Volunteer in Peru - La Merced

As a volunteer in Peru, you will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the community of La Merced! FIMRC volunteers will work alongside our staff and Peruvian medical professionals in our partner medical facilities and assist with innovative public health initiatives in local schools and remote communities.

Our program is open to volunteers of all ages and educational or professional backgrounds. As our sites are open year-round, volunteers are welcome to travel at any time and for any length of time. We accept volunteers traveling individually as well as groups of various sizes. Spanish proficiency is recommended, but not required by FIMRC. However, volunteers may find that any level of Spanish comprehension will enhance interactions with medical staff and patients. Please note, volunteers traveling up to one week may choose to travel to our project site in La Merced or Huancayo. Volunteers traveling for two weeks or more may opt for an incredible comparative experience, spending time at both Peru project sites. Click here to learn more about the volunteer experience at Project Huancayo!

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 La Merced. All volunteers will find a wealth of opportunities to make a difference!

What You Can Do

You will have the opportunity to participate in both the clinical and health education aspects of operations on-site, and activities can range from conducting rounds with medical professionals in the hospital to providing health education to children and families in native communities.

Volunteers in La Merced perform rotations alongside Peruvian medical staff in the local government hospital as well as other local health posts. La Merced is unique in that volunteers will gain exposure to public medical facilities rather than a FIMRC clinic, offering a glimpse into systems of medicine vastly different from those in the US. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to observe surgical cases in the Emergency Department.

Volunteers are also heavily involved in FIMRC's health education initiatives such as developing interactive health sessions for our orphanage partner, delivering health based talks in local schools, assisting with our WASH Program in Orito Bajo, building capacity to better address emergency situations, as well as leading women's empowerment classes in collaboration with the local women's shelter. There are many opportunities for shaping an itinerary to skills or interests, as our goal is to provide every volunteer a memorable, worthwhile experience that will leave lasting impressions about healthcare in developing communities.

The nature of a volunteer mission to La Merced will vary depending on the number of volunteers in each group, the length of the volunteer trip, respective proficiencies in Spanish, medical expertise, and the current needs of the community and the clinic upon arrival. Please note that a volunteer’s level of training will determine the extent of involvement in medical activities. Your experience varies depending on these factors, but what we can guarantee is that every volunteer mission will be culturally and socially enlightening. Every volunteer will have opportunities to examine Peru’s systems of medical provision and contribute to ongoing operations at Project La Merced. 

Check out our testimonials page to hear more about the FIMRC experience!

Sample Itinerary

The following is a sample itinerary of a one-week volunteer mission with Project Peru - La Merced. This itinerary has been made to provide a clear, general impression of the way volunteer time is spent. Please note, however, that in order to ensure that a volunteer's work has the greatest, most relevant impact on the community, volunteer schedules are established upon a volunteer's arrival at the project site.

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

7:45

Depart homestay

Depart homestay

Depart homestay

Depart homestay

Depart homestay

8:00 - 12:00

Clinical Rotation

Clinical Rotation

Clinical Rotation

Health education session in native community

Visit San Manuelito Special Needs School

12:00 – 2:00

Lunch at homestay

Lunch at homestay

Lunch at homestay

Lunch in community

Lunch at homestay

2:00 - 5:00

Planning session

Women's Empowerment Program

Emergency Preparedness Program

WASH Program

Health campaign

Accommodations

La Merced Home Front View.jpg

Housing

Volunteers are housed through FIMRC’s Homestay Program. Since the inception of FIMRC’s volunteer program in Peru, we have housed volunteers together in a guesthouse-style homestay with a local family located within a short drive of the hospital. Homestays all have telephone access and are located within walking distance of internet cafes, making it possible to communicate with friends and family at home. Volunteers are asked to indicate all housing preferences, including meal requests and pet/food allergies in the enrollment forms. The homestay is clean and comfortable with western-style toilets and showers.

La Merced Transport.jpg

Transportation

All transportation is provided by comfortable coach bus or by reputable hired drivers with outstanding safety records. Upon arrival at the Lima airport, volunteers are met by a staff member or representative of FIMRC. Based on flight schedules, volunteers may spend a night in a backpackers’ hostel in Lima after arrival or prior to departure. FIMRC arranges all transportation from Lima to La Merced, as well as transportation back to the airport at the conclusion of the volunteer mission.  Once in La Merced, we provide transportation between the homestay and volunteering site(s).

