Global and Community Partners-Central America teams collaborate with non-governmental organizations and local health professionals to improve access to vital healthcare, promote education and facilitate community development.
Global and Community Partners worked in Nicaragua from 2010-18 but halted volunteer trips to Nicaragua in 2019 after widespread civil unrest led the U.S. State Department to increase the travel advisory level.
Global and Community Partners currently sends volunteer teams to Costa Rica. Due to the unrest, approximately 55,000 Nicaraguans have sought refuge in Costa Rica, joining 300,000-500,000 Nicaraguans who have immigrated to Costa Rica since the 1980s. Many immigrants have limited access to healthcare and living wage jobs.
In November 2019, Global and Community Partners sent a small volunteer team to Guatemala to explore opportunities for developing medical and education partnerships. In the past, Global and Community Partners provided training and services in women's health, surgery, podiatry, early literacy, lending libraries, teacher workshops, nursing, medical and birth attendant education, nursing education and vision screening. Similar initiatives will be developed as Global and Community Partners expands its work in Central America.
If you are interested in volunteering on a trip to Central America, please fill out this volunteer form.
Frequently asked questions
How much do trips to Central America cost?
Trips to Central America typically cost between $1,850 and $2,100 including flight, hotel, breakfast, transportation, interpreters and other team expenses. Other potential expenses include medication/vaccinations, passport fees and some meals. Gundersen employees may apply for a Global and Community Partners grant for up to $500 in trip costs.
Do volunteers need to have a medical background?
No. Volunteers from a variety of backgrounds are needed. Please complete a volunteer form to describe your interest and a member of the Global and Community Partners team will follow up with you to discuss opportunities.
Does Gundersen provide time off for my trip?
You may choose to take PTO or unpaid time off; you will need to make arrangements with your manager. Gundersen medical staff may also use CME time, but not CME money.
For more information on specific trip details, please refer to our Central America Volunteer Info document.