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What is the difference between the global health internship, Hands to Care, and group medical missions?

The HOP global health internship is available year-round. The requirement is 1 month minimum stay, and a basic knowledge of Spanish language. These interns will be required to delve deep into one of our community programs, even getting the chance to investigate, implement, and evaluate their own program if they want. This is great for graduate students doing their practicum, and for other recent college graduates who would like hands on experience in the field, and for emerging leaders in global health.

Hands to Care is only available during specific dates and times, which can be found on the website. This program is designed exclusively for college students for their winter, spring, and summer breaks to get hands-on medical (or teaching) experience.

Group medical mission trips are also available for students enrolled in graduate health programs. Timeline: flexible. Requirement: At least 1-2 people in the group need to speak Spanish. Each group will require a group leader to be the point-person to coordinate with HOP staff.

If you are a licensed health professional, you are welcome to visit us for any amount of time that your schedule allows.

Will HOP give a recommendation?

Yes. If we are impressed by your efforts while in Peru, we will be more than happy to write letters of recommendation for graduate school applications.

Will these volunteer hours be applicable for graduate school?

Yes. In the 5-week session, you will acquire an average of 100 hours in medical clinics in a variety of disciplines. HOP staff can sign off on these hours if the volunteer is applying for graduate school in the medical field.

Can I get academic credit for this trip?

Yes. If you plan accordingly with your advisor, you can get credit for this trip. This is your responsibility, and we will sign off on any documents you need.

How do I pay the down payment?

Once you have decided to come to Peru, a HOP coordinator will give you instructions to make a direct deposit in a HOP Wells Fargo account.

Does this trip include Cusco/ Machu Picchu?

Many volunteers do travel to Cusco. Most of the planning and coordinating takes place once you are in Peru; as it is easier to coordinate flights, hostels, and tour guides with the other volunteers. This trip is not included in the HOP program, but HOP staff will assist you in planning the trip. Some volunteers extend their time in Peru by a week to be able to spend more time in Cusco. The trip will be about $500-$700 depending on a variety of factors such as flights, tour agencies, amount of time spent there, any hikes you may do, etc.

How much extra money should you bring?

Depending on the length of your stay, you will spend about 50 dollars a week; therefore a 5-week session will be an average of $250, depending on personal spending habits. Also, If you choose to plan a trip to Cusco, it will average between $500-700.

Do I need a visa for Peru?

No, if you are visiting for the 5-week session, you will not need a visa. Similarly, if you visit for both summer sessions and stay for a total of 10 weeks, you will not need a visa as well. You will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your intended stay. When you arrive in the Lima airport, you will receive a document called “Tarjeta Andina de Migracion” (TAM) and a customs declaration form. The immigration officer will stamp your passport and write the number of the amount of days you are permitted to stay (Typically 60). The maximum stay for a tourist visa is 183 days. You will need to keep the TAM card for in-country travel purposes, and for returning to the airport on the day of your departure. It is an overall easy process. More information can be found here:

Does the Peruvian staff speak English?

Of course, this is our main requirement for the Peruvian staff.

Does my family speak English?

Some of the members of your family can speak some English, but not everyone. We place volunteers in host homes with other volunteers according to their level of Spanish and the same with the worksites to make translating and communicating easier.

Is it safe?

Safety of our volunteers is of the upmost importance. Peru is a low-income, developing country, therefore some violence exists in the city of Trujillo, but it is easy to avoid with proper due-diligence. Theft is the main worry, and we urge volunteers to constantly keep track of their belongings, not carry too much cash at one time, not pay with credit or debit card, and to be constantly aware of their surroundings. We take safe, secure buses in our travels between cities as to avoid any security problems. We prearrange all of the transportation to and from volunteering and to and from HOP activities. We urge volunteers to travel in groups when exploring in the city. The host families are trustworthy, middle class Peruvians who have great security measures on their homes and who truly care about the volunteers.

What are the basic requirements for the trip?

-We require that you have a hand to help and a heart to serve.

-Spanish is not required for this trip, although the more Spanish you know, the better you will be able to communicate and the more you will get out of this experience. We can recommend you the App Duolingo to study spanish.

-The most requirements are in the sheet volunteer with us, is depending of the program you are taking. For example Hands to Care, a program for premeds is no medical experience required. It will set up about 3 classes per week with a Peruvian doctor that speaks English and that will prepare you for what you will see in the clinics and train you for the medical campaign. You must be at least 18 years of age.

Why Hands On Peru?

Hands on Peru was founded by two dedicated women who have witnessed first hand the poverty of Peru and the rest of the world and the glaring disparities in health and education. Our overall goal is to contribute to reducing these disparities while inspiring future doctors, nurses, educators, social workers and public health officials to take action. We are named Hands On Peru for just that reason – we give you an incredibly unique, HANDS ON opportunity to work with the people in these countries who so desperately need your help. We want you not only to lend a helping hand to needy Peruvians, but also to to learn and experience and grow as a person and find inspiration to continue to promote humanitarian efforts in the world. Hands on Peru is a FAMILY of passionate people who are truly capable of instilling global change.

Volunteers are high priority. We make an extra effort to make sure our volunteers are comfortable in their host homes and clinics and urge open communication between coordinators and volunteers. We truly care about our volunteers and want them to have the best experience possible.

Where does my money go?

Your money goes to 4 major branches:

  1. You: It means your food and lodging, your activities, your airport transportation, your transportation for work, weekend travels, t-shirt etc, coordinator costs, etc. More detailed information found online /Sessions.
  2. Health Campaigns : Your program fee supports all necessary supplies and equipment and health staff for the health campaigns during your trip. These campaigns can support between 15 – 150 people, depending on the location and type of campaign.
  3. Community Programs: Your program fee includes a donation to our community programs so that we can continue to work with individuals in CESAPU all year, particularly during the months when there are no volunteers. 
  4. Maintenance of HOP as a functioning nonprofit: including website maintenance, administrative fees, building maintenance, employee support, etc.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit registered with the state of North Carolina. All donations are tax deductible, and if you need any additional information do not hesitate to e-mail

Are there any scholarships or financial aid available?

We try to make the price as low as possible to cover all of your living needs, your planned activities, and the donations we make and what it takes to run the program. If you decide to volunteer for a shorter period of time than the complete session, then your cost will be reduced depending on your length of stay.  Money never has been, and never will be, the purpose of our program. If you have issues with the payment structure or the deadlines, or the cost in general, please feel comfortable to speak to a HOP staff member about your concerns and we will do our best to accommodate.

The following are some financial aid options:

  1. BRING A FRIEND Bonus! Bring a friend on the same trip as you, and get $100 off, or refer 3 friends to come on the same trip as you and get $500 off! They only need to add your name in the application form, in the question that mentions how they heard about HOP. *Note* This is only applicable if you and your friend travel together on the same trip. This is not a referral or recommendation bonus for volunteers who attend future trips at your recommendation. Only the HOP Campus coordinators are rewarded $25 for each volunteer they recommend for future trips. You will be advised about campus coordinator opportunities at the end of your trip by HOP staff.
  2. Apply for the HOP Scholarship. After your acceptance into the program, you may request further financial assistance. This scholarship is exclusively for high-impact volunteers who 1. Speak Spanish and 2. Have financial barriers that prevent him / her from participating in the program. We normally give out 1-2 scholarships per year for $500.

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