GeoVisions Blog

Gloves-On Volunteering In Peru

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Thu, Oct 06, 2011

Our program, Health and Wellness in Peru, is really about as good as it gets if you're wanting to volunteer on a medical project.  All of GeoVisions' medical volunteer projects are hands-on, making them perfect for nursing and medical students.

This program is a great hands-on opportunity to work toward improving health care in Lima or Cusco, Peru. Our volunteers work directly with local Peruvians who have little access to health care. GeoVisions provides ample opportunity to work with locals of various age groups to bring adequate health care, intervention and prevention to the people these clinics serve.

Alex Cabble is a GeoVisions volunteer onsite right now.  She is documenting her trip on Tumblr with her Blog, Across The Equator.  Here is an excerpt from a recent post:  "Last week I was in Topico and I was able to clean a wound on a woman’s toe by myself! I also talked to a man who was getting stitches on his arm after a dog bit him about New York for a while! Topico was interesting and I definitely had more of a hands on experience there. It was nice to talk to some of the patients and I liked seeing all of the babies and helping to break their fevers. The kids here are sooo adorable!"

Kelsey and Alex in PeruAlex writes about other hands-on cases she has had recently, like "my first patient was an older woman who didn’t have a toenail on her big toe."  And, "a 7 year old boy who fell and had a gash right above his left eyebrow. The gash, at its widest, was probably about the size of a dime and went pretty deep.  He ended up getting stitches inside the gash and then stitches on the outside to hold it together."  Alex' day ended here, "another patient was a 10 month old baby that had a fever. I took her temperature and it was 38.9 degrees C when the normal temp is 37 degrees C. We put some wet towels on her to bring down the temperature and by the time that I left, it was normal again!"

Be sure to read her Blog for more details and she has included a lot of photos as well.

Oh…and as I prepared this Blog to go live, we received this email from Alex' friend Kelsy who is also on the same program:

"Just checking in to say hi - everything here has been absolutely amazing so far! Alex and I have been doing great, our host family is wonderful, and the clinic has been so great. I worked in gynecology and obstetrics the first two weeks which was really neat - I got to see a few live births too so that was cool. I'm working in the pharmacy now which is good, because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get there at all. Our Spanish is improving tremendously. The ruins and views here are so incredible. We just went to Machu Picchu yesterday, which was amazing, and we've also been to Ollantaytambo, Pisaq, Saqsayhuaman, Salineras, Maras, and Moray. The night life in Cusco is a blast too. We're both learning lots of salsa! Overall, everything's been wonderful and I would definitely have to say I've been having the time of my life. Learning tons, and having a blast too!"

GeoVisions founded the Conversation Corps, and specializes in medical volunteer projects for the traditional volunteer abroad program.

Tags: Peru, Medical/Health Projects, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Just Arrived! GeoVisions' Newest Programs

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Thu, Jul 01, 2010

This is the time of year we see new programs hit our site.  Within the next 4 weeks you will see GeoVisions add 20+ new programs, and we'll announce each one via this Blog.  As you can see below, we're "switching it up" a little.

W&T logoI am highlighting our three newest programs:  one volunteer program, one Work and Travel Internship and one Au Pair.  We like a wide variety of programs to offer people.  We don't want to be "type-cast" so we stretch out a little.

But also, GeoVisions is a U.S. State Department designated Work/Travel organization.  We have partner sites in 30 different countries.  That translates into a great network of interesting program content.

Conversation Partner-Mexico
I know...we already have Conversation Partner-Mexico.  But wait...we have an entirely new and very unique way of seeing Mexico:  Through the eyes and ears of local tourist officials!

Conversation  Partner logoThat's right!  Expanding on our current Conversation Partner program in Mexico tutoring staff and students in select language schools, there is now a unique opportunity to kick it up a notch by working directly with local tourism officials and speaking conversational English with the tourism staff.

Where would you be tutoring?  Mainly in local tourism kiosks in resort and high tourist areas of Mexico.  The kiosks can be on the street (handy for tourists) or at airports as tourists arrive into Mexico.  Local tourism officials are there to provide local information to tourists and they are eager to learn conversational English to make it easier to communicate with the tourists entering Mexico.

