GCU Honors Trips – 2023

Choose your tip below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baja Global Health Team
March 11 – 17 (SEVEN DAYS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

Baja Education Team
SEE FAQ: What is the “Education Team Option?
March 11 – 17 (SEVEN DAYS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

Baja Mission Team
SEE FAQ: What is the “Mission Team Option?”
March 11 – 17 (SEVEN DAYS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

Baja Global Health Team
April 29 – May 7 (NINE DAYS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

Hike for Humanity Costa Rica and Panama
April 29 – May 7 (NINE DAYS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

Baja Education Team
SEE FAQ: What is the “Education Team Option?
April 29 – May 7 (NINE DAYS)
 

 

 

 

 

 

Baja Mission Team
SEE FAQ: What is the “Mission Team Option?”
April 29 – May 7 (NINE DAYS)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

What is the current WCI refund policy during the COVID-19 crisis?
As instructed in the Getting Ready to Go document all team participants receive, it is essential to purchase trip cancellation insurance anytime you travel with any org anywhere out of the country, including your WCI trip.  Assuming you did this, contact us to receive whatever notice your trip insurer requires for you to receive coverage of your trip payments.

Due to the severe impact COVID-19 has had on WCI operations, we are unable to offer any refunds until further notice. We are offering travel credit to anyone who is forced to cancel travel plans due to the coronavirus. Travel credit must be used within 12 months of cancellation.

Please reach out to us at Info@WellChildInternational.org with any questions, and be well,

The WCI Team

 

Once participants have registered, WCI immediately begins spending funds on administrative expenses, reservations, and supplies. For this reason, we are unable to provide a full refund for last-minute cancellations.

How do I get trip cancellation coverage?
1. Add $75 to your WCI payment and you will receive 100% refunding of money paid to date (NOT including clearly state $85 non-refundable deposit) up to 10 days prior to departure. No explanations necessary. Simply send us your Team Coordinator an email desiring such and you will be billed’


2. Check to see if the credit card yo used offers trip cancellation coverage – many do.


3. Go to https://www.imglobal.com/img-insurance-plans. The coverage for a 7 day trip with NO explanation of qualifying question/circumstances is approximately $90.
4. GOOGLE it!!!!!!! There are dozens of options out there

 

Funding your trip.
How to Fund Your Trip Now!

  • Most students greatly reduce their costs and, in some cases, go one more than one trip free utilizing the following funding tools or a combination of them !!
  • Become a WCI Ambassador and get $100 travel credit for other volunteers you recruit. WCI provides materials and help for you to reach out to the health professions organizations at your school—it’s easy!  Go to [Eduardo, insert link to Ambassador FAQ]
  • Use any of several self-funding sites (Go Fund MeGood Samaritan Missions., etc.) or write your “support letter”—we’ll help you! Contact us at Funding@WellChildInternational.org.
  • We Accept credit cards
  • Contact Eduardo@WellChildInternational.org  to arrange a payment plan—no interest.  Note final payment is due 20 days prior to trip departure.

 

What are Benefits of Becoming a WCI Ambassador?
WCI Ambassador Benefits:

  1.  Fund your WCI trip with travel scholarship funding  of $100 per volunteer recruited.
  2.  Qualify for the annual WCI Ambassadors Retreat in Mexico (expenses paid from Phoenix)—no cost to you! You can qualify with 10 or more volunteers recruit.
  3. Receive a special recommendation from WCI for your grad school, or other, resume.
  4. Get sent to conferences to represent WCI and get paid $100 per day plus all your expenses.
  5. See social media contacts (campus clubs, etc.,) and ALL resulting volunteers are credited to you!  
  6. Cash out your travel scholarship funds at 50% (e.g.if you have earned $1000 in travel scholarship and can’t go on the team, get $500.00 thank you gift from WCI.

Combine financial benefits of being a WCI Ambassador with your own funding (see Funding Your Trip) to pay for your trips(s)…!

Contact Michael@WellChildInternational.org for more information.

 

What does a sample itinerary look like?

Tentative Itinerary GCU Honors College Hike for Humanity

April 29 – May 7 Nine Days $1385  plus $85 deposit, airfare not included.

