Become a Global Health Volunteer in Peru!

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About

At Project Peru, FIMRC strives to make an impact in two distinct areas: the highlands of Huancayo and the jungle in La Merced. Peru’s medical facilities are critically understaffed and underfunded, thus FIMRC aims to strengthen the current infrastructure rather than operate a stand alone facility.

Both sites offer volunteers unique exposure to public hospitals and clinics vastly different from those in the US. Volunteers will have the opportunity to conduct rounds alongside medical personnel as well as assist with public health initiatives with our partner organizations. For example, in Huancayo, volunteers are instrumental in carrying out fluoride treatments and health education presentations in local orphanages. In La Merced, volunteers may assist hospital staff with rural medical campaigns and patient waiting room education.

FIMRC's goal is to provide every volunteer a memorable experience that will leave lasting impressions about healthcare in developing communities!

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 19 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 19
Default avatar
Jesus
10/10

Huancayo

FIMRC organized an incredible experience for anyone to take advantage of. I visited the Huancayo, Peru project site for the Summer 2016 trip. As a Peruvian/American dual citizen, I received priceless cultural and professional experience. This trip consists of the perfect combination of pleasurable and serious activities that really make the month spent abroad fly by. You really bond with your fellow colleagues and the community making it feel like a second home. The medical experiences that you receive are things you'll only experience beyond medical school in America and they indicate whether or not you want to go into the field if you're contemplating it. Overall, Huacayo, Peru was amazing and is only something you can experience for yourself instead of reading about it.

How can this program be improved?
Hold off on the pachamanca.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Priya
10/10

A Summer in Chanchamayo

Entering a new culture means entering a new world. And in that new world, the idea of service must be redefined. Love of language, appreciation of tradition, willingness to adapt, and eagerness to learn all play a crucial role. Without an understanding of local people and integration with newfound culture, progress in professional areas is limited. This summer, FIMRC helped me learn all of this, and more.

I spent June-July 2016 with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), in La Merced, Peru (locally referred to as Chanchamayo). FIMRC’s mission is to “improve the health of families in the developing world through the implementation of innovative and self-sustainable health improvement programs” (FIMRC). In La Merced I partnered with hospitals and native communities, working on clinical rotations, health campaigns, educational presentations, and a few independent projects. However, above anything else, the FIMRC experience and local staff taught me this summer was about cultivating strong, trusting ties with native Ashaninkas and Chanchamayans, sharing beautiful life moments together, and showing them we have just as much to learn from them as they do from us.

How can this program be improved?
A think requiring some sort of language proficiency based on the site being visited would be useful to help volunteers have a more productive and impactful experience with the local culture and environment.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Pat
10/10

Excellence

FIMRC is an amazing organization to work with. The work I did was based out of their site in Huancayo, Peru so my experience specially speaks to the success of that particular location. The staff was extremely friendly and supportive. They were always there for all of the volunteers and by the end of our trip they became our good friends. FIMRC is an excellent organization for premedical students because of the clinical exposure participants gain. Whether it be through community outreach programs, observing shadows in the OR, checking a patients glucose level, or even planning a wedding, FIMRC is undoubtedly an organization that anyone who works with will agree with me saying that it was completely worth it.

Yes, I recommend this program
Russell Ridulfo
Russell
10/10

Abuelita and Company

This past June I am happy to say that I served with FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children) in the (likely) unheard-of city of La Merced in Peru. There, as an itinerant health fellow with 12 other volunteers, we went to various native communities as well as city centers to conduct health campaigns and give medical lessons.
We all lived together for the month in Rosa, Luis and Abuelita's house and were able to enjoy some spectacular food. Plus, the avocados from their backyard were the size of cantaloupes.
The city is situated on the eastern base of the Andes, fringing the jungle. Being in this ecologically transitional region made for some wonderful weather and beautiful sunsets. Each day we were able to immerse ourselves in the local medical community and regularly visit schools for our lessons. This was arguably my favorite part of this trip; giving humorous lessons at one of the schools and helping the understaffed special needs school by playing with the children. Overall, it was truly rewarding because no matter our background or level of experience-- we all provided integral parts in brightening the community's collective day.​

How can this program be improved?
The La Merced hospital rounds were slightly lacking in their educational worth; maybe the recruitment of some more specialists for shadowing would be good- Other than that, the exposure diverse and wonderful!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Madison
9/10

Volunteering in Huancayo

I was volunteering over the summer and just happened to be there during the 4th of July, so the other volunteers and I (with the help of one of the awesome host families) put on a celebratory independence party/barbeque since we weren't able to celebrate in the United States. We made American food like hamburgers and macaroni and cheese (and got Oreos, of course), and we even set off fireworks at night! Some of the Peruvians in the park nearby were a little confused, but our own Peruvian friends had fun with us. We even had a student from England celebrate with us!

