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Vida Volunteer

About

Vida Volunteer is an international nonprofit organization that strives to promote human and animal health through empowering Service-Learning trips to Central America. We currently intervene through three main fields of work: Medical, Dental and Veterinary, which are designed to promote health, ensuring a long-lasting impact while participants develop both intercultural & leadership skills in a real-world context.

As a Vida Volunteer, you can expect an eye-opening, hands-on, ethical experience while working with local licensed providers to help unserved communities in Central America. We go above and beyond for our volunteers and for the people we serve!

Founded
2008
Headquarters

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

Reviews

Default avatar
Madelyn
10/10

This trip was the best thing I have ever spent money on. Not only did I serve the underserved, Vida also made time for us to truly experience another culture. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever done, as cliche as it sounds. Healing people, diving into a new culture, exploring Guatemala, and experiencing it all through Vida. I felt very safe and well taken care of the entire trip. They had the best team leaders for us that made sure we were safe and happy throughout the whole trip. I will go on this trip every year that I possibly can, it was better than any other trip I have ever been on and I truly recommend it to anyone considering! I would recommend a reusable water bottle to bring on this trip and something to carry your passport around with you at all times.

How can this program be improved?
Possibly the last hotel we stayed at in Panajachel wasn't at the same level of quality as the other hotels throughout the trip. Other than that, this trip truly changed my life.
Yes, I recommend this program
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
Default avatar
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
Default avatar
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

Programs

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