Seasonal Schedule & Trips

Sign up for a medical mission trip that fits your schedule or ask us about designing a custom trip for your group.

 

Scroll down to view our current trips.

 

 

 

 

Spring Break Trips - 2021

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 March 14-21 (8 days)

$985.00

Early Summer Trips -2021

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 April 24-30 (7 days)

$985.00

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 April 30-May 7 (8 days)

$985.00

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 July 10-17 (8 days)

$985.00

Ask us how you can fully finance your trip!
Three volunteers minimum required. Focus on women & children but also the whole family. Participate in house-to-house screenings/vitals and hospital/clinic visits. Recreation time & evening seminars. Beach front housing, two meals per day & round-trip van transportation to/from Phoenix/Tucson. Professional team leadership. Translators/interpreters. $100 trip credit for each “bring a friend”.

Late Summer Trips - 2021

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 August 7-14 (8 days)

$985.00

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 August 14-21 (8 days)

$985.00

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 September 11-18 (8 days)

$985.00

Baja

Open Enrollment Team

 September 18-25 (8 days)

$985.00

Ask us how you can fully finance your trip!
Three volunteers minimum required. Focus on women & children but also the whole family. Participate in house-to-house screenings/vitals and hospital/clinic visits. Recreation time & evening seminars. Beach front housing, two meals per day & round-trip van transportation to/from Phoenix/Tucson. Professional team leadership. Translators/interpreters. $100 trip credit for each “bring a friend”.

Winter Break Trips - 2021

Belize

Global Health
Jan 3 – 10

$1,295.00

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.

 

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?
This is a sample 7-Day Baja itinerary.

Longer variations/versions of this itinerary (8-12 days) simply includes more “hands on health care” time—community triage/clinical time/rotations.

This itinerary is for the WCI Baja Program, but the Costa Rican version is the same pattern of health care and local activities—just in Costa Rica!

Day One

9 am: Van pick up in Phoenix or Tucson.
3-4 pm: Arrival at beach house I Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) and initial logistics orientation, meeting staff, settling in.
5:50 pm: Sunset on “Margarita Deck” or beach.
6 pm: Welcome dinner!
7 pm: Program orientation and first community triage training, vitals training and review of health care system.
8:30 pm: Evening discussion and questions, free time.

Day Two

8 am: Breakfast.
9:30 am: Second community triage/screenings training and vitals training.
11:00 Orientation tour of Puerto Penasco.
1:00 pm: Overlook Luncheon at El Capitan Restaurant (team pays but its half price).
2:30 pm: Community Triage/House visits/vitals/screenings in San Rafael.
5:00 pm: Return to beach house for dinner and sunset.
7:00 pm: Salsa Lessons!
8:30 pm: End of day de-brief/free time

Day Three

8 am: Breakfast.
Morning and afternoon rotations of hospital or clinic (local health care clinic) time and community/triage/house visits.
4:00 pm :Tropical medicinal seminar.
Evening: Dinner out and “Malecon Time” — the tourist area waterfront (restaurants/shops/waterfront and street activities, etc.)
8:30 pm: End of day de-brief/free time.

Day Four

8 am: Breakfast.
Morning and afternoon rotations of hospital or clinic (local health care clinic) time and community/triage/house visits.
Late afternoon-early evening shopping/tourist time.
8:30 pm: End of day de-brief/free time.

Day Five

8 am: Breakfast.
Morning rotations of hospital or clinic (local health care clinic) time and community/triage/house visits.
Afternoon is a fun time with kids from “the hood” as we provide a Children’s Health fair! Games, pinata, food, contests (WCI staff get to match their physical game skills with the kids) —all with a “how to be healthy” focus. E.G. We integrate into this activity several possible kid-level seminars/games on how to live healthier.
Late afternoon recreation/free time for WCI team.
Evening out or at the beachhouse—chillin’…😊

Day Six

Morning clinic—an intensive time of providing clinical follow-ups utilizing our local WCI team of medical professionals and YOU!
Mid-Afternoon Recreation time!!
Evening out to celebrate another successful WCI project—you will have made a difference in the actual health care of many, many women and children in the designated area of service (wherever we are currently partnering with local Health Ministry to bring health care into designated neighborhoods.
8:30 pm: End of day de-brief/free time.

Day Seven

Breakfast and then travel day home. ☹

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 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.