Can you imagine?  Be a Conversation Partner with a tourist official.  They learn conversational English and you find out the really great places to visit and enhance your stay in Mexico.

This new project is really a very unique way to learn about Mexican culture, how tourists are viewed by the locals, and to assist the tourism officials in becoming better conversationalists with tourists.

Work and Travel Internship
Machu Pichu photoInternships in a Work and Travel office
abroad are nothing but fun.  Our newest is in Lima, Peru.  Earn $300 per month plus receive free accommodation by interviewing college students headed to the U.S. on the J-1 Work and Travel program.

The Work and Travel program in the U.S. allows college students from other countries to travel to the U.S., work legally during their summer break, and then travel for a month before returning to their home country.  Those students need to be interviewed about what it is like to live and work in the U.S. and also for their English language ability and skills.

The minimum stay for this Internship in Lima, Peru is 3 months and the maximum stay is 10 months.  There is an interview process after you make your application.

Focused on fun and interviewing Peruvian college students, the benefits include $300/month and free accommodation. There are Internships and then there are Work and Travel Internships. Availability now in Argentina, China, Turkey, Chile and Peru.

Au Pair Spain
If you are a female, U.S. citizen, and between the age of 18 and 30 withAu  Pair family at least a high school diploma, (I already know what you're thinking...) you can become an Au Pair in Spain.

If you want to stay more than 3 months, a student visa will be issued to you.  All you then have to do is take 15 hours of Spanish language classes each week.

What makes this Au Pair program unique is you can choose how many hours a week you work.  Depending on the hours you choose to Au Pair, you can earn more or you can earn less.  Earn €70/week if you work 25 hours each week plus 2 evenings.  Earn €95/week if you work 35 hours per week plus 3 evenings.  And for every six months you work, you receive a week's paid vacation.

The minimum stay is 2 months, maximum 10 months.


So there you are.  Do you have program ideas we should consider?  Places we don't currently serve?  Please use the Comments section and let us know.  We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Peru, Internships, Conversation Partner-Mexico, Work and Travel

Volunteer Abroad Returnees: Coming Home or Going to Volunteer Again?

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Tue, Jan 12, 2010

Medical volunteers in PeruA few days ago I wrote a Blog post about a volunteer (Daniel Jackson) who returned home only to start up his own non-profit and find new ways to assist the medical clinic where he volunteered for with GeoVisions in Peru.

This Blog post is about a volunteer who is returning to GeoVisions for a second time.  Shannon Anderson first went to Peru with GeoVisions.  Now she's headed to Italy. I hope you will go back toShannon's Blog and follow her as she makes her plans, takes her Italian language courses, gets her host family and prepares to tutor.

Two things quickly come to mind:

  • It is a rare opportunity when people share the intimate details of their decisions, their process and the ups and downs in preparing to volunteer abroad.  I hope you'll subscribe toShannon's Blog and be a part of all that.  It will serve you well if you are in the same position or hope to be.
  • Collage of RomeGeoVisions is far more interested in what people do after the volunteer abroad experience than we are in trying to get you to go.  Newspaper articles and magazine articles are full of stories about Voluntourism, how great it is and then listing a few organizations you can choose to help you with your experience. We're more about showing people what happens after the experience has taken place.  In this case...Shannon is returning for another experience.  And we want to share that with you and so does Shannon.

So enjoy Shannon's Blog, Part Due.  Comment on her Blog and help her along and ask her for some advice if you're planning your own volunteer program.  In the meantime, let us know what you're doing if you are a volunteer abroad returnee.  We want to hear about your experience and follow up what you're doing now.

Tags: Peru, Conversation Corps-Italy, Staying Involved, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteer Abroad And Start Up Your Own Project!

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Tue, Jan 05, 2010

Photo of a volunteer and children.One of the best feelings in our work is to see volunteers provide assistance to a community or a medical outpost or teaching kids to read in rural Ghana.  If I were to ask my friends who also do this kind of work, more than likely they would say the same thing.  Watching our volunteers and watching the smiles of the recipients of that volunteer's efforts.

