Vida Medical, Dental & Veterinary Programs in Nicaragua

By VIDA   Reviews (52)   97% Rating

Join Vida in Nicaragua with their veterinary volunteer programs. Vida currently offers 1-2 week long programs in Nicaragua for pre-veterinary and veterinary school students and recent grads.

Volunteers will work with experience bilingual volunteers and have the opportunity to assist in spaying and neutering as well as other hands-on surgical procedures. They will also learn recovery care procedures as well as how to administer vaccinations to both small and large animals. Gain practical experience in the field of veterinary medicine!

Learn more about Vida Veterinary Volunteer Programs in Nicaragua.

View Program Information
Location: 
  • Nicaragua
Volunteer Types: 
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
Cost: 
See site for details.
Age Group: 
50+
Languages: 
English
Spanish
Housing: 
Home-stay
Hotels
Application: 
Online Application
Experience Requirement

Program Reviews (52)

97%
Positive
Leave a Review
  • Impact
    95%
  • Support
    98%
  • Fun
    93%
  • Value
    98%
  • Safety
    96%
  • Andrew
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Mississauga, Ontario
    McMaster University
    Hands down the best service-learning trip I've experienced
    05/20/2014

    I have a whole journal of the amazing experiences I had on this trip. But in summary, the clinic days are extremely interactive, you learn an incredible amount from the amazing doctors that work with VIDA, you are surrounded by like minded-motivated-hard working people, you form many close relationships and you also learn a lot about yourself. Additionally, with all of the self-growth this trip provides you the opportunity to take advantage of, the staff here also make the trip an amazing time, and will do everything in their power to help each volunteer get the most out of the trip and have fun.

    How could this program be improved?

    I was so blown away and touched by the experience that I have no ideas of how to improve it.

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  • Brittany
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
    Other
    Nursing Clinical in Nicaragua
    01/27/2014

    This three week experience was the best experience I have ever had. The VIDA staff are all exceptional and very well educated and helpful. I never felt unsafe at any time, even when we were not in the greatest parts of Nicaragua. Our personal leader was Amy, and I would recommend her to each and every person who has the chance to experience Nicaragua through VIDA. Each morning we had breakfast at our hotel, got on the bus that was always on time waiting for us, and did our daily activities (traveling to clinics, hospitals, preschools, health centers, etc). VIDA provided us lunch many of the days and then we had the opportunity multiple times to eat dinner as a group somewhere in Masaya, Nicaragua. The days were long at times but if there was ever a time where we felt that something that was planned was too much for us, there was never an issue making other plans. We were always VIDA's first priority, which was a wonderful feeling that I didn't think I would have traveling abroad. I hope to go back someday!

    How could this program be improved?

    If I had to change one thing it would be having a more stable hotel to stay at. We moved hotels a few times and it was stressful each time because we needed to pack everything up each time. Each hotel we stayed at was a good experience, but having one or two hotels instead of three or four would be better.

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  • Stephanie
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    New York
    Columbia University
    AMAZING!
    01/22/2014

    The trip to Nicaragua was absolutely amazing. The vida staff, doctors, and interpreters were fabulous and really helpful. I am really looking forward to going back to volunteer for Vida in the future!

    How could this program be improved?

    N/a

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  • John
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Hoboken, NJ
    Columbia University
    Columbia VIDA Nicaragua January 2014
    01/21/2014

    We ran out of several medications, some of our most common ones, which made it tough to serve the communities best. Our trip leaders, Edo and Tagni, were fantastic. In addition, VIDA seems to have an exquisite knack for choosing amazing interpreters. The care, dedication, and professionalism shown by interpreters such as Rodrigo, Jorge, and Felipe on our trip were indicative of an organizational culture and process that promotes the right values.

    How could this program be improved?

