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Guatemala is the northernmost Central American country, right below Mexico. This internship takes place in Guatemala’s southern city of Antigua, which served as the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala from the 17th until the 19th century. Today it is a beautiful city surrounded by volcanoes and nestled in the highlands. It is most well-known for its famous architectural structures and ruins, such as the Santa Catalina arch and San Francisco church; the city itself has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Interns in this program will have the unique opportunity to assist Guatemalan health care service providers, from local hospitals and clinics to assisted living facilities. This internship provides interns with hands-on experience while they expand their skills in diagnosis, intervention and evaluation. In addition to these medical skills, interns will also be enhancing their Spanish language skills through daily one-on-one lessons and regular practice throughout the work day.
Some of your tasks may include:
Medical professionals are typically placed at a national clinic for primary and emergency care, or in an assisted living facility. Due to medical laws, professional interns are not allowed to practice fully and freely, however your help can greatly benefit the projects still.
Medical professionals can expect to do the following in their placement:
– Work alongside a nurse, doctor, therapist, or other medical professional with consultations
– Do triage, clean wounds, draw blood samples, give sutures and injections
– Provide general care and companionship to patients (talking, feeding, bathing)
– Distribute or sort medicine, teach patients about their medicine
– Clean or prepare materials and equipment, including changing beds
– Assist with administrative work and filing, recording patient data
Please note: Specific tasks will depend on your level of experience, education and Spanish language skills. Physical therapy and dental placements may or may not be available at any given time. For the two-week and four-week programs, a one-hour presentation or 10-20 page paper is required upon completion. For the eight-week program, both a one-hour presentation and paper are required. Weekly journals are also required.
Typical Schedule: Interns will work Monday-Friday, typically 4-6 hours/day, Monday-Friday and join one hour of Spanish class. Weekends are free for interns to spend as they wish.
Internet: Internet is available at the institute in Antigua.
Laundry: Laundry facilities may or not be available at your host family, but there are laundromats in Antigua.
Accommodations: Interns will stay in private rooms with a host family in Antigua. Host families may live up to one hour from the intern site. Interns should be prepared to spend about $5 USD per day on public transportation.
Food: Breakfast and dinner are provided each day by the host family. Interns will be responsible for arranging their own lunches.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
During free time, volunteers may choose to take part in a variety of free activities sponsored by the local team, including salsa classes, cooking lessons, a language and cultural exchange program and more! For additional fees, volunteers can choose to travel and the area on their own. A few recommendations are listed below.
Surf School – Five-day surf school at the beautiful Manuel Antonio beach
Scuba Diving Certification – Four-day PADI diving certification
Mini Adventure—Catch the best highlights of Guatemala on this week-long tour including hiking Pacaya Volcano, visiting the jungle ruins of Tikal, engaging in beach activities and more!
Every intern should visit the chocolate museum while in Antigua! Guatemala is well-known for its Mayan chocolate, and here interns will have the chance to learn how chocolate is made and to sample different chocolate products.
Hike up Pacaya Volcano for a breathtaking view of the city! It takes approximately an hour and a half to reach the summit.
De la Gente
If you agree that chocolate and coffee go hand-in-hand, then don’t miss the chance to visit a family owned coffee farm after your visit to ChocoMuseo to complete your Guatemalan cultural experience.
Please note that these are available for a fee.