How can this program be improved?
I would change some aspects of the planning/organization of it. At times, I wished that we would have had the medical campaigns that we did planned out a little more to include coordination with doctors in the communities we were serving. It was difficult at times to serve the patients as we were just undergraduates (although some were medical students), so we would often have to tell them to go back later and see the doctor; however, we had no way of knowing if they ever would go back.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Angelina
10/10

When disaster strikes

Hours after we arrived in La Merced Peru disaster struck. A mud slide had taken out dozens of houses, leaving people homeless and in distress. As a group of 17 we came with many different specialties. We broke up into groups and assest the situation. A group of engineers were able to build and demonstrate a water filtration system using natural resources, another group came up with a health talk and provided gift bags with hygiene products, the last thing this community needed was an outbreak. Another group was in charge of helping the children cope with this tragedy by bringing toys and games to make them smile. This was an amazing experience for us to be able to use the donations we brought to help in a crisis, and make an impact on this community.

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

Last minute planning, Lifetime of memories

The family my family and I stayed with were so loving and welcoming! With our lack of Spanish, there were times to where we were speaking English, french, and Spanish all in one sentence! The food was AMAZING. Dreaming of the day I can have lomo saltado again...

How can this program be improved?
The medical aspect was great, but sometimes there was too much time for one activity, when it seemed like there could be more medical activities to fit in.
Yes, I recommend this program
Magdalena
10/10

Summer in Peru

I first came across FIRMC by a simple google search. I wanted to find something to do during the summer. I wanted to get exposure in the medical field but more importantly I wanted to help. The program gave me this opportunity. I went to Peru by myself, not knowing anyone and with little Spanish skill. Once I met the rest of the group, everyone was so friendly that making friends was very easy. The host family was amazing at making us feel right at home and making us feel like a part of their family. When we went to the hospitals, it was very useful that we had atleast someone with us who could translate. The doctors were very good about giving you as much information as you asked for. If you had a question, they were willing to explain the answer to you. I remember spending two hours in the Internal Medicine area in Huancayo learning about CT scans and EKG results. I was exposed to all of medicine and if I had a question then I could ask. After the morning hospital rotations, we were able to volunteer in dental campaigns or at local schools. The goal was to give us exposure in the hospital setting in the morning and then take us outside of the city into the rural communities to see how the need to medical intervention process works. The language barrier was not an issue at all. You would be surprised at how much knowledge you can pick up without such a short time. If you put yourself out their and try to use the language then you will see that the people will really appreciate it. This was a lesson for me when we did a health campaign about Nutrition and Contraceptions. The experience was amazing I can not wait to go on another adventure where I can use my skills to help others.

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

Fantastic Experience!

Coming from the UK to Peru by myself was a pretty daunting experience so I was so relieved to meet such welcoming people in Huancayo and La Merced! I spent 4 weeks in each site and had an amazing time!

The work days were mostly very fun. Some days we would shadow doctors and speak to patients in the hospitals and there's a wide variety of things to see across the 2 sites. Other days we would go out into communities and teach them about health topics relevant to them, take blood pressures, do glucose testing and the medical students in our group would speak to patients and examine them. We all enjoyed working with local people and the queues of them waiting to see us showed just how much they appreciated it too. Some afternoons we would get to visit local schools or orphanages and teach a bit of english or do activities with them which was really fun too.

There was a great social aspect to the groups I was with. We would try and meet up on an evening and at weekends and there's loads of stuff to do around both places. There's the glacier and market in Huancayo and waterfalls and a mini zoo in La Merced. A few of us would stay in each homestay and we loved being there - we were made to feel very at home with great food and were very well looked after!

I would thoroughly recommend this programme to anyone wanting to get involved in volunteer healthcare abroad. They are developing the sites in Peru and have lots of projects to help the local people there which you can get involved in. Peru is a great country to visit and FIMRC are a great charity who were very willing to help with any problems we had and organised everything very well in a country where organisation can be difficult!

How can this program be improved?
The sites in Peru are still quite new and maybe having longer term projects or aims, such as more health campaigns, would be beneficial once it's all more settled.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Mary
10/10

Huancayo, Peru- an unforgettable experience

In Peru, I spent most mornings shadowing in two hospitals, a general one and one focused on maternal health. Both hospitals were large hospitals so that means I got to see a variety of cases. I had the opportunity to observe surgery and a live birth. We visited the medical school and learned about the Peruvian health system from medical students and took a short class on suturing there. In afternoons, we taught classes at orphanages about dental hygiene, and did a dental hygiene campaign at an elementary school. We each cleaned one kid’s teeth and then helped with filling cavities. We also did some general service projects, like helping care for a tree reforestation farm and volunteering in a soup kitchen that serves hundreds daily (and is normally run single-handedly by one woman). Natalia, the assistant FOM, made all the logistics run smoothly and she arranged a great homestay. I was with a large group of volunteers and it was great working with them and making new friends from around the US.
I also got to spend a weekend day in the Amazon, which I would highly recommend doing!

