Vida Medical, Dental & Veterinary Programs in Guatemala

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Vida Medical Volunteer Programs in Guatemala
Vida Medical Volunteer Programs in Guatemala

About

Guatemala is the biggest country in Central America. Unfortunately, it also sets a record by having one of the highest disparities between rich and poor as well as one of the highest poverty levels worldwide, with 54% of the population living below the poverty line in 2006 and 54% in 2011.

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 students develop both intercultural & leadership skills in a real-world context.

Vida offers a unique positive learning environment that will completely change your perspective on the idea of serving others. Students have a chance to work with local licensed professionals while providing services to the communities we have partnered with.

Highlights
  • Hands-on experience while working with local doctors, dentists and veterinarians
  • Cultural Immersion

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 34 reviews
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 34
Arleah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

Vida’s medical mission trip is an experience all students who are interested in the health field should go through. I’ve had plenty of medical and clinical experience, but Vida provides a unique experience that you can only get through Vida. I am a coordinator and although this was my first trip, I felt well prepared prior to the trip. The staff members go above and beyond to make you feel comfortable, prepared, and at home while on the trip. They are approachable, they care about your safety, and they truly want you to grow as a person and healthcare professional. The Vida staff has become like a second family to me. The feeling you have during and after this trip is indescribable and can only be understood once you go on the trip. The clinic days are productive and you truly feel the impact you make as the communities are so grateful. The recreational days allow you to rest and recharge, while immersing yourself a little more into the culture and surrounding cities. The host families treat you like their own family and is a great opportunity to learn and delve deep into the culture and communities you’re living and helping in. The team leaders are both the perfect mix of professional and personable. The lead doctor and healthcare professionals during the trip are more than willing to teach you and mentor you providing an opportunity most students won’t get until they’re in their respective programs. All in all, this experience can be defined as “wholesome, a great learning opportunity, and a chance to create another home/family away from home.”

What would you improve about this program?
During orientation, aside from practicing vital signs and physical exams after the thorough presentation, it’d be great to do a mock/practice of what to expect the day of clinic. For example, tying the presentation and vital signs practice together by doing a mock of a patient coming in and practicing the steps of how to introduce yourselves and what to do next along with what to write on the medical records sheet. The first day was a great opportunity to learn how clinic would run, but doing a trial and practice during orientation would be even more beneficial. Overall, the program was great as is. The host family I stayed with was so sweet and I’m forever grateful for this opportunity.
Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing opportunity and great way to impact lives!!

This trip was a great way to be submersed into a new culture. As students we learned so much by being in on the action in clinic days. We not only got to experience a new style of healthcare, but got to experience an entire new way of life. I believe this trip is an amazing step in becoming a well rounded person by donating your time while still having a fun and educational time. In our trip we got to see over 300 patients, and this allowed us to get a wide variety of cases. The people were extremely kind, and it was great to spend time with them in their day to day lives. Also, the views and the food were absolutely delicious! I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world and believe that anyone with this opportunity should jump at it!

What would you improve about this program?
I don’t think that this trip was lacking in anyway. One thing I would recommend is that there be a more clear idea of the costs during the trip i.e. food. I think it helps to plan better when we are told average costs of a meal so we can plan ahead and not worry about running out of money.
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Madelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Worth Every Cent I Spent

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Savannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exactly what I was seeking!

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.

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Katie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Vida vet trip to Guatemala

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?

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John
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Worthwhile, Eye opening

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.

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Shelly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Guatemala!!

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish the homestays in Ixtahuacan were longer!
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Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Simply amazing!

I've been on two VIDA veterinary trips--last year in Costa Rica and this year in Guatemala--and I have to say that this year was even better than last year! The areas that we went were spectacular and had enough patients to keep us busy, while the recreational days were beyond amazing. Can't wait to go next year!

What would you improve about this program?
I would like to have even more patients than we had this year. Towards the end of every day, most of us were just sitting around with nothing to do.