I am always asked, "What is your favorite city in the world?"  Or, "What is your favorite country in the world?"  To be quite honest, it depends on the time of day someone asks.  Too many favorites I have.

One thing is clear, however.  When I am asked the best part of my job the answer is always the same.  It's watching what happens when our volunteers return from their project.  I've become obsessed with finding out what each GeoVisions' volunteer, tutor and teacher are doing.  More times than not, it is special, as you can see with Daniel Jackson.

Photo of Daniel JacksonDaniel went to Cusco, Peru with GeoVisions last June (2009) to work in the Medical Center there we support.  He was able to volunteer for six weeks.

Daniel is a photographer and you can see his work on his website.  But once Daniel returned to the U.S. he started Friends of Belempampa.  Daniel was so taken with Cusco, and with Belempampa, that he organized a group of international volunteers and staff who have worked at the Belempampa Health Center in Cusco and then put together the "Friends" website to help provide support to the medical center.

Please consider supporting Daniel, his group and his new non-profit group, which will

  • Cusco clinic provide much-needed ambulance equipment;
  • train everyone at the center for gentler treatment of patients;
  • fund new triage equipment;
  • buy new devices for doctors to listen to babies' heartbeats;
  • provide food for patients;
  • a larger supply of sanitary protections;
  • install a warm water line to obstetrics' staff shower;
  • provide a stomach pump for newborns;
  • and provide warm water for wash basins for newborns.

Volunteer in CuscoAlready, the Friends of Belempampa have donated digital thermometers and put together research on handling and preparation of dangerous meeds.  If you check out the website you will see a list of projects completed and their cost (in U.S. $ and volunteer-hours) and then click a link on that page to see a list of projects they hope to accomplish and that cost in funds and hours.

Please support the Friends of Belempampa.  How can you do that?  Well, it could be as simple as making a comment below and we'll pass it on.

You could reach out and email anyone there.  You'll find a lot of information on each person who belongs and has something to do with the group.  Even an email to voice your support for what they are doing would be encouraging to them.

You can donate. There is even a link to the group's financial records.

Photo of DanielLook…this is the real deal.  This is Daniel deciding to leave his photography for awhile and volunteer in Peru for six weeks.  It's Daniel helping children being born, taking temperatures, taking weights and making sure the medical records were updated.  This is Daniel making a difference in Peru.  And this is Daniel coming home and making a difference.

Daniel votes with his wallet and he votes with his feet.  He is literally where the rubber meets the road.  Please support Daniels' group by reaching out and encouraging them to keep going.  Or donating.  Or volunteering your time.

This is volunteer abroad.  This is the definition of voluntourism.

If you can take away something useful from this post, please consider leaving a comment (below) or subscribing to the feed (above) to have future posts delivered to your feed reader. You can also subscribe via email (in the upper right corner).



Tags: Reasons To Volunteer Abroad, Peru, Medical/Health Projects, Staying Involved, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad

Volunteer Blog: Health Care Volunteer Project in Lima, Peru

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Dec 07, 2009

Medical center in Lima, PeruOur health care project in Lima, Peru is a great opportunity because of the "hands on" activities for volunteers.  Many health-related volunteer abroad projects don't allow volunteers to be directly involved with patients.  This one does.

Please take a look at Allison's Blog.  Allison is a volunteer with GeoVisions on this project.  She has been writing her posts since September.  If you are looking for someone on the project now, look no further.  You can ask her questions through the Comments section of her blog.

GeoVisions wants to send more volunteers abroad on this project in 2010.  We are ready to provide more information about the project and are eager to accept your application for the medical volunteer project in Lima.

If you can take away something useful from this post, please consider leaving a comment (below) or subscribing to the feed (above) to have future posts delivered to your feed reader. You can also subscribe via email (over on the right).  You can also follow us on Twitter.


Tags: Peru, Medical/Health Projects, Volunteer Blogs, Volunteering Abroad