Medical Teams

Join hundreds of volunteers who travel from the United States and around the world each year to provide health care cost-free in rural Guatemala. With high rates of extreme poverty in these regions, the need for medical care is tremendous and the work you do will truly change lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do teams travel?
HELPS medical teams are generally scheduled from January through late November every year.
How do I pick a team?
Teams are often primarily comprised of people from the same city or area, but volunteers may join teams from other areas. Look at our team calendar (link) to select a team. Then, select that team on your application. We’ll send your application along to the appropriate team leader, who will answer additional questions for you.

Who makes up a team?
Each team consists of 60-80 volunteers, including surgeons, OB-GYNs, general practitioners, anesthesiologists, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, translators, cooks, engineers and other types of support personnel needed to assist the team. You don’t need to have medical training to be part of a team.
What can I expect on a trip?
HELPS medical trips generally last 12 days. The typical agenda for a team is to stay in a hotel in Guatemala City the first night, travel by bus to the medical facility in a rural area the next day, and stay on the hospital campus throughout the week. Sleeping arrangements are dormitory style, using cots and sleeping bags. There are bathroom and shower facilities in the medical facility, and you will be fed all of your meals on-site by the kitchen team. You’ll end your trip with with a two to three-night stay at a hotel in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala, where we conclude the trip with a team banquet on the last evening. Some teams follow a slightly different schedule, depending on the location the team plans to serve.
How much does a trip cost?

The average cost of the trip for 2017 is $2,300. Exact pricing may vary for each team, and we provide discounted pricing for volunteers who purchase their own airfare and required travel insurance. Your team leader will advise you of the cost of your trip based on their agenda. The cost of the trip is considered a tax-deductible donation.

What expenses does the cost of the trip cover?
All expenses (including air travel and travel insurance) are included in the cost, except for a few meals you will have on your own during your rest and relaxation time in Antigua. We take care of all of your travel logistics, coordinating closely with our on-site staff in Guatemala.
How can I pay for the trip?
Volunteers may pay for the trip in installments or all at once, and payment schedules vary by team. We strongly encourage volunteers to make payments online, for your convenience and our administrative efficiency. Many of our team members recruit friends, family and employers to help support the cost of their trip. These donations are also 100% tax deductible if the payments are made directly to HELPS International online or via check. HELPS does not offer scholarships at this time, but some teams do have scholarship funds.