“I LOVED Oaxaca with all my heart! ”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    6 / 10

Overall I had a great time in Mexico, even though the volunteering part was only okay. The people in the projects were always super nice and helpful. Unfortunately the program wasn't super great organized and some of the places we got sent to only had very little patients, leaving a lot of time to just sit around and wait. I expected to be in a hospital or bigger clinic to really get that 'medical' experience, but was only sent to a small centro the salud, which focusses in educating people with chronic diseases, like diabets, hypertension etc.. As mentioned before the people were nice, but the place was very small, meaning you basically could see everything in 1 day. Furthermore they only had 1-2 patients some days. There was only one doctor having consultations, which left you shadowing nurses, nutritionists or psychiatrists most of the time. As I said the people there do a great job, but it wasn't very interesting for someone that already has a lot of medical experience. On the other hand, as mentioned before the organization wasn't the best. I only received information on where I would be going the sunday before. Martha was great and tried to make the best out of the situation for each of us, but her hands were tied, since she wasn't the organizer of the medical volunteering directly. We didn't really receive a proper orientation and only met Dr. Magaly, the organizer of the medical programs on the 3rd day. When we asked for changing the placement and if it was possible to go to a hospital, she said it wasn't possible. There were some other students from other organizations, that had received an orientation with her and that seemed to have a better structure/plan of their placements and volunteering overall. The week after I left, some people were able to go to the hospital, which seemed very unfair to me and the other girl going with love volunteers, since she had mentioned to us earlier it wasn't possible for us to go there.

Overall I would go to Oaxaca again, because the city is great and I don't regret having done the volunteering in terms of improving my medical spanish and getting to know locals. But on the other hand, I didn't quite get much insight into how doctors worked. I would consider some placements more of like healthcare volunteering rather than medical volunteering. There was no hospital experience and the organization was only fair and chaotic, which left me disappointed.
[Thanks so much for this feedback, Anna. It was such a shame that you could not attend the hospital during your stay. It is challenging working with the hospitals as they dictate what interns can and can't do and when they come. I agree this wasn't fair on you. Thanks so much for your positive attitude and for working with us in order to improve the situation for future volunteers!]


I LOVED Oaxaca with all my heart! Mexico overall is a beautiful country with so much to offer, but Oaxaca is definitely my favorite city so far. It is so rich in culture and art, ranging from delicious food to beautiful locally produced textiles or art like alebrijes. Walking around the center is the best way to discover the rich diversity of the city, strolling to the local mercados, trying regional food, taking pictures of the beautiful colorful houses or drinking a coffee in one of the many hidden little cafes. I definitely wanted to stay longer to explore more and soak in more of the relaxed, yet vivid vibe of the city.

Project & Staff

Martha was an angel and really did her best to make us feel comfortable and happy. If it wasn't for her, I would've left very disappointed of the volunteering. She was always there for us, we could always reach out to here and she always tried to find a solution to our problems. She is very friendly and tries to have a personal and good relationship with each one.

Dr. Magaly was friendly. Unfortunately the communication between her and the organization wasn't the greatest. She tried to have conversations with us, but it sometimes seemed like she didn't really care about our problems. When asked to change the placement she said it wasn't possible and it seemed like other students coming with other organizations got priority in the placements, leaving them with better options. There was no orientation for us. She only speaks spanish, which didn't bother me, since I can communicate very well in spanish, but might be difficult for others that don't speak spanish that well yet.

The staff at both of the centro de saludes I went to was lovely and very friendly.


This volunteering is great if you want to explore the beautiful city of Oaxaca. I wouldn't recommend it to someone that has a lot of medical and clinical experience, since it is not much hands on and some of the centro de saludes you get placed in don't do a lot of diagnostics/treatments. But it really depends a lot on the place you get to go to, which can leave you lucky or not. It would be good for someone that is studying medicine and want to improve/learn spanish, while getting a small insight into the medical system of Mexico.