The Healthcare Program
This wonderful project was created with the goal of supplying essential medical treatment to vulnerable residents in one of the poorest regions of Mexico. Set in one of the most beautiful inland cities in the mountains of Southern Mexico, the Healthcare Program provides a great opportunity for med-students, nurses, paramedics, and semi-qualified medical practitioners to volunteer in local hospitals and clinics, both public and private, in and around the historic city of Oaxaca.
As with all Medical Internships throughout Central/South America, the level of direct involvement and patient care will be reflective of a volunteer’s knowledge and training. In some cases, suitably trained and experienced volunteers may have the opportunity to be more hands-on with patient care, which can include tasks such as taking blood pressure and other vitals, giving vaccinations, assisting with patient assessments or administering basic first aid such as bandages or minor sutures; all of which help to fulfill a huge need for this work in a region where there are often insufficient numbers of medical staff. Junior med student and pre-med volunteers will find this project to be highly observational - an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand insight of the healthcare system of a developing country! A variety of medical and administrative support is greatly needed with all volunteers being put to good use. Volunteers knowledge, skills and abilities help to improve lives on this program and make a truly positive impact for those who need it most.
Goals of this Project:
- Assist in the provision of free healthcare to the most disadvantaged in society
- Help to improve the health and long term well-being of some of Mexico’s most impoverished people
- Help to improve lives and make a real difference to the people of the Oaxaca region
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both residents and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an integral role in achieving the goals of this project. Working closely with various clinics, volunteers who stay for more than one week will have the amazing opportunity to work in different clinical settings each week, gaining valuable experience in a short time. Some clinics are in downtown Oaxaca, however most are located a short distance from the city, providing a great chance to see more of the country and various cultures in this ethnically diverse region. It is in these diverse communities that volunteers will be making a huge difference, changing the lives of the most vulnerable in society.
Volunteers contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Work in clinics to help to supply medical assistance to the most disadvantaged and culturally diverse people of Mexico
- Network with local residents and local project staff
- Assist in the provision of medical services to people in Oaxaca City and the surrounding areas
- Perform medical procedures and consultations as appropriate to the volunteer’s skills and training (suitably qualified volunteers only)
This program offers an amazing opportunity for suitable applicants who are 18 years and over to work alongside qualified medical professionals and gain first-hand insight into the Mexican healthcare system. It is open to those with experience and/or education in the field of medicine, as well as med-school and pre-med students.
Volunteers on this project will need at least an intermediate understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively with patients and staff.
Naturally, all applicants must also have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Medical interns are required to wear white clothing (including shoes and a coat) to their placements. Whilst working in a clinic setting a white lab coat should be worn over white clothing (please take a clean white coat with you and put this on when you arrive). For hospital placements clean scrubs (of any colour) should be taken to the placement to put on over white clothing on arrival. Please do not wear your scrubs when travelling to the hospital.
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
Oaxaca is a colorful, clean and vibrant city in the southern mountain area of Mexico, with a surprising amount of tourists, ex-pats, and volunteers on the streets. The city is big enough to have something for everyone, yet small enough to manage on foot. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from, including many with rooftop garden-bars to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the area.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Volunteers are collected on arrival by a member of their host family and taken to the accommodation to settle in.
On Monday morning the local team provide an orientation covering Oaxaca in general, customs, rules and recommendations and, of course, information about the project and your role. This is a great opportunity to ask any last minute questions. You will then be taken to your project site where you will be introduced to the onsite project team and settle into your project work. Easy!
- Project Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Project Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Xoxocotlan International Airport, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico (Code: OAX)
For those who require extra nights, an additional fee of USD20 per night must be paid directly to your program coordinator on arrival in Mexico. Additional accommodation subject to availability.
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program will be accommodated with a local host family, and will gain the opportunity to become immersed in the local culture and custom, improving their knowledge of the people, culture and language. Mexican families are renowned for their hospitality and love to learn more about different cultures. Living with a local family truly is the best way to throw oneself into the local culture and to meet people who will often become lifelong friends!
All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have extensive experience hosting international volunteers. Depending on the time of year it may be necessary to share a room with other volunteers, but private rooms are often available upon request (additional fees may apply). Volunteers will be provided access to a shared bathroom. Host families are often happy to wash clothes for volunteers for a small fee to cover the additional electricity, though mostly volunteers will use a local laundromat. Wifi is available at most host family houses, however we ask volunteers to remember access to this service is a privilege and may be limited at times. A multitude of internet cafes are available throughout Oaxaca.
Host families will provide breakfast during the working week. Lunch is not included but can be purchased at a nearby café while at your project site. Volunteers are responsible for their own evening meals and all food during weekends – a wonderful opportunity to check out the huge variety of local and international restaurants, cafés and bistros in Oaxaca!
Prefer to arrange your own accommodation?
No problem! The program fee is adjusted to US$99 for 1 week, US$144 for 2 weeks and $528 for 8 weeks.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Internship clothing requirements:
White clothing should be worn on placement, including white shoes. For clinic placements a white lab coat is worn over white clothing. Hospital placements require clean scrubs (of any colour) to be worn over white clothing. Please note that scrubs must not be worn when traveling to the hospitals and should be put on after arrival.
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer both group and private classes and either done in conjunction with or before volunteering - they are even discounted for volunteers! Let us know if you are interested.
- Two hours of Spanish everyday from Monday to Friday.
- 1:00 - 3:00pm, 3:00 - 5:00pm, 4:00 - 6:00pm & 5:00 - 7:00pm.
- $126 per week
- Three hours of classes, five days a week divided into two sessions with a different teacher for each session.
- The first session includes a review of specific grammar points through dynamic and interactive learning.
- In the second session, the students practice what they have learned through conversation and practical exercises.
- There is a fifteen minute break between the two sessions.
- Classes run 9:00am - 12:00pm or 4:00 - 7:00pm.
- Group lessons $189 per week
- Private lessons $270 per week
- Four hours of classes, five days a week, divided evenly between two teachers.
- This program allows students to dedicate more time to developing conversational skills.
- There is also a fifteen minute break.
- Classes run 9:00am - 1:00pm or 3:00 - 7:00pm.
- Group lessons $280 per week
- Private lessons $300 per week
SUPER INTENSIVE LESSONS
- Six hours of classes, five days a week, divided into three sessions, each with a different teacher.
- There is a fifteen minute break between the first two sessions.
- The last session is held after la comida (3:00 - 5:00pm)
- This program is recommended for students who do not have a lot of time to spend in Oaxaca and really want to improve their language skills quickly.
- Group lessons $378 per week
- Private lessons $540 per week
SUPER INTENSIVE WORKSHOPS
- Four hours of regular Spanish classes, five days a week, divided into two sessions, each with a different teacher.
- Plus two more hours of workshops in the afternoon 4:00 - 6:00pm.
- Group lessons $513 per week
- Private lessons $675 per week
Monday & Friday: weaving
Tuesday & Thursday: wooden carving animals
SPECIALIZED SPANISH COURSES
- Spanish for Children Program
- Medical Spanish Program
- Learn Spanish and Learn How to Dance Salsa in a Professional Way!
- Traditional Medicine Program
- Law and Business Spanish Program
- Social Service Program
- Zapotec Course