 

La Merced Food.jpg

Meals

Three meals per day are provided, either in your home stay or at FIMRC approved locations. Volunteers are responsible for the purchase of meals during any time spent in Lima.

 

Trip Cost

The cost of your program includes the program donation that supports our project sites as well as housing, food, & transportation.  Transportation includes airport pick up/drop off and transportation to/from project site during volunteer days, and three meals prepared by the homestay family for the duration of the volunteer’s stay. Excursions and trips for non-volunteer related activity as well as the associated costs are the responsibility of the volunteer.

By arranging lodging, food, and transport for you, we enable you to safely experience the local culture and focus your energy on the work you will be doing in the community! 

The following cost structure reflects individual participation in the Global Health Volunteer Program at Project Peru:

  • Peak (January, March, May, June, July): $1234 per week
  • Semi-peak (December, February, August, September): $1134 per week
  • Non-peak (April, October, November): $1034 per week

For long-term volunteer experiences, contact missions@fimrc.org to discuss a discounted cost structure.

Additional approximate costs include:

  • Roundtrip airfare generally ranging between $500-$800, please note prices vary depending on time of booking
  • Recommended spending money of $150 per week, at the discretion of the volunteer and greatly varies depending on weekend activities

Flights

All volunteers are responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights and must fly in and out of Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima (code LIM). It is the volunteer’s responsibility to arrange all flights in accordance with the dates for which you have registered. If you are traveling with a group, please coordinate with your fellow group members to ensure that you arrive and depart together. 

While not required, volunteers are welcome to take advantage of the airfare resources found here on our website. 

If booking online through participating companies, we ask that you please consider registering with www.igive.com/fimrc. Once you register, iGive will automatically donate a portion of every online purchase you make with selected vendors (including many major airline booking companies) to FIMRC, which means you will make even more of an impact on children’s health at no additional cost to you.

Travel

Passport - US citizens can enter Peru with a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity from the date of travel prior to the expiration date listed. Volunteers who do not hold a US passport must check with their respective embassies for information on travel eligibility. Volunteers are responsible for obtaining or renewing their passports and ensuring that all travel documents are in order.

Visa - US passport holders are not required to obtain a visa prior to travel. All travelers receive an "Andean Migration Card" upon arrival at the Lima airport. There is no additional charge for the migration card. Non-US passport holders should check with their respective embassies for current visa requirements and regulations. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring that they are legally eligible to travel abroad.

Vaccinations - We refer all volunteers to the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/travel for the most up to date vaccination recommendations. Please note the different recommendations not only for the country you are visiting, but also for the region in which you will be staying. Upon enrollment, our Global Health Volunteer Program Manager will provide you with details on the exact location that can be communicated to your health care professional.

 

Travel Insurance

FIMRC has partnered with Worldwide Risk Management (WRM) to assist in providing you with adequate international travel and medical insurance. WRM specializes in providing international health insurance to mission groups, volunteer organizations, and individuals traveling overseas for missions and humanitarian relief. FIMRC and WRM would like to suggest the Outreach Travel Medical Insurance product as the most appropriate insurance plan for your traveling needs. It is designed for the individual short term volunteer traveling for five days and up to 12 months. Outreach Travel provides medical benefits, emergency evacuation, terrorism coverage, natural disaster benefits, trip interruption, and lost luggage benefits. These are just a few highlights and coverage depends upon the plan that you choose. If you would like to get a quote or are ready to purchase, click here.

If you should have any questions about insurance coverage or would like a no obligation quote, please do not hesitate to contact FIMRC’s insurance agent at WRM at info@worldwiderisk.com. Please provide your age, date of birth, country of citizenship, destination country, dates of trip, and trip cost when requesting a quote.

TRAVEL ABROAD

There's no better way to truly learn about a different country than by immersing yourself fully in the culture and a community. 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

We're dedicated to programs that are sustainable and locally driven. Volunteering with us means that you'll be able to contribute in meaningful ways that will last well beyond your time on-site.

GAIN EXPERIENCE

Whether you're filling out a medical school application, applying for a job, or just looking to give back, we're here to help you gain experience in responsible international healthcare and development. 

 

 

ready to get involved?

The enrollment process begins once you work with our team to confirm your volunteering site and trip dates. Upon confirmation, you will be sent a welcome email which will contain instructions for enrollment, as well as deadlines for the submission of materials. If you have questions about how this process works, do not hesitate to contact missions@fimrc.org or 1-888-211-8575. Click below to receive more information or to begin the enrollment process!