Global Health Team #IMMUNE2018

COUNTRY: Costa Rica

ARRIVAL: May 20, 2018
DEPARTURE: May 29, 2018
DURATION: 10 Days
ARRIVAL CITY: San Jose
DEPARTURE CITY: San Jose
#IMM(UNE)2018 will be working in ISL partner communities to provide global health services to those in need. While in Costa Rica they will also have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and explore the cultural landscape in a meaningful way.

Global Health Teams

ISL’s global health teams are interdisciplinary and able to provide a variety of general medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, healthcare management, and nutrition services in developing communities. From urban centers to small towns and villages in remote areas, our teams work in various settings to provide field clinics in which patient needs are assessed and acute conditions are treated.

Regardless of background, volunteers are able to receive an invaluable opportunity to not only interactively observe health professionals in action, but to actively assist with important aspects of health care under careful supervision. Our holistic approach makes ISL’s global health teams ideal for students of the health professions at all education levels.


Costa Rica

Costa Rica (“rich coast” in Spanish) is a Central American country bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua and Panama. Costa Rica has become one of the most stable, democratic, prosperous, and progressive nations in Latin America. It permanently abolished its army in 1949, becoming the first of a few sovereign nations without a standing army. While Costa Rica is known for its coffee and tropical fruit exports, tourism is now the largest industry. 25% of the country’s land area is protected—one of the largest percentages in the world. From tropical Cloud Forests to Volcanoes to Beaches, Costa Rica is truly rich in geographical and bio diversity.

Costa Rica’s poverty rate is lower than most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades. Even so, according to Habitat for Humanity, more than 52% of the population lives in substandard houses or settlements. Costa Rica also has a large number of poverty stricken immigrants, mostly Nicaraguans. These are the communities where ISL volunteers serve. Costa Rica is good first country to visit for those who have not been exposed to extreme poverty before.


What ISL Provides

ISL Provides 24-hour accompaniment by professional, bilingual staff, airport pickup/drop off, all ground transportation, all lodging, two meals per day (all meals on All Inclusive programs), drinking water, instruction by licensed medical professionals, project medications and supplies, tours and basic recreation.

What to Bring

All volunteers will need a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, scrubs, donations of medications and medical supplies (optional), and *funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.

*All Inclusive programs include all meals and recreation, so bring funds only to cover personal spending and departure tax.

Meet the Staff

Leonardo Rodriguez Costa Rica Physical Therapist and Team Leader
Leonardo Rodriguez
Team Leader and PT

Leonardo is a bilingual Physical Therapist and Team Leader. His involvement with ISL brings him great satisfaction he says, “due to the ideals ISL stands for–Service and Learning”. He enjoys the mutual interaction that occurs with volunteers from different walks of life and the reciprocal exchange of cultures.

Abdi Acuna ISL-Costa Rica Team Leader
Abdi Acuna
Team Leader

Abdi has been with ISL-Costa Rica since 2010 and has a Master´s degree in Graphic Design. ISL volunteers love the fact that he is also certified in Massage Therapy! He enjoys traveling and playing guitar and soccer. He has always felt grateful to work with so many volunteers and to serve the underserved.

Marta Cabezas Costa Rica Team Leader
Marta Cabezas
Team Leader

Since 2006, Marta has been a Costa Rica Team Leader favorite with ISL volunteers. When she is not leading teams, she is a grandma, a hard core soccer fan, and a bilingual secretary. She has also collected over 170 Nativity sets!

Gabriela Perez
Gabriela Perez
Co-Country Coordinator

Gabriela is responsible for overseeing ISL-Costa Rica staff members and making sure everything runs smoothly for ISL teams in Costa Rica. She especially enjoys working with children and the elderly in her community. She is also pursuing a degree in Preschool Education. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, reading and spending time with her family.

Pouchi Chan
Pouchi Chan
Country Coordinator

Pouchi is responsible for overseeing ISL-Costa Rica staff members and making sure everything runs smoothly for ISL teams in Costa Rica. She graduated from the University of Costa Rica and enjoys traveling, getting to know people from different cultures and working with ISL volunteers.  Her favorite outdoor adventures include hiking and camping.

Activity Information

All volunteers will need a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, scrubs, donations of medications and medical supplies (optional), and *funds sufficient to cover one meal per day, premium recreation, personal spending, and departure tax.

*All Inclusive programs include all meals and recreation, so bring funds only to cover personal spending and departure tax.

Itinerary

Goal: To learn about global health issues, provide acute care to populations with little or no access, experience Costa Rica culture, and gain perspective on the global landscape.

Day 1: Arrival

Meet ISL at the Juan Santamaría airport. Settle into Casa de la Espiritualidad La Purísima in Alajuela. This retreat house is located just 5 minutes from the airport and few minutes walking from Alajuela Downtown where you will find lots of things to do and see, from museums, churches, stores, ice cream parlors, to a wide variety of restaurants to choose from.

Dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 2: Practical and Professional Orientations

Morning: “Welcome to Costa Rica” Orientation; ISL staff will talk about programming and how the service experience will look like. Spanish Class.
Afternoon: Professional Orientation with local physician, practice taking vital signs and patient histories, patient examination, house visits, community triage.

Evening: Learn some Folkloric or Latin dance class. Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided by ISL.

