provide training to our teams to be cognizant of their own safety and to be aware of their surroundings.
  • Several policies require teams to adhere to safety issues.

Trip Preparation

A service that we are very proud of at IMR is the preparation that each team and team member receives prior to the trip. All team members will receive a detailed briefing packet about the country you are serving. In addition to receiving background information about the country and the public health issues affecting local communities, you will also receive detailed information on fundraising, community health education topics, clinic protocols, and a comprehensive departure packet. All of these materials are critical to the preparation for your trip. Finally, a guide to the infectious diseases of the country is distributed to medical providers prior to departure.

Minimum Donation

Your generous donation helps to save and change lives everyday.

Your charitable investment will go toward ongoing global relief to care for the underserved and vulnerable people of this community. As a member of this medical mission team, you will elevate the long-term impact of sustainable, capacity-building efforts that improve the health, wellness, and quality of life of those most in need. A small portion of your donation includes:

  • Clinic supplies and medications for patients
  • Clinic participation
  • Transportation, accommodations, and meals as outlined in the itinerary

Payment Deadlines

To save $200, a 50% donation payment must be received 14 weeks before the mission’s scheduled start date. Full donation payments must be received 4 weeks before the mission’s scheduled start date.

Early Bird Savings Opportunity

To be eligible, upload all your required documents and forms, and make a minimum of 50% of your donation payment by 14 weeks prior to your mission’s scheduled start date.

Flexible Flight Options

Volunteer with Airfare

You may choose to book a flight with us for an additional fee. Details on the available flight routing and US departure city will be announced on the Early Bird Date. Airport transportation to and from the team’s accommodations are also included with this option. Depending on your departure city, you may still need to purchase another flight in addition to this one. After this flight has been booked, you may contact our travel agent, Worldwide Navigators, for assistance booking any necessary additional flights.

Benefits of Flying at a Subsidized Rate

Volunteer without Airfare

Many team members choose to book their flight(s) to and from the mission location independent of IMR. This is a great option if would like to extend your stay in the area to tour and explore, or if the routing from you home airport is more feasible for you. If you choose to fly independently, please note that your transportation in between the airport and the team’s accommodations will not be provided. This will need to be arranged separately. Our partner for travel, Worldwide Navigators, would be happy to assist you in coordinating flights and/or transportation. You can contact them at travel@worldwidenavigators.com.

Benefits of Flying Independently

Featured Enhancements

**To purchase any of the above Featured Enhancements for your mission please contact our office at office@imrus.org or call at (970) 635-0110.

Fundraising

IMR provides a fundraising packet to all registered trip applicants that is full of ideas on how you can raise support for your trip or for supplies to be utilized on this specific mission. When soliciting donations for any of our trips, success is completed through telling your personal story. Why do you want to go? Who will you help? Why their donation can help you achieve the ultimate goal. Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to our website or Facebook page and to your personal fundraising page. You may share your personal fundraising URL on Facebook and other social media sites.

Join Us in Making a Difference.

Bring much-needed acute medical and dental care to a beautiful, culture-rich destination. You can join an IMR medical mission team today!

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