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United Hatzalah Colombia

About

When emergencies occur, rapid medical treatment increases chances of survival exponentially. Using specially equipped motorcycle ambulances, United Hatzalah’s colombia network of more than 75 volunteer medics help save thousands of lives each year across Colombia by providing medical treatment in an average response time of 3 minutes or less. Our humanitarian services are free, universal and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. we allso use normal Ambulances. and run clinics

with us you will not only learn how to save a life, you will get to save a life! we respond to emergencies 24 hours all year around. you will get to Volunteer with us in our ambulances.

Attention Pre-Med Students!

If you would like to get hands-on experience in the field, join us! In Colombia, you will not be shadowing-- you will be doing.
Founded
2017

Reviews

Default avatar
Rob
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Feeling quite sentimental on my last day in Colombia so here’s my thoughts on the program. Wow. Just wow. There was so much to do and see it was such a cool experience. From responding to traffic accidents to participating in rescue operations, there never really was a dull moment here. Days off were great, going to Guatape or visiting Pablo Escobars old neighborhoods or trying some new food, it was all so enjoyable. It was so cool to have the privilege to participate in this and I hope you are able to do the same!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Definitely go visit guatape it is so cool, one of the highlights!
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Dwayne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Really enjoyed my time workin as a volunteer for United Hatzalah in Colombia. I came with tons of EMT experience but still was amazed with all the things I was able to learn here. The people are also so friendly and makes the trip even more awesome. I loved exploring the city on days off and really loved the job. Was just the right intensity level. Next time I hope to even try the fire course. It was great how many options I has here like even doing some rescue courses with I really enjoyed, for sure recommend trying those too!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready to have some fun, it’s going to be a great experience!
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Miles
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Coming all the way from Australia it was definitely really nerve racking, knowing no Spanish and never had been to South America before. But it’s true what many say about Colombia, once you come, you never want to leave. For me that’s definitely because of Mike and United Hatzalah. Mike, who is the program director is such a great guy and was amazing answering all my questions. The experience itself was absolutely fantastic, giving me a really great taste of what being an EMT is like. It was such a great trip and has now convinced me to get into that line of work back home.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come with an open mind and ready to learn, you definitely get out so much more then you put in with the right attitude.
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Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was such a cool experience getting to volunteer as an EMT, it’s always been my dream. When COVID hit and I had a couple free months I wanted to do something to help other people, so I emailed Mike and after 2 weeks of learning more, I was on my way. The giant volunteer base was so cool and had the best view in the area by far. The adrenaline rush of the day to day job blew my mind and made me fall in love with it. It’s so easy to travel down here I highly recommend this to everyone, you won’t regret it!

What was your funniest moment?
Definitely learning Spanish and failing a lot with pronunciations
Default avatar
Christy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just finished the trip of a lifetime down to beautiful Colombia where I had the true privilege of volunteering as a firefighter. Recently had graduated from the academy and saw this as a great opportunity for developing my skills even further and that was definitely the case. It was so cool fighting fires and doing rescues in such varying terrain. It prepared me so well for when I return to the states but also allowed me to step outside my comfort zone through various situations and actives. Learned lots of Spanish and made friends for life.

What was your funniest moment?
Definitely every time I fell getting off one of those big fire engines.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to go abroad to gain experience in how other ambulance services operate. I have always been fascinated by the hatzalah model and how they respond in a maximum of 3 min to all the emergencies. So for me, there was no doubt: I had to go and work with Hatzalah Colombia! Colombia is a country I always wanted to visit.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I contacted Mike from Hatzalah Colombia, and the same day we had a Skype video chat - he showed me the base and all their ambulances! Two weeks later, I was on my way to Colombia.

When I arrived, they did a 3-day course for me. I am a professional EMT, but I still did learn a ton of new stuff on the course. They use a lot of technology, and for me, it's brand new how they always send a fast response motorbike to stabilize the patient until the big ambulance arrives.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Embrace it! You will for sure get tested physically and mentally, but you can do it! And don't be afraid to practice your Spanish! I did not speak much Spanish, but the patients and families are so understanding.

I also, prior to my trip, did a lot of physical training to get in shape, and it honestly did pay off. You don't need to be a Superman, but it for sure helps to be in shape.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

There is no average day - it's never the same! That's what I love about the EMT world: no day is ever the same!

They use a lot of technology, and for me, it's brand new how they always send a fast response motorbike to stabilize the patient until the big ambulance arrives. After my training, I was working alongside there the whole team. I did respond to every emergency you can imagine - from urban to the mountains of Colombia.

This course is honestly the best I could have done, I am today using many skills I learned from my time in Colombia in my daily work as an EMT. I can't wait to be back with Mike and the team one day!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

When we did our mountain rescue course. We had to climb a mountain, and after that, repel 178 meters.

It was for sure nerve-wracking, but so much fun. I had to trust my training, and I knew I had the skills to do it! I have had vertigo since I was a little girl, so you can for sure imagine this was a really big fear for me.

What is your favorite memory of this trip?

My favorite story about this program is how the Hatzalah Colombia work.

They are the only free emergency and ambulance service in Colombia. These guys don't get any money from the government or the people. I think it's so amazing to see free emergency services in a world where health is a business and not about saving lives!

These guys are simply a bunch of superheroes working day and night to save lives!