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Medical Mission Trips to Guatemala

Thank you for your interest in IMR’s medical mission trips to Guatemala! 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, Guatemala’s environment is extremely vulnerable to disasters that impact the community’s overall health and wellbeing. The people of Antigua, many of whom suffered greatly during the 2018 volcanic eruptions that left many families without their loved ones and villages covered in ash. Guatemala is also susceptible to earthquakes. Common causes of death in Guatemala are from preventable diseases, such as, diarrhea, pneumonia, cholera, and tuberculosis. Guatemala’s community also suffers from malnutrition, especially impacting children’s mortality rates. Guatemala experiences approximately 22.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.

IMR’s goal is to help Guatemala 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 Guatemala. 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.

You and the rest of the volunteer team will educate locals 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

International Medical Relief responded to the Guatemala community in 2018 in early January. The IMR team quickly responded to Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego eruption in June of 2018. Since 2020, a total of 844 volunteers and staff have served over 11,000 patients. IMR was able to provide disaster relief care during this crucial time in need. Now IMR is able to expand our preventative efforts by providing medical relief and to continue the efforts to provide sustainable health services to the community. IMR will continue to provide community health training, medical treatments, medical supplies and equipment, and clinic operations.

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

Clinics will take place in the beautiful valleys around La Antigua and in schools and orphanages near the city. Many of your patients will come from the indigenous tribes in the areas; others will have been greatly affected by the most volcano and those in the not so distant past. This area has seen great hardship and great loss and your team will make a tremendous difference in your patient’s life. You will have the opportunity to provide medical care, dental care, and health and hygiene education to hundreds of patients during the week – are you up for the challenge? Your reward will be the hugs and laughter of the children and the shy smiles of their parents as they thank you for caring enough to help their families. Please join us as we care for the people of Antigua, many of whom suffered greatly during the 2018 volcanic eruptions that left many families without their loved ones and villages covered in ash.

Lodging & Transportation

The team will be staying in a simple, safe, clean and friendly hotel located in this beautiful city where you can enjoy the local food, music, and an array of shops. Tour the Chocolate Museum, where you will learn how to make chocolate from the bean! Everything is within walking distance and the city is full of color, wonderful smells, and amazing food. The culture of Guatemala will come alive as you explore the city after clinic and during your day off.

This was a life-changing event! I got to volunteer with my sister and the experience was amazing. I plan to volunteer 2-3 times a year! The people of Guatemala are so appreciative and this is so refreshing. It was an honor to help and volunteer for International Medical Relief!!

Tera, NP, Team Guatemala
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Trip Highlights

Families are the most important patients you will see and in Guatemala, 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.

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 halfway across the globe, have you considered extending your stay to visit some of Guatemala’s top spots? Join International Medical Relief on an exclusive trip extension provided by our partner, Worldwide Navigators!

Discover the villages of San Juan La Laguna, San Pedro La Laguna, Santiago Atitlan and Maximon. Experience the vibrant center of culture and artistic creations of Chichicastenango Market. Enjoy a private walking tour of the ancient ruins of Tikal.

Itinerary Options

Itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Full Mission (7-8 Days)

Day 1

You and the team will fly into La Aurora International Airport (GUA).

Days 2-3

A buffet of fresh fruit and traditional Guatemalan breakfast cuisine will help you start the day out right. Your team will head out into the cool Antigua mornings to the surrounding communities where you will be setting up clinic. These areas have been identified as having some of the highest need in Guatemala.

Day 4

After your first two days of clinic, you will have a full day in Antigua to explore, shop, or relax at the hotel. You can take a tour of the nearby volcano or the Chocolate Museum!

Day 5

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll depart for your third day of clinic! Throughout the week you will see patients with GI and respiratory diseases, ear, eye and skin infections, and back and joint pain. Dehydration is a highly common underlying condition. Prenatal care is also lacking in many of these communities.

Days 6-7

You will continue to serve the communities in the surrounding areas of Antigua. The smiles you get from patients will keep your spirits high throughout the week!

Day 8

Travel home.

Mini Mission (3-4 Days)

Day 1

You and the team will fly into La Aurora International Airport (GUA).

Days 2-3

A buffet of fresh fruit and traditional Guatemalan breakfast cuisine will help you start the day out right. Your team will head out into the cool Antigua mornings to the surrounding communities where you will be setting up clinic. These areas have been identified as having some of the highest need in Guatemala. Throughout the week you will see patients with GI and respiratory diseases, ear, eye and skin infections, and back and joint pain. Dehydration is a highly common underlying condition. Prenatal care is also lacking in many of these communities.

Days 4

Breakfast at your hotel in Antigua will be included and then you are free to fly out of Guatemala City at anytime you like! Feel free to enjoy the town of Antigua and walk through the cobblestone streets for one more day, or fly elsewhere and continue to travel throughout Central America.

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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