Costa Rica and Panama

This Global Health team will be serving Bribri Indigenous Communities in the Talamanca Mountains of Southeast Costa Rica and possibly a community on the Panamanian side of the Talamancas.  All team members will be arriving and departing from San Jose, Costa Rica.  Peaks in the area cap out at 9,000-10,000 feet elevation but communities we serve are at lower altitudes.  We will be crossing the Telire River.  

April 29 (Sat.):  Travel Day.  All participants must arrive prior to 8 pm.  WCI staff will be meeting all incoming team members as they arrive and shuttling to housing.  Lodging at La De Hesa Hotel, Alejuela, Costa Rica.  Initial orientation to the trip logistics, cultural issues, WCI group guidelines, etc.

April 30 (Sun.):  Medical Orientation and training with the Ministry of Health.  After lunch departure for Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast.  This six hour drive will include “tourist stops” along the way.  Lodging in Puerto Viejo.  Late arrival.

May 1 (Mon.):  Orientation to indigenous culture and further medical training and preparation.  Beach  free time.

May 2 (Tuesday) through May 5 (Fri):  Hiking and medical service to indigenous communities in the mountains.  Housing is camping.  WCI and Ministry of Health staff will accompany, including guides, team leader, assistant team leader, bilingual assistants and pack helpers.  Arriving back at base camp/hotel housing for Friday night.  The Ministry of Health will direct which communities they need us to serve closer to the trip dates.  Updates will be sent to team.  Food provided for two meals a day, third meal is “from your backpack”, usually a lunch break together.  Final day includes a “Share with the Community” experience, a highlight for our teams!

May 6 (Sat.):  Morning beach time, afternoon return to La De Hesa Hotel in Alejuela.  Stops along the way.

May 7 (Sun.):  Travel Day.  WCI will shuttle participants to airport depending on departure times.

What is a “neighborhood clinic”?
On the basis of your in home screenings/surveying, you will invite those in need of medical care to a field clinic staffed by local, licensed medical professionals. At the clinic, you will rotate through stations taking turns doing the following:

