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Curamericas Global, a U.S.-based 28-year-old international non-profit organization, partners with underserved communities to make measurable and sustainable improvements in their wellbeing. Most of our programs focus on child survival and maternal health, and we are currently working in Guatemala, Haiti, Bolivia and Liberia.
The purpose of our volunteer program is to:
- Help our partners meet community needs - Volunteers help by providing skills, resources and knowledge that would be difficult or impossible for our indigenous partners to fulfill without outside help.
- Strengthen our programs at the grassroots level - Our goal is to provide effective, equitable, accessible health services by establishing sustainable community-based health care programs. Volunteers help to build the capacities and resources of our local health workers.
- Provide volunteers with opportunities for cultural and educational exchange - Expeditions provide both volunteers and local participants with opportunities for mutual learning, sharing, and relationship building. Not only do volunteers gain valuable international experience, they are also able to explore natural, historical and cultural treasures of our project countries, while truly becoming part of the local community - an often life-changing experience.
Our expeditions are designed to provide the most enriching and productive experience possible. Trips typically involve teams of 8-20 people and take place over 10-14 days. In addition to a variety of volunteer work, trips also include cultural and sight-seeing activities, such as trips to anciety ruins, local farms, museums, etc. It is very important to us that our volunteers have the chance to become part of the local community during their stay. Whenever possible, we arrange visits to local schools, churches, and orphanages, and also offer volunteers the opportunity to accompany our health workers on home visits.
All in-country travel logistics are arranged by a Curamericas Global coordinator, who also travels with the team to translate and provide on-the-ground support.
Types of teams:
- Work teams - work team volunteers often help with the construction and maintenance of health facilities. No special skills are required!
- Medical/health teams - A variety of physicians, nurses, dentists and other health professionals are needed to provide patient care and also build the long-term capacities of our partner organizations by training local staff. Our volunteer trips provide excellent international health experience for medical and public health students. However, medical students may only participate in medical procedures while under the supervision of a practicing physician.
- Combination teams - Teams often consist of a combination of all of the above. As with all of our expeditions, work activities are planned according to the skills and goals of the volunteers, as well as the needs of our local partners.
Translation services are provided for team expeditions.
Please visit our website, www.curamericas.org, for the latest information on upcoming opportunities.
Costs: Volunteers pay a flat-rate fee that covers all in-country travel costs, including lodging, meals, cultural excursions, airport pick-up and drop-off, local transportation, travel insurance, interpreter fees, etc. We put every effort into planning each expedition within the budget constraints of the team. The exact amount varies according to the expedition, but is generally in the range of $750-$1550 per person for a typical 10-day trip.
Volunteers are also asked to contribute a project donation, which supports the local program and helps to cover any costs associated with the volunteer project, such as building materials, medical supplies, patient care, and prescriptions. We encourage each team to raise as much money as possible for their project donation, as our local partners rely heavily on this funding to help meet the needs of their communities. Depending on the trip, volunteers are typically requested to contribute around $5,000 per team or $250-300 per person. Students seeking a longer-term educational experience, such as for a one-month stay, are often asked to contribute $300-400 per month. We are happy to provide fund-raising tips, tools, and support.
If you're interested in joining us.... First tell us about yourself and what you're looking for. The planning process begins with the submission of an online Volunteer Interest Application, found on our website at www.curamericas.org. This form will give us information on your abilities, goals, and travel preferences, which will help us to determine the best placement options for you. Ideally, applications should be submitted six months to one year in advance of travel, but last-minute applicants can occasionally be placed.
Next, we'll work with you to plan the best experience for you. Our expeditions are planned on a case-by-case basis in order to most effectively match our volunteers' skills, availability, and interests with the immediate needs of our partners. After receiving your online application and speaking with you more about your goals and preferences, our International Volunteer Coordinator will work with you to select a project and propose a potential trip itinerary and budget.
Finally, we'll confirm and take care of the details. After you have decided on an expedition, we set up all of your in-country arrangements, including lodging, transportation, meals and cultural activities. With the help of our partners, we create a detailed work plan and trip itinerary, making every effort to accommodate any special needs or requests.
Curamericas Global volunteer expeditions offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to help others while learning more about yourself and the world! Visit our website at www.curamericas.org.