    See above regarding medications

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  • Anna
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Chicago, Illinois
    University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
    VIDA, the BEST decision
    01/21/2014

    As a pre-vet student, I need all the help I can get when it comes to gaining hands-on experience. This trip really exposed me to many new things and allowed me to participate in ways I never knew that I would be allowed to as only a pre-vet student. I learned so many things that I cannot even describe it all, you just have to go for yourself to see what I mean! I definitely want to go again in the future!

    How could this program be improved?

    I wish we could have educated the community more about their pet's care and needs (such as cleanliness and grooming needs) as well as proper ways to restrain their animals. I was saddened when horribly matted dogs came in and we were able to shave them down, but the vets did not lecture the owners about the need to groom or maintain their pet's coat on a regular basis. We treated the animals but we did not educate the clients as much as I would have hoped.

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  • Jamie
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Champaign, Illinois, United States
    Absolutely Incredible
    01/21/2014

    I participated in the VIDA Veterinary Program to Nicaragua and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was fortunate enough to be with an exceptional group of veterinarians, staff, and fellow students and that really made the program so much better for me! I learned so much about medicine, life in another culture, and about myself! To top it off, I made a great new group of friends. I couldn't have asked for anything better and will definitely be looking into taking another trip in the future! Possibly Costa Rica!

    How could this program be improved?

    I wish we would have had a little more concrete information about everything that we would do once we got to Nicaragua. I was a little unsure about leaving the country when I didn't know much about my itinerary. However, everything turned out perfectly fine and I had a great trip in the end. But, more information upfront would definitely help put people's minds at ease.

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  • Megan
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Champaign, Illinois
    University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
    I came back for seconds!
    01/21/2014

    I've taken two trips with VIDA for their pre-veterinary trips, and they are just amazing. I've gotten experience that I would have never received in the States and the staff members are so loving and fun that you never want to leave! I'm already planning my third adventure with them!

    How could this program be improved?

    It would be nice to get a little more history of the country we are visiting.

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  • R
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    New York, NY
    Barnard College
    Medical team
    01/20/2014

    I enjoyed the clinic days the most, when the group worked together and got to know each other, the doctors, interpreters, and patients. The only difficulties were in saying goodbye to everyone at the end! I enjoyed being able to help diagnose and interview patients first-hand... It helped solidify my understanding of what doctors do every day.

    How could this program be improved?

    Having more clinic days!

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  • Kristyn
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Ft Collins, Colorado
    Colorado State University
    Amazing
    01/19/2014

    I don't usually give reviews for things but the experience I had in Nicaragua with VIDA was too good not to share. The hands on veterinary experience I got was priceless. You get to do so much more then you ever get to do in the US. I learned skills normally only vet techs get to do. The veterinarian I worked with was fantastic and was so patient with us and taught us so much. I couldn't have asked for a better person to work with. The VIDA staff is also great. Our group leader was always there for us if we needed something and I always felt safe because he was always with its or at least telling us how to keep safe when we were on our own. The activities on our days off we're amazing and the cultural experience is something I'll never forget. This program combines everything there is to experience in a foreign country and I am so glad I decided to go on this trip. Best decision ever.

    How could this program be improved?

    The only thing I would change is to pick clinic sites that have a good track record. One of our towns had some slow days.

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  • Janine
    Age: 18 or younger
    Female
    Miami, Florida
    University of Miami
    Vida in Nicaragua
    01/19/2014

    The experience in Nicaragua was a bit different from Costa Rica. The staff was a bit harder to communicate with because of the language barrier. The surgeries took much longer on the whole than they did in Costa Rica.

