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Vida Volunteer

About

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.

Headquarters

2612 South Arlington Mill Drive
Unit C
Arlington , VA 22206
United States

Reviews

Savannah
10/10

Nicaragua is a beautiful place and I was able to see it and do great work by going with Vida. The healthcare disparities were not as prevalent and areas not as rural as when I completed the Guatemala program, but I had an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The homestay was a great set-up, and my family was so kind. This experience was an amazing way to have a hands on clinical experience in healthcare. Working with interpreters and physicians to interview and diagnose patients made for great work-days and I truly loved going to clinic. Everything was very safe, and clinics operated with the appropriate ethical standards of the US. This opportunity was unique and entirely worth the cost. It seemed a little expensive, but providing physicians and medication to impoverished rural communities while travelling abroad was worth the price! I would not be able to do work like this through other programs I know of.

How can this program be improved?
Get translators who do not arrive late and drunk, like Rudy (MDNG122716 or similar trip code, over new years 2016-2017)
Yes, I recommend this program
Savannah
10/10

I had an incredible experience with Vida Guatemala over New Years 2015-2016. The experience I gained at clinics was great. Volunteers work in pairs, and with an interpreter, and fill out a paper chart of the rural patient's current concerns and health history. Volunteers formulate the right questions to lead to a diagnosis, which is proposed to a local physician. The physicians all did a great job of educating the student volunteers on what other questions needed to be asked, signs and symptoms to check for, and where they went in the correct or incorrect directions when diagnosing the individual. Then, the physician asks questions to formulate the true diagnosis and the patient receives free medication or a referral to another external clinic. In this program setup I was able to see 10-12 patients/families per day, and learned a ton of medical knowledge. The clinics are well run, safe, and reputable. Being conducted in isolated areas means my participation in the program brought healthcare to those towns and had a true impact. Hearing of the poverty and health disparities was a great educational experience and impacted my future medical practice and goals significantly. This program helped solidify my career choice as a physician, and as an incoming medical student I am sure this knowledge will help me and my peers be more aware of global health situations.

Trips every few days were fun, there was a beautiful lake to see (Atitlan), accommodations were nice. Everything was safe, and we received appropriate amounts of guided excursions and free time. I always felt supported by the local staff, and was well supported prior to travel to the country.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Katie
8/10

Had an amazing time with my friends. Brought us together As a medical and surgical team. Improved my physical exam skills. Learned about a lot of diseases that we may not see commonly in a US veterinary clinic. Learned how to communicate in a language I was not familiar with Really opened my eyes to pet care in a third world country. Earned a grant from UW Wisconsin for our work in educating these children on how to take care of an animal. Wish I could have gained more surgical skills. I would love to go back in the future as a veterinarian, and Teacher. This won't let me leave a review unless it's 200 characters, which I find really really unfair. Because I have some good things to say about the program. Am I at 200 characters yet?

Yes, I recommend this program
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John
8/10

We travelled to many different towns and villages. Clinics were about 8-9 hours a day, but the patients made time fly. The doctors were knowledgable and loved to teach. Side trips were great too. Cliff diving in Lake Atitlan, zip lining, etc.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Shelly
10/10

I've been doing VIDA trips for 5 years now.. This has been my fourth trip, and my first in Guatemala... all I can say is it was amazing! We had our homestays in Ixtahuacan for only 2 nights, and I wish we could have stayed longer. We also visited Panajachel and Antigua. The country is breathtaking, the people are extremely nice and hospitable, the shopping opportunities are endlessly filled with beautiful textiles, the food is delicious, and the program was fantastic.

How can this program be improved?
I wish the homestays in Ixtahuacan were longer!
Yes, I recommend this program

Programs

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