  • Conducting patient interviews/intake
  • Observing and appropriately assisting the physician (diagnosis and treatment)
  • Continuing appropriate screenings as directed by lead physician(s)
  • Set up and participate in pharmacy stations
  • Lead patients through a “health education” process, with bilingual assistance.
  • Play with the community children!
What is “in home screenings/surveying”?
  • Visit homes to assess the needs for children’s health care and health status of any pregnant women in household.
  • Conduct screenings, as directed by local Ministry of Health, for hypertension, diabetes, parasites, head lice, basic eye exam protocol (five step, non instrumental), any and all other vital health issues as specified and trained.
  • Evaluate living conditions making connections between lifestyle and health issues.
  • Recording findings of the above information for the local Ministry of Health data base for follow-up community health study and action.
  • Bring/distribute/explain educational materials to families.
  • Based on your evaluation, give a “pass” to come to the neighborhood clinic” (above).
What is “governmental clinic and hospital experience”?
WCI has functional partnerships with local Ministry of Health clinics and hospitals.  WCI volunteers are used to the level of their experience to assist with vitals, screenings, etc.  As may be appropriate and with patient approval, WCI volunteers may be present during surgeries and child deliveries.
What is a “Children’s Health Fair”?
WCI has found that a fun and very effective way to provide additional screenings, acute care, and health education, is by means of hosting a Children’s Health Fair.  This community/neighborhood fiesta attracts children (and moms) with games, healthy snacks, a Pinata (of course), music, and a chance to not only receive these health benefits, but to also “have fun” with people wearing scrubs, so as to reduce their natural fear or ambivalence concerning getting medical treatment.  This is often a true highlight of the WCI experience!
How does WCI “provide health education”?
Truly long term change in the overall healthcare of a community only happens when health education is constant and appropriate.  WCI utilizes many venues to provide health education: schools, women’s shelters, orphanages, churches, and of course in our neighborhood clinics, and in home-screenings/surveying.  WCI volunteers are afforded interpreters and materials as needed for these efforts.  Specific topics include, but are not limited to: parenting classes, abuse avoidance, infectious disease presentation, nutrition, breast feeding, how-to self breast exams (female volunteers only).
How and why does WCI “train neighborhood health care workers”?
Access for women and children in vulnerable populations is limited and difficult for many reasons.  One primary reason, however, is simply not being close enough, geographically, to medical care.  This may be caused by living in remote and/or rural areas, or not having access to transportation to the closest urban clinic which maybe several miles away.  So how does a young mother with no husband, small children and no transportation get to “urgent care” at 2 am in the morning when one of her children has a high fever or another medical urgency?  If she is fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood being serviced by WCI, she may be able to call her “neighborhood healthcare worker” or go to their house which is only a block or two away.  This worker is not a profession nurse but is someone approved by the Ministry of Health to administer first aid and stabilize many medical situations.  These healthcare workers often do not have access to even basic equipment (sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, otoscope, glucometer, basic first aid materials, etc.),  or basic CPR/first aid training—WCI provides this and more, utilizing our volunteers and soliciting basic equipment and supplies for volunteers to bring with them.
How do WCI volunteers serve women’s shelters and orphanages?
WCI volunteers and professional staff regularly visit women’s shelter and orphanages in the areas we serve, to provide the many services listed above.  We often are their only source of medical care.
What will a volunteer do in an “immunization campaign”?
Most of the countries we serve have socialized medical systems. The down side is lack of access and meds in these systems. The upside is an emphasis on community health as a methodology, and this includes not only health education but annual or bi-annual “immunization campaigns”—an all out effort to get kids vaccinated in the neighborhoods.  It is very difficult for third world countries to do this with any degree of thoroughness, due to lack of personnel and transportation.  Utilizing appropriately trained nursing students/faculty and professions,  WCI provides this help under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.  We recently received an award from the Mexican State of Sonora for doubling the vaccination rate in the areas we serve!
How does WCI provide “eye and dental care for children/mothers”?
WCI provides eye and dental care at two levels:  initial screenings and acute care.   WCI volunteers are appropriately trained to utilize non-invasive optical screenings, using four protocols approved for use by local Ministries of Health in the homes and general neighborhood clinics.  More acute care, determining eye issues or actual dental work is only preformed by students/professionals at their level or training.  E.G., discovering a child has “lazy eye” (easily screened) can avoid a life time of visual difficulty if discovered in a standard WCI screening for children under the age of six.
What is the “Education Team Option”?
Education Major Students and faculty join our WCI staff and local elementary school partners (in country) to provide classroom assistance, tutoring, ESL, recreational projects, art/music projects, sports events, field trips, and many more opportunities to interact with, help, and encourage children in poor neighborhoods. Certificate for hours served available. Interpreters provided as needed.
What is the “Mission Team Option”?
Students and faculty who desire to have a faith-based experience of Christian ministry in underserved neighborhoods get involved in local church’s youth programming, evangelistic outreach, and special events to spread the Gospel, including house to house outreaches, light construction alongside local youth for their church (painting etc.). Our mission-trained WCI staff plan and leads the effort. Interpretation is available as needed.
What is the “Education Team Option”?
Education Major Students and faculty join our WCI staff and local elementary school partners (in country) to provide classroom assistance, tutoring, ESL, recreational projects, art/music projects, sports events, field trips, and many more opportunities to interact with, help, and encourage children in poor neighborhoods. Certificate for hours served available. Interpreters provided as needed.
What is the “Mission Team Option”?
Students and faculty who desire to have a faith-based experience of Christian ministry in underserved neighborhoods get involved in local church’s youth programming, evangelistic outreach, and special events to spread the Gospel, including house to house outreaches, light construction alongside local youth for their church (painting etc.). Our mission-trained WCI staff plan and leads the effort. Interpretation is available as needed.
What is included in my trip?
Housing (sample housing see property number 1148692 at www.VRBO.com), average of two meals per day (professionally prepared),  all transport from PHX or any other arrival airport plus all in program transport, full time trained staff (team leaders, assistant team leaders, interpreters, guides, etc), full time programming,  complete pre-trip preparationand materials (including a “Getting Ready to Go” document), personal  recommendation–valuable resume assist, some free recreation and extra recreation on cost basis, training seminars (WCI “village triage”, administration of vitals, etc).  Not included:  passport cost.
What kind of shots, vaccines, and inoculations will I need?
WCI recommends that all volunteers refer to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) website for the country that they are traveling to. The CDC has a detailed up to date outline for what vaccinations are recommended for each country.
Why travel to Mexico is safe.
WCI is aware of the Travel Warning issued by the U.S. Department of State regarding travel to Mexico. The safety of our volunteers is our number one priority. We are closely monitoring the situation; at this time we have found no reason to alter our program itineraries. Currently, all of WCI’s programming in Mexico takes place in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, an area not included in the triangle where travel is prohibited. WCI always utilizes the Lukeville/Sonoyta travel route and border crossing as recommended by the US Department of State, whose travel warnings surround major transportation routes to the north, including Nogales, routes that WCI does not utilize.