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  • Hannah
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    Other
    Nursing in Nicaragua
    01/19/2014

    As being the first group of nursing students in Nicaragua, I had a great experience. The VIDA staff was very accommodating and found interesting places for us to learn and observe health care in Masaya and Managua. I really enjoyed the days spent at El Comejen. I felt most like a nurse here and learned/reviewed old material learned in school the most. It was also a great experience to help those in the greatest need. I would suggest spending at least one more day in this community and taking away one day from the clinic we spent four days at in Masaya. However, I did enjoy the days spent at that clinic as well. One of the struggles was all of the hotel changes at the beginning of the trip; not that it was a big deal, it was just a frustrating moment that, I think, scared a lot of people because we didn't know what to expect from then on. Another part of the trip that really impressed me was that you (VIDA) supplied purified water at all times throughout the whole trip. It was nice not to worry about buying or having access to purified water the whole time. One less thing for us to worry about!

    How could this program be improved?

    I would suggest spending no more than 3 days at one clinic site. However, the program I was on was brand new and specialized for nurses, so I know that not all of the trips are set up in this way.

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  • Oshkosh
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    United States
    University of Wisconsin
    Nicaragua
    01/19/2014

    Amy Garache was our group leader and she was amazing! She went above and beyond the whole time! Our experience would have not been the same without her!

    How could this program be improved?

    Be able to do more nursing skills

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  • Sarah
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    Oshkosh, Wi
    University of Wisconsin
    Excellent
    01/18/2014

    This was my first trip out of the country and first mission trip. VIDA was more than wonderful and gave us opportunites and experiences that were excellent learning opportunites. Our TL, Amy, was the best TL we could have hoped for. She was excellent. So well organized and helpful and always had a smile on her face and kind word to say.

    How could this program be improved?

    Shorter orientation lesson the first day

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  • Ana
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Peoria, Illinois
    University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
    True impact in a beautiful culture
    01/18/2014

    Landing in Nicaragua, we didn't exactly know what to expect, but the VIDA staff was simply incredible. Eli, our guide and friend, gave us a warm welcome and made us feel at ease. Dr. Dometz and Eli joked around a lot and set the fun tone for our experience. Drs. Blanco, Cano, and Woodsley were incredibly passionate instructors and their patience, guidance, and compassion helped me learn so much about low-cost clinics as well as working with low-income populations. Our homestay "mom", Maria, was so kind and welcoming, putting all of my anxieties at rest. I really enjoyed traveling as a local, not as a tourist. The local families were so grateful and so interested in their animals' care, and I felt like I was truly making a difference. Over our six clinic days, we took care of around 180 companion animals and around 150 large animals! Finally, VIDA showed us the most beautiful beaches and towns of Nicaragua, like the Apoyo lagoon, Catarina, Granada, and the Pacific beaches. I would love to return, and even work for VIDA some day!

    How could this program be improved?

    One thing that would have helped is a little more information before we jumped on a plane and flew to another country. My apprehension was solely because I did not know exactly what we would be doing!
    Also, I felt we did not reach our full potential our first two days because we could have used a bit more training before leaving the States, as well as perhaps a practice run-through of a typical set-up and examination during orientation.

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  • Peter
    Age: 19-24
    Male
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    A Way to Experience Medicine
    08/20/2013

    VIDA gave me the opportunity to be hands on with a profession I had only been convinced of doing through shadowing and science classes. The medical experience VIDA gives was the primary way I determined that a career as a doctor would be the right path for me. My hands on experiences have included seeing a congenital disease where the the iris of the patient was missing in one eye, and understanding the effects of long term untreated diabetes on the body. While VIDA may not be as long or as recreational as other trips, there are still many opportunities for fun, and the clinical experience and service are always forefront throughout the program.

    How could this program be improved?

    I would recommend some experience in Spanish. You will have a more rewarding relationship with your homestays and patients.

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About the provider

Volunteer abroad with Vida in Central America! With Vida, you have the opportunity to gain experience in three main fields: medicine, dental health, and veterinary medicine. As a volunteer with Vida, you will work with local professionals in these fields in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Working with coordinators from the field, Vida Volunteer works to set up mobile clinics to provide easily accessible services to the people and animals of communities in need. Whether you are an aspiring health-care professional or just have a passion for helping others, Vida will provide you with a meaningful service-learning experience.