Hands to Care (structured medical missions)

Hands to Care is designed specifically for university students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine, global health, public health or another one related to the medicine field. Trips are available during winter, spring, and summer breaks.

As a Hands to Care volunteer, you will get a once in a lifetime experience learning the ins and outs of health care in Trujillo, Peru from local health professionals. Volunteers will get to partake in special health campaigns in CESAPU 2-3 times per week, and they will rotate in the Peruvian hospitals and health centers 2-3 times a week. The 5-week Hands to Care program will give our interns over 100+ hours of direct patient contact and medical observation.

Also included in the Hands to Care program medical classes weekly, taught by HOP staff of health professionals. These medical classes will help prepare you for what you will see/do in the HOP clinic and in the hospitals. No previous medical experience is required, as you will receive adequate training in these classes.

Class topics include: Vital Signs, clinical history, public health in Peru, administering vaccinations, labor & delivery, chest & respiratory exams, suturing, glucose tests and more.

All Hands to Care volunteers will receive assistance in Spanish medical terms and are expected to study in their down time and before the session to be able to better assist to the patients in health campaigns.

Hands to Care volunteers sometimes will get access to participate with family medicine residents, as well as exclusive access to local doctors, nurses, and other health professionals for observation and learning purposes.

All volunteers are required to take the Global Ambassadors for Patient Safety (GAPS) workshop before their arrival to Peru.


All volunteers are responsible for bringing the following: scrubs, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, lab coat. You will receive more details in your pre-trip preparation.


All volunteers will be able to shadow local doctors in one or more of the following rotations in a local Trujillo hospital or state health center: ultrasound, surgery, dentistry, physical therapy, pediatric, topical, X-rays, labor & delivery among others

Volunteers who are in undergraduate programs:

Triage: The volunteer will be expected to be able to take height, weight, blood pressure, respiration rates, pulse, and clinical history in CESAPU.

Additional: The volunteer will also be trained to do the following: glucose meter tests for diabetes, vaccinations, and other non-invasive basic medical procedures in CESAPU.

Interns who are in graduate health programs: Please see group mission trips if applicable.

Triage: The volunteer will be expected to be able to take height, weight, blood pressure, respiration rates, pulse, and clinical history in basic triage in CESAPU

Additional: The volunteer will also be trained to do the following: glucose meter tests for diabetes, auscultation exams, and potentially assist the nurses with administering vaccines. Students already in post-graduate programs will be encouraged to get more hands on experience with the patient under the supervision of a physician. They may be able to assist with pap smears and/or prostate exams. Physical therapy, chiropractic students and dental students will be able to get experience under their respected licensed doctors as well.

Research: All graduate students enrolled in Hands to Care will be required to produce their own investigative study. Topic can be of your choice, and you will be accompanied by local doctors and HOP staff to help guide you, but you are ultimately responsible for your investigation project.

5 week session: $2300

10 week session: $4,500


Special Sessions
  Dates Sessions Deadline Program Fee
Single Session 2022 June 15- July 20, 2022 April 1 $2300

* Note: Dates can be flexible according to your university schedule & flight prices. 

* Note: The program fee does NOT include the foreign transaction fees from payments made outside of the USA or Peru. Foreign transaction fees can cost between $10-$50 for payments made from Europe, Central America, South America, Asia, and Africa. You are responsible for making this fee. (Payment fees from Europe to USA typically cost $10-$15, payment fees from Europe to Peru typically cost $50).

* Although we try to make the price as low as possible to cover all of your living needs, your planned activities, and the community programs, we understand that it is still a high price! HOP can help you in the following ways:

      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.
    1. 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.

What this includes:

Included Not Included
Airport pick up/drop off from Trujillo airport Airfare to Peru (must fly into Lima and purchase connecting flight from Lima → Trujillo)
Comfortable home-stay (WiFi, warm water, and other amenities) Travel Insurance
3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) included in your homestay Hostel stay and meals in Lima and meals you choose to eat outside of your homestay
Transportation to the worksites and to the programmed activities. Personal vaccinations and medications and coverage of medical expenses in case of an emergency
3-5 cultural activities depending on weekend travel (see note below) Extra Activities - Club HOP: These are optional activities that you may chose to partake in during your stay in Trujillo / Huanchaco
Hop volunteer t-shirt & other HOP merchandise Hop outerwear & other merchandise at HOP store
2-3 medical classes per week taught by health professionals  Personal Expenses
24+ hour support from volunteer coordinator  Trip to Cusco / Machu Picchu
All tools and equipment necessary for the health and education campaigns. Personal spending and meals of the weekend travel

* Note re. Cultural activities & weekend travel: 
Sometimes, we plan overnight travels to host health campaigns 4+ hours away. In this case, we will pay for your lodging, bus and 1 meal of your weekend travel. If we schedule a travel campaign, you will receive 3 cultural activities. If there is not a travel campaign scheduled, you will receive 5 cultural activities. Either way, we build time into your schedule to give you a free weekend that you may travel around Northern Peru. Also, every session will have the opportunity to do a travel campaign to the highlands (which many times can be a day trip).

* Note re. Travel to Machu Picchu:
We highly encourage our volunteers to explore Machu Picchu. Many volunteers choose to add an additional week onto the end of their trip to give them time to do so, other volunteers will take the last few days of the organized trip to travel. Travel plans are best done (and cheaper) while in Peru when you can schedule & plan with your fellow volunteers. We encourage volunteers to plan before hand as well among each other.

- Arrival and departure dates are flexible according to your university schedule.