How can this program be improved?
would've stayed longer and learned a little more spanish before I went (although that really wasn't a problem)
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Erin
9/10

Summer Health Program in Peru

My trip to Peru with FIMRC was amazing! We got to visit two very different sites, one in the mountains and one in the jungle. While there, Danel and Natalia made sure each person got to see and experience everything they wanted. Anything from more time in the hospital, to more time in the orphanages, or completing service projects. We decided while we were there that we wanted to fix up the swings at one of the orphanages and the staff immediately jumped in the help us get the supplies necessary to make it happen. The host families were great and so welcoming, always wanting to talk with us and making sure we felt welcome.

Counting the days until I can go back!

How can this program be improved?
Incorporating more language lessons would have been awesome! It was great to be with a host family, but I didn't quite have the language skills to talk to them.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Andrew
9/10

Great Week in Huancayo

We took a group of medical students to Huancayo for the week and all had meaningful experiences. Our days were spent participating on rounds, doing health screenings, and interacting with Peruvian medical students.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jaimi
8/10

Promoting Health in Peru

I am a registered nurse and went to Peru with FIMRC in 2014. Our week consisted of visits to local hospitals, giving health information sessions at local orphanages, and hearing lectures at the local medical school. The hospital visits were observation only, which was unfortunate as myself and a fellow critical care RN would have been happy to use our skills and help out. We did enjoy preparing and giving presentations regarding health issues to local orphanages, however we wondered who chose the topics for us to teach about as they were simply assigned to us, and we would have preferred to have been involved in the assessment of the local community and identify their needs. We teamed with a local dentist to give fluoride treatments to children in a school type setting, which was an awesome experience. As a group we were able to give treatment to at least 150-200 kids. We also taught a first aid course, which we designed, to a group of local law enforcement, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Overall I found this program to be very geared towards pre-Med students who would probably benefit more from the observation aspect of the program and they very basic health promotion activities, however I do not feel that this program is designed to accommodate experienced healthcare professionals with more advanced clinical and public health skills.

The accommodations were great, we stayed with a local family and really got to learn the local culture from them. Their hospitality was amazing and they cooked us delicious Peruvian meals. The social aspect was also great, we often spent the evenings with our group checking out the local sights and exploring the town. For these reasons, I would very much recommend this trip to anyone looking to experience Peru.

How can this program be improved?
More diverse activities, and further involvement of group participants to design the activities based on skills and experience.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Beth
9/10

Best Study Abroad Experience

My experience in Peru was fantastic from my host family to the flexibility of the program to work with my needs for my school project. I was able to observe many different types of surgeries and surgical procedures, pre and post operative car as well as wound cleaning in conducting my project about surgical site infections. My host family was incredibly gracious and welcoming along with proving delicious traditional Peruvian foods and cultural experiences.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints in regards to FIMRC at all. I was part of the first group of public health students at the masters level to work with the organization and it is so exciting to see what all the program is continuing to do in Peru.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Spenser
10/10

Plenty of Excitement in Peru

Volunteering at Project Huancayo, Peru with FIMRC was debatably the best week of my life. I experienced so many things that I would never be exposed to back in the U.S. I stayed in a hostel and went to a park full of friendly stray cats in Lima, rode on the nicest coach bus of my life, and went to the gigantic Sunday market in Huancayo, all within the first 24 hours of landing in Lima! Every single day in Huancayo was different, and I loved it; for example, I tried some beef heart on the final day, and it was wonderful! I stayed in a homestay with 8 other wonderful volunteers and the amazing Rivera family. The family was very friendly and loved to chat with us despite our language barriers, and they even took us hiking the hills outside town, taught us to salsa at a local nightclub, and took us to a Wanka park. Some of the variety of volunteering experiences including going on rounds in the local hospitals (Carmen & Carrion), teaching children at orphanages how to brush their teeth, observing surgery, learning to suture at the medical school, and observing both a live birth and a C-section! I felt as though we had a good mixture of hands on work and observation during our time there. The one issue was we worked on a presentation about high cholesterol and hypertension for people in a rural village about an hour away from Huancayo, but the locals never showed up. On the bright side, we got to help at a tree farm, that helps fight against deforestation, while in the village. Overall, I would definitely volunteer again through FIMRC, and I feel I bonded with our host family, my fellow volunteers, and everyone else along the way. Also, shoutout to Natalia for being amazing at running Project Huancayo.

How can this program be improved?
I would try to lower the cost of the program. I serve as the missions director for the FIMRC UW- La Crosse chapter, and I have had very high interest in the program, but many people are turned off by the hefty price tag. Also, I would recommend FIMRC HQ put potential fundraising ideas on the website or in the welcome letter, so people would have ideas on how to raise these funds.
Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Staff

About Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children

The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of families in the developing world through innovative and self-sustainable health programs. Operating since 2002, we...