Day 3: House visits in Community #1

Morning/Afternoon: House visits in rural community (C#1).Team splits into small groups and visits homes in an ISL partner community letting them know that we are providing free health care, assessing living conditions and selecting people with acute problems that can be treated in our clinics. Common acute health concerns include lice, scabies, intestinal parasites, diarrhea, and acute childhood illnesses. This will allow volunteers to also correlate lifestyle with disease.

Evening: Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda. Breakfast & lunch provided by ISL; dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 4: Clinic in Community #1
Morning/Afternoon: Set up field clinic. Volunteers work in small groups and rotate performing patient interviews, taking vitals, and helping in the pharmacy. They will also have the opportunity to observe the examination/diagnosis/treatment process where appropriate under the supervision of a local professional.
After the clinic, volunteers will engage in a suture class given by the local physician; a great opportunity to learn some suture techniques.
Evening: Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda.
Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided by ISL.

Day 5: Clinic in Community #1

Morning/Afternoon: Continue clinic in community (C#1).
After the clinic time is over, the local physician will give volunteers a hands-on class on injection techniques. Evening: Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda.

Breakfast & lunch provided by ISL; dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 6: San José City Tour & souvenir shopping
Morning/Afternoon: Tour of the city of San José, the capital of Costa Rica. Visit some of the main landmarks such as the National Theater, Morazán Park, and the artisan Market, where you will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs.
Evening: Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda.
Breakfast provided by ISL; lunch & dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 7: AM: House visits in Community #2/PM: Share with the community

Morning: House Visits in an urban community (C#2) as for day 3.
Afternoon: Volunteers will participate in educational and fun activities with children. Evening: Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda.
Breakfast & lunch provided by ISL; dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 8: Clinic in Community #2

Morning/Afternoon: Set up a temporary clinic as for day 4.
This will be the last day of community clinics therefore the volunteers will participate in case discussions led by the local physician.
Evening: Group reflection; discuss tomorrow’s agenda
Breakfast & lunch provided by ISL; dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 9: Recreation Day. You can choose one option:

1) Jacó Beach and Zip-lining Vista Los Sueños $35 (optional)
www.canopyvistalossuenos.com/:
Jaco Beach is the closest beach to the Central Valley and is one of the most visited coastal destinations in Costa Rica. The beach is a 2.5 mile (4 km) strip which offers world renowned surfing and more. Early morning or around sunset is often the best time to see scarlet macaws in flight. It is a great place to view much of Costa Rica’s wildlife and its amazing beauty: forest and ocean right next to each other.
The Vista Los Sueños Canopy property boasts spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. Within the property, you will have the opportunity to view a wide variety of wild life and tropical forests.

2) Peace Waterfall. 1.5 hour drive from Alajuela Province. Peace Waterfall. 1.5 hour drive from Alajuela Province. Entrance fee, two options: $42 Eco Park entrance fee or $56 Eco Park entrance fee plus buffet lunch. http://www.waterfallgardens.com/espanol/cataratas.php
La Paz is located along the northeastern edge of Volcán Poás in Costa Rica’s Northern Plains. Short for “Catarata La Paz” (or “peace waterfall”), La Paz may seem quiet and still at first glance. But, take another look, and you’ll find this rainforest buzzes with activity. From croaking frogs and fluttering butterflies to rumbling jaguars and howling spider monkeys, there are plenty of creatures to be found in this wildlife-lover’s paradise. And there is much for nature-seekers to admire too, from the garden’s five flowing waterfalls to its colorful orchids and sea of leafy green canopies. While some visitors were deterred by the park’s high admission rates, others say the private garden’s natural splendors outweighs the costly the entrance fee. “After working through the various monkeys, big cat, butterfly, reptile and bird areas, the hike to the waterfalls is well worth the time and effort. […] Pricey admission fee but understandable,” comments one TripAdvisor user.

3) Baldi Hot Springs $46 day pass (Lunch and dinner included) and Zip-lining San Luis (optional) $35.

1. 5 hour drive, Website http://

Baldi Hot Springs is surrounded by a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano, hot spring water from volcano and beautiful gardens, 2.5 hour drive that shows part of the country.
Set into the placid cloud forest of Costa Rica, the San Luis canopy tour will take you on an exhilarating adventure through lush, green canopy and across the majestic Rio Cataratitas. Tarzan Swing and Superman Cable are the highlights of this tour.

4) Manuel Antonio National Park, $16 entrance fee: 3 hour drive from Alajuela Province. It has a combination of beautiful beaches and wild life/forest.
Manuel Antonio National Park is set in Costa Rica’s Central Pacific region, south of San Jose. This National Park is the smallest of Costa Rica’s protected green spaces, but don’t let its size throw you off. Within the park’s three square miles, you’ll find untamed beaches, secluded coves, nature trails, and a thick rainforest. You can stretch out along the park’s coastline or wander along one of the walking paths to spot rare birds, camouflaged iguanas, and purple-and-orange crabs. If you’re a lover of furry creatures, you’ll be pleased to discover that this lush park contains so many monkeys that the park built a suspension bridge to grant them free reign of the area. Travelers recommend visiting Manuel Antonio’s remote white-sand beaches in the southeastern tip of the park. Breakfast provided by ISL; lunch & dinner paid by volunteers.

Day 10: Departure Breakfast provided by ISL.