Mexican Medical Work Experience Projects
Your medical work experience projects in Mexico are based in Guadalajara and the rural towns of Chapala and Tecolotlan. When you join we’ll ask for further details of your background and we will tailor your project location depending on your Spanish, previous experience and areas of interest. We have a number of partner hospitals in each of these locations ranging from large multi-disciplinary hospitals to small rural clinics. During your time on this placement you will be able to work with or shadow doctors in various departments, work alongside paramedics, care for children with cancer and assist nurses with patient care.
Many of the hospitals we work with are part of the Red Cross or Green Cross organisations. Unlike in the UK, medical provision in Mexico is not free. These organisations provide hospital and medical services to those who are unable to afford it. They are also on hand to provide assistance in the event of natural disasters such as the earthquakes and hurricanes that occasionally hit the region. As these organisations are non-profit organisation they are always in need of funding and volunteers.
Volunteers often start the project with an induction. The first week will cover very basic medical training so that you are able to provide a positive input in to the programme rather than just shadowing doctors on ward rounds. Our partner hospitals and clinics will look to you to make a positive input to the programme so this is not a project where you will be just observing. You are encouraged to play an active role helping the medical practitioners. You can then choose to spend your time shadowing doctors in various wards, assisting the nurses in trauma care or accompanying the paramedic crew on their busy shift which makes the programme well suited to budding medical students, those interested in becoming nurses and those keen on a career as a paramedic. Several of our past volunteers on this programme have elected to work weekends and evenings rather than during the days as this is usually when the hospital is at its busiest and when the most help is needed. Therefore, it helps if you have a flexible attitude to your working day!
Volunteering in hospitals and clinics in Mexico will mean that your time on this project will be quite varied. As well as spending time with the doctors, nurses and paramedics, you will also be asked to help with other tasks also. This may include fundraising for the hospital, helping maintain the building (painting children's wards) and assisting on outreach programmes.
Although all our projects in Mexico include a basic Spanish course, it is useful if you have at least some basic Spanish before joining the medical project in Mexico. If you have no Spanish or are not confident that your Spanish is quite up to scratch we would recommend combining programmes and joining a teaching or orphanage project first. Alternatively, we are happy to recommend a good 1 week Spanish course. Many on our medical projects spend time helping in orphanages or schools in the afternoons. This is a great way to give something back to the community that is teaching you so much.
We also have opportunities to spend part of your time delivering medical care in rural communities caring for the indigenous Huichol. The Huichol community predate the Spanish conquistadors and are located in isolated communities high in the Sierra Madre Mountains. On this project, you will have the opportunity to work alongside the community doctor as well as learn more about traditional indigenous medical practises. This placement is very different to life in the cities or even towns. You will live amongst the Huichol community in the mountains in very basic living conditions. Part of this additional programme includes learning Nahuatl, the original language of the Mayas and Aztecs.
This project is not just for budding medical students, this programme may also be suitable for those about to study:
Contact us to chat about which programme would be best for you.
All the time
This placement would suit:
for those hoping to study medicine or the subject allied to medicine, including Nursing, Physiotherapy, Dentistry and other subjects. This placement suits those who would like to make their applications to medical school really stand out.
Do you accept non UK citizens?
Do you accept applicants with disabilities?
“I spent 4 weeks in Mexico volunteering with the Cruz Roja (Red Cross). It was probably one of the best times of my life! We learnt so many things over the month, as well as first aid and life support (dealing with fractures, burns, etc), we also learnt how to take pulses, blood pressure, strap a patient onto a spinal board, put in a cannula and set up drips. I would recommend the project to anyone who is interested in medicine or nursing or being a paramedic. It was an amazing and unique experience and I would honestly go back in a second.”
~ by Phoebe Cooke
food, airport pickup
Joining Global Volunteer Projects is as much about learning as it is about giving. As well as gaining work experience on journalism and medical projects, you’ll learn the local language and immerse in the local culture - maybe drumming in Ghana, or yoga in India. Teaching, conservation, orphanage placements also available.