WCI enhanced safety precautions:

  • WCI only uses the crossing at the Lukeville border and limits transport to daylight hours.
  • All WCI accommodations are secure, and located either in gated communities or areas that are otherwise guarded, well-lit, and safe.
  • Transportation of WCI volunteers is done via ISL contracted vehicles under the direct management of WCI to ensure proper vehicle maintenance and safe, well-trained drivers.

Other noteworthy considerations:

  • Thousands of people cross the border from Arizona and California to visit Puerto Peñasco every weekend without incident.
  • There are over 10,000 U.S. expats living full-time in the Puerto Peñasco area, many for upwards of 15 years without incident.
  • WCI, through ISL, partners with several universities who bring teams of students and faculty to this community regularly. The area has been examined by university representatives under major liability constraints who find the area safe for their students.
  • The corridor/highway from the U.S. border to Puerto Peñasco is only 55 miles long and offers call boxes every five kilometers. Road patrols (known as Green Angels) make sure that travelers have all they need in terms of safety or in the event of vehicle trouble. There is also a full time road assistance program that patrols this portion of highway 24/7.

In making the decision to proceed with any program, our management team relies on the advice of a number of organizations including the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board. If conditions exist that may hinder our ability to provide a safe program, we will alter the itinerary and redirect volunteers to safer regions or provide other alternatives.

How Can I Help Bringing Supplies?
Utilizing the resources of any health professions organization are are part of or just friends and family, try to bring:  children’s and prenatal vitamins, basic house hold first aid kit stuff (bandaids, antibiotic ointment, over the counter treatments for paid, coughs etc).  If you have access or want to do a cool fundraising effort, we need sphygmomanometers, stethoscopes, otoscopes, glucometers AND lots of strips!
What are house-to-house visits?
• Visit homes to assess the needs for children’s health care and health status of any pregnant women in household
• Evaluate living conditions making connections between lifestyle and health issues
• Bring/distribute/explain educational materials to families
Where is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica (“rich coast” in Spanish) is a Central American country bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua and Panama. Costa Rica has become one of the most stable, democratic, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America.
Where is Baja?
The Baja region of Mexico is the geographic area that borders the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez. The ISL Baja program is located on the Northeastern coast of the Sea of Cortez. The principal town or small city that is the headquarters for this program is Puerto Peñasco, also known as “Rocky Point.” Rocky Point is the approximate English rendering of “Puerto Peñasco” and refers to a prominent geographical feature at the entrance to the natural harbor. Puerto Peñasco is located about 50 miles directly south of the Arizona border crossing of Sonoyta. Being a border area, there are sociological challenges: more population than the local infrastructure can support, ever-changing population as people move through, very high unemployment, and healthcare challenges and diseases that are unintentionally brought to the city. Although Mexico has a socialized health care system, it can be very challenging to work with, as it is divided among four areas of separate governance and control which don’t provide adequate coverage for the population.
How much of my money I pay goes to MY trip expenses?
All if it. WCI is a non-profit organization. Participants often make the mistake of forgetting how much legitimate overhead it costs to make the programs available. The cost of your meals and housing is only a fraction of what it takes to make this all happen. Consider for example, how much of our office/internet/utilities expenses goes to YOUR trip? That is of course, an impossible question. Legit overhead expenses include maintaining vehicles, purchasing and maintaining clinical equipment, training in-country staff, paying contracts to doctor, technicians, in-country attorneys to maintain and form our legal associations, bilingual assistants, team leaders and their training, assistant team leaders and their training, and nurses who provide your training and provide the actual care, maintain an extensive and expensive pharmacy, Direct aid to ministries we serve (food, medicines, meds and vitamins for Moms and kids, paying for outreach to campuses (that’s how YOU heard about this!), office staff for accounting, etc., etc., etc. As soon as you pay your first $ to WCI ALL of it goes to ALL of these continuing, monthly expenses.