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Medical Mission Trips to Ecuador

Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to Ecuador! 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

Despite the beautiful scenery, Ecuador’s environment is extremely vulnerable to disasters that impact the community’s overall health and wellbeing. On January 1, 2022, Quito was devastated by rain storms that led to a landslide from the Pichincha Volcano situated on the west side of Quito in an area of low-income families: 28 people died and many were injured. As a result of this natural disaster, the people in this area will need medical attention for several months.

Some of the greatest health problems in Ecuador today include malnutrition, diabetes, and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death. Other common problems include acute respiratory infections and diarrheic diseases, which have risen dramatically since 1990.  The people of Quito, many of whom suffered greatly during the flooding, have faced worsening health conditions such as diarrhea, pneumonia, cholera, and tuberculosis.

IMR’s goal is to help Ecuador achieve global health security and improve access to health care services. Helping countries respond quickly and effectively to public health threats is critical in order to prevent the spread of diseases and to sustain the wellbeing of the community. By joining the IMR team, you will be able to collaborate with the community to improve the overall health of the people in Ecuador.

To help provide quality medical care to all citizens, IMR sends volunteers to remote areas that are in the greatest need for quality health care and medical services. Our mobile clinics offer assistance to children, women, families, the elderly, and other in-need populations.

Ecuador’s health care system is saturated with people seeking care, making it difficult and sometimes impossible for the people with low income to receive the attention they need.  Many do not seek much needed medical attention for reasons such as economical, transportation mobilization, and beliefs.  The people choose to live with illness, pain, and other medical pathologies without the possibility of consulting a physician and instead use nothing or only traditional medicine.

You and the rest of the volunteer team will educate the patients in our clinics on how to stay healthy and how to care for their loved ones. Together, we will treat a wide variety of acute and chronic illnesses, including dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, pneumonia, and digestive diseases. One of the main focuses of this mission is dentistry. Because all community members are encouraged to attend, the demand for dental care will be high. Another main focus of this mission is women’s healthcare. We will provide general women’s and infant care, as well as strengthen the knowledge and skills of the local midwives.

Our Work

IMR is teaming up with an amazing partner that has more than 10 years of serving rural communities in and around Quito. This key organization has been instrumental in social and community aid programs working in conjunction with both Government Departments and private businesses to bring a helping hand to the people who need it the most.

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

When you join the IMR team on our mission to improve the quality of life for the incredible people in Ecuador, you will spend most of your trip in Quito, a city identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quito is the vibrant capital city located in the Andes mountain range. It was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 9,350 feet. Despite a major earthquake that rocked the city in 1917, the city has the best-preserved, least-altered historic center in Latin America.

Quito, the second tallest capital in the world, located on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, has the largest and best preserved historic center in Latin America, a true heritage treasure that houses churches, museums and cultural centers that will allow you to discover, through a wonderful trip, the history of Ecuador and its richness in terms of cultural and natural diversity.

Surrounded by spectacular mountains and volcanoes, Quito presents wonderful landscapes no matter where you look at it. Old streets surrounded by flowery balconies with a bohemian air, the Church of the Company with its internal treasures, El Panecillo with its spectacular view, the Foch area with its varied offer of nightlife and gastronomy, and the City of the Middle of the World located a few minutes from Quito’s center are just some of the places that await your visit.

Street scene in Quito, Ecuador

Lodging & Transportation

The team will be staying in a beautiful, safe, clean, comfortable and friendly hotel located in this wonderful city. You will be able to enjoy the local food, music, and an array of shops nearby. The culture of Ecuador will come alive as you explore the city after clinic and during your day off.

Upon your arrival in Quito, all  transportation to and from clinic has been arranged for you. Professional drivers, safe vehicles, and security are some of the many reasons to join IMR on a trip.  Don’t nap – there’s a lot to see in the valleys and hills surrounding your home away from home this week!

Personally, I have never felt more sure of my path and my decision to serve my community in healthcare. I have been enlightened in observing the way each member of IMR's volunteer team contributes something individual and unique but also incredibly critical to the team as a whole.

Jordan, Team Philippines
Ecuador patients: mother, daughters

Trip Highlights

Families are the most important patients you will see and in Ecuador, you will see a lot of families.  Everyone wants you to help them keep their children healthy and their elders comfortable.  It is our patients – and there are a lot of them! – that are the highlight of this trip.

You will have a free day to explore Quito with its quaint historic streets and colorful colonial architecture.  Enjoy your day – make it your own!

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!

Since you are already venturing across the globe, consider extending your stay by a few days to explore one of the globe’s treasures, the Galápagos Islands! Join International Medical Relief on an exclusive trip extension provided by our partner, Worldwide Navigators!

On this extension, you will have the opportunity to explore the enchanted islands of Galápagos.  Share a beach with sea lions, swim with penguins, walk with giant tortoises, stroll through flamingo lagoons, dive under lava tunnels among amazingly colored fish, and step on an active volcano. These islands are a unique place in the world and you will have the opportunity to make the most of each day. For more information and to make reservations, contact Worldwide Navigators.

Itinerary

Itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Full Mission (7-8 Days)

Day 1

You and the team will fly into Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Upon arrival, your team will transport to your hotel where you can check in and freshen up. You will enjoy a hearty dinner and attend the team orientation to prepare you for the upcoming week of clinic. Your team leader will assign roles for clinic, address IMR’s clinic protocols, and discuss the communities you will be serving in and around Quito.

Days 2-3

After a hearty breakfast of local cuisine at your hotel, you will head to your first day of clinic! Patients of all ages will be lined up to greet you as the team arrives, excited to receive the medical care that is so difficult for many of them to attain.

You will likely see many patients living with diabetes and heart disease. Not only can you offer treatment for acute symptoms, you will have the opportunity to provide patients with education on their conditions and the lifestyle changes that can help improve them.

Day 4

You and team will have the opportunity to 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.

You will also have free time to explore Quito with its quaint historic streets and colorful colonial architecture. There are so many things to do and see, it will be easy to get completely absorbed by the culture of this wonderful city.

Days 5-6

You’ll be back in clinic today where you may be treating patients with lingering injuries or health conditions from the January mudslide and flooding, as well as diarrhea, pneumonia, cholera, and tuberculosis.

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. Your patients will be grateful for the care and education you provided throughout the week, and we thank you for your service.

Day 7

You will have one final breakfast with the team before parting ways with your teammates. If you are heading home today, you may schedule your flight for any time you wish. If you are flying independently, you may arrange airport transportation with our travel partner Worldwide Navigators to ensure you arrive at the airport three hours before your flight.

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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