LAUGHH FOUNDATION MEDICAL MISSION 2020
LAUGHH (Live Abundantly Using Guided Helping Hands) is pleased and excited to announce its SEVENTH medical mission to Bucaramanga, Colombia in June 18-26, 2020. Applications are open Oct 1, 2019. Our intention is to have positions filled by November 30. The sooner you apply, the better your chances of being a part of the team. Updates will be sent as the team is created. If you apply and are identified as a team, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you block your time to participate. We are very limited to include very essential participants, so YOU are critical to our success. Late cancellations can cripple parts of this mission.
The mission will be led by Gisella Alvarez, RN – Team Leader and Dr. Bruce Sands – Medical Director. This mission will be a Primary Care Mission with an additional focus on Wellness Education specifically around nutrition and healthy lifestyles. We will continue serving the very poor people living in the State of Santander.
There are a lot of details to work out. We are working to solidify the commitment of all members of the team. We have limited spots for practitioners and non-clinical personnel for this mission. Our policy is to speak with all new volunteers prior to joining the mission team. Our goal is to have solidified the team before January 1, 2020.
This is a Primary Care Mission. We are looking for volunteers for the following positions:
- GENERAL ADULT MEDICINE: (4)
- PEDIATRICS: (3)
- GYNECOLOGY: (1)
- WOUND CARE: (2)
- NURSES: (8)
- EDUCATION TEAM: (2)
- RUNNERS: (8)
- IT: (2)
In addition, we will need the support from non-clinical volunteers to help as runners, section organizers, clinical support staff and in education.
BUCARAMANGA, the capital of Santander State, is a city of approx 800,000. We will most likely be serving the communities of nearby towns where there is much need. A new state government will be elected in November and we will work with the new First Lady to determine locations. We will be serving the very poor of these areas. The people have little to no resources for medical care.
Colombia does offer a basic medical care system to all Colombians. The system is quite complicated, cumbersome and when it comes to real need, the people don’t have access to the kind care they need.
DATES AND SCHEDULE
THU 6/18/20: Travel day and PM arrivals.
All team members MUST arrive
by Thursday night.
FRI 6/19/20: Sorting of supplies.
USA team meeting.
SAT 6/20/20: USA / Colombia team meeting.
Check out of Hotel Chicamocha
Early PM departure to clinic area.
Check into the hotel in clinic area.
Final set up.
SUN 6/21/20: Clinic #1- (Towns to be determined)
MON 6/22/20: Clinic #2 – (Town to be determined)
TUE 6/23/20: Clinic #3 – (Town to be determined) WED 6/24/20: Day off
THU 6/25/20: Clinic #4 – (Town to be determined)
FRI 6/26/20: Clinic #5 – ½ day
Travel to Bucaramanga.
Check back in at Hotel Chicamocha
Sort supplies, donations, inventory
SAT 6/27/20: Travel back to US day for some (shopping and touring day for others)
SUN 6/28/20: Travel back day for others
$ 1500 – $2000/ person approx. Covers airfare, hotel and some meals. Breakfast is provided at the hotel and is included in the room charge. Clinic day lunches are covered by the host town. You will be individually responsible for most dinners and any other meals.
In addition, there is a $25 application fee and each team member will be asked for a minimum donation of $100 US dollars to help cover the cost of the medications and supplies for our patients. Donations greater than $100 are welcome. If you would like help in setting up a personal page for fundraising, we can help. LAUGHH is totally dependent upon donations to advance our missions.
As you would expect, airfare is going to be the biggest expense. Prices can fluctuate from $700 to $1000, depending on your departure city.
There are many options when flying to Bucaramanga (BGA), so your best bet is to look at different airlines. In addition to the US carriers, try the following South American carriers: TACA, Avianca, LATAM, and COPA. When you travel with a combination of a US carrier and a South American carrier, look at their alliances (One World vs Star Alliance). This alliance will make a BIG difference when it comes to your suitcases being checked straight through to your final destination, Bucaramanga (BGA). Otherwise, you will have to claim your bags in Bogotá, proceed through Customs and then re-check your bags at the ticket counter. This time delay can make a big difference if you have a tight connection. Colombia is probably the only country where you can skip customs all together if you fly with the right airline combination.
DO NOT travel with Spirit Airlines, their baggage limit of one (1) bag / passenger traveling to Colombia does not allow you to take any supplies. Each team member will be carrying one (1) suitcase of supplies to Colombia.
Hotel Chicamocha: (www.hotelchicamocha.com) Sharing rooms, 2-3 people per room ($60 – $65 US / day / person). Price may be less depending on how strong the dollar is at the time of hotel payment.
A breakfast buffet is included. This is a nice hotel and they take good care of us. You will be very comfortable, and we are sure you will enjoy your stay here.
The hotel(s) in clinic cities are smaller with clean, basic rooms. Sharing rooms between 3-4 people will be the norm.
Colombian food is a good value with heaping portions of fresh, local ingredients. Dishes are varied and tasty, with a regional twist. Bucaramanga has countless places to eat, ranging from street stalls to well-appointed restaurants. If you are a steak person, you will be very happy here. If you are a vegetarian…… you may not be so happy. We do our best to accommodate most diets so please let us know if you have special needs.
Here is the link to our application:
We look forward to building a great team. We hope you will consider joining us and helping us make a difference!
Francie Stoner –Founder and President
Bruce Sands – Medical Director
Gisella Alvarez, RNC – Clinical Coordinator
LAUGHH Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions to the LAUGHH Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.