POLYCLINIC BELEN VOLUNTEER PROJECT
Name of the project: Policlínico Belén
Project Description: Polyclinic Belen is a small, privately funded clinic which offers medical attention to the poorest people of Cusco and the surrounding areas. About forty patients of all ages, who otherwise would not have access to quality healthcare, are treated there daily. In this nonprofit clinic, patients only have to pay five soles for various medical services such as medical consultations, physical therapy, dentistry, vaccinations, psychiatry, and access to pharmaceutical supplies. In addition to modern medicine, the clinic also offers an alternative medical approach such as through the use of medicinal herbs found locally. Due to the small size of the clinic, there are no hospitalization capabilities nor subspecialties.
Volunteer Responsibilities: Your responsibities will depend on your experience and language ability. Volunteers with less experience can shadow doctors, dentists, and the psychologist, work as nurse assistants taking vitals and histories, or assist the laboratory technician with certain exams. In the past, volunteers have also chosen to create and present educational speeches in the waiting room. If you already have medical experience and a conversational level of Spanish, you may be allowed to work alongside the doctors in evaluating patients.
Volunteers can get a reasonable insight into how the hospital operates through rotations in the various departments as well as participating in the local outreaches. Due to the fact that most of the staff and the majority of the patients do not speak English, a higher level of Spanish will allow for a much better volunteer experience.
Minimum Stay Required: 2 weeks
• Pre- med/ Pre- Dental/ Medical and Dental Students
Required Level of Spanish: Intermediate to Advanced
Observations and Recommendations: It’s important in this project to be proactive and to work independently because there will not be much guidance. The higher your level of Spanish, the easier it will be to communicate and work with the patients and staff and the better your volunteer experience will be. Donations of medical supplies such as the list provided below are also very much appreciated and needed.
• Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil or other basic medications
• Alcohol Wipes
• Latex Gloves
Typical Workday Hours: 8am – 12:30pm or 2:30pm – 6pm
Additional Activities: Polyclinic Belen runs an outreach serving the poorest communities located outside Cusco (Humanchacona, Churo, Pamcarguaylla, and Accoracay), where a team consisting of a doctor, dentist, nurse and pharmacy assistant build mobile outposts to treat people those who cannot reach Cusco. If there is space available and you show an interest in these outreaches, you can join them and see how rural medicine is practiced in Peru.
• Transportation from Cusco airport
• Introductory tour
• Welcome dinner
• 20 hours of Spanish lessons
• Introduction to project with in country coordinator
• First accommodation option in a volunteer shared apartment
• Second accommodation option in a host family (for an additional 50 dollars/week- three meals included)
• Salsa lessons, cooking lessons, game nights (once a week)
• Horseback riding or white water rafting excursions
• Teaching materials for the course
• Support / contact person in the project
• Emergency contact available 24 hours a day
• The support of our local staff and coordinators
• A T-shirt from our organization
• Certificate of your participation in the project
• Certificate of your Spanish level after classes
• Administration costs
• Travel insurance
• Personal expenses
• Tickets to tourist sites
• Extra tours or excursions
Option: If you would like our organization to arrange your flight from Lima to Cusco and an overnight stay in a hotel in Lima, the extra cost will amount to 327 dollars.
(Incl. spanish lessons one week)
(Incl. spanish lessons four weeks)
Extra week Spanish lessons
Extra week accommodation
If you would like our organization to arrange your flight from Lima to Cusco and an overnight stay in a hotel in Lima, the extra cost will amount to 327 dollars.
PROJECT WITH CHILDREN