Project Huancayo & Project La Merced
Peru is located in the central-western part of South America and is divided into three large regions: the coast, the mountains, and the jungle. It is a multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic country which was the home to many ancient cultures. Peru has made huge strides towards improved healthcare over the past two decades, but problems still persist with inequalities in rural areas, a lack of trained healthcare providers and sufficient funding to meet the needs of the population.
At an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Huancayo is situated in the Mantaro Valley and is the capital of the Junín Region.
La Merced is the nearest jungle region to Lima, the nation's capital. It is a city in the high Amazonian region and boasts many natural gems such as waterfalls, a large river and the rainforest.
Peru’s medical facilities are critically understaffed and underfunded, and many medical establishments struggle to provide even basic medical care to the people they serve. The hospitals are overburdened with patients, many of whom have illnesses preventable by basic hygiene and healthy living practices.
We sat down with hospital directors and partner organizations. We learned about the healthcare system and the struggles. We built a partnership-based model to provide support with community outreach programs and preventative health education. We make responsible contributions to partner facilities and local organizations.
The urban environment in Huancayo requires that we are much more in-tune with the families that we serve. The indigenous population in La Merced requires a level of respect and understanding of native practices. We participate in the activities of our partner organizations, develop and implement health prevention programs based on urgent community needs as well as work with families and healthcare providers in both locations.
- Rounds with medical students and hospital staff
- Suturing and vitals trainings with FIMRC’s nurse
- Health screenings in rural communities
- Youth empowerment programs
- Nutrition Program in the rural community of Aco
- Prenatal Program
- Environmental stewardship and community gardens
- Program to support and empower vulnerable women
- First aid program for students
Project Peru thrives on the efforts of volunteers, all of whom contribute to the current needs and initiatives on-site. Whether you're learning about medicine in the local hospital, giving health education to mothers in a rural community, or observing a surgery, your experience allows you to better understand the Peruvian healthcare system as well as contribute to the improvement of health in the community and surrounding areas.
All volunteers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in both the clinical and health education aspects of operations on-site, and activities can range from participating in a local health fair, observing in a hospital or rural clinic, to leading health education sessions.
Over the course of your trip you'll receive an unfiltered experience in health care field work abroad, and learn about the tremendous impact that even one person can have. At our end, so as to maximize your contribution, we will tailor your experience based on current needs, your interests, training, and amount of time that you spend with us on-site in Huancayo, La Merced or both project sites.
Wondering about the logistics of volunteering? Click below for more information on flights, activities, accommodations, transportation, trip cost, and more!
"I was felt as though I was able to make an impact in the community while learning new skills and growing as a person."
- Crystal V.