Mission Trip Volunteers
“Refuge International volunteers are some of the most dedicated, hard-working and compassionate people I have ever had the honor to work with.”
Refuge International takes several teams to Guatemala every year. Our teams consist of a diverse mix of medical professionals, students and persons with no medical background. The trips typically span 7 days and include all in-country transportation, meals and housing (including the final night hotel stay in Antigua). Each team provides vital surgeries, health exams, pharmacy services and more in communities that need us. Locals walk for miles and line up hours in advance of our arrival to seek medical care. Clinic days are long and the work environment subject to spontaneous electrical outages or rain storms, but we always return home in awe of the level of care our teams deliver.
To best serve the people of Guatemala, we need the right balance of expertise on each team. While students are encouraged and welcome to serve with us, there are a limited number of student spots for each trip.
In Guatemala, Refuge International makes every effort to adhere to the standards of professional care practiced in the United States. Consistent with that policy, direct involvement by volunteers in surgery and anesthesia is limited to licensed health care professionals and students enrolled in programs leading to licensure in a healthcare profession. The level of participation will be commensurate with one's training and/or experience. Exceptions to this policy are solely at the discretion of the medical director of the OR. Observation in the OR is also at his/her discretion.
Click the button below to send your mission fee or deposit, using your PayPal account or a credit card:
The volunteer registration fee paid to Refuge International covers your room and board for the week; travel within the country; medical and surgical supplies (including patient medications) used during the week; language translator services; and one night hotel stay in Antigua, Guatemala on Friday at the end of our service week* (*this does not apply to Petén teams; see below for more information). If you decide that you would like to stay an extra night in Antigua, there is an additional $75 charge.
Our trips fill up quickly and volunteers spots are accepted in the order they are received, so please submit your application early to get the dates you want.
The following are required for reserving your place on a Refuge International Medical Mission Trip:
- Online registration (Be sure to note the specific location and date of the trip you want!)
- Copy of your professional license, if applicable
Change The World Fundraising Program
In order to address the rising costs of medical supplies and medications that our teams use on trips, all mission trip volunteers are asked to pledge to fundraise a minimum of $250 through the Change The World program. Volunteers will receive fundraising tools and information with your trip information packet (mailed to you once your application and trip deposit are received). Our Change The World website provides volunteers with an easy-to-use, personalized fundraising tool to share your mission with your own local community of family, friends, colleagues, etc. Thank you for your help and support in providing sustainable healthcare programs to the communities we serve in Guatemala!
Mission Trip Fee: $1,500 (San Raymundo & Sarstún)
Please note that the mission trip to Sarstún is more challenging than other locations and is not the trip for anyone with physical constraints.
Air Travel and Optional Hotel Stay
You are required to provide your own air travel to/from Guatemala; however, please do not purchase your tickets until your spot on the team is confirmed and your Team Leader has posted the designated flight information. In-country arrival/departure transportation must be coordinated for the entire group and not on an individual basis. Thank you!
Mission Trip Volunteers have the option to stay an extra night (Saturday) at our hotel in Antigua for an additional $75 (breakfast included). Please check the applicable box on your trip registration form if you’d like to stay the extra night. (Please note, the Antigua visit does not apply to Petén teams; see below.)
Petén Mission Trip Fee: $1,500
Travel to the Petén is more difficult than most other parts of Guatemala. Petén teams are assembled by invitation only and volunteers consist primarily of experienced, licensed professionals (we have a limited number of spots open to non-medical individuals). Only small groups can be accommodated at this time. Volunteers have the option of visiting Tikal on the last day of the trip (a personal expense). Your Team Leader will help coordinate Tikal visit activities including: transportation, park entrance ticket and archeological guide. Petén groups do not visit the city of Antigua as travel to/from the Petén is coordinated through Belize. Volunteers are required to provide their own air travel to/from Belize City (airport code: BZE); however, tickets should not be purchased until your spot on the team is confirmed and your Team Leader has posted the designated flight information. In-country arrival/departure transportation must be coordinated for the entire group and not on an individual basis. Thank you!
Important Deposit Information
A non-refundable $200 deposit is required with all volunteer applications. The remaining balance, as well as all other required information, is due 30 days prior to your departure date. A travel information packet and team t-shirt will be sent to you upon receipt of the total trip fee.
Refuge International is a 501(c)(3) and all fees paid for trips are considered charitable donations. If a volunteer chooses to cancel their travel plans, all payments (less expenses incurred up to the date of cancellation) will be held in reserve for a future trip (for up to a two-year period). All fees and payments made to Refuge International are non-refundable. Volunteer fees are used to cover the costs associated with each trip, as well as fund the other initiatives detailed on this site.