Frequently Asked Questions
Who are we?
Indiana University is a chapter of Global Brigades, the world's largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. The IU chapter systematically works with more than 300 other university groups around the world to deliver and implement one of nine skill-based programs that benefit more than 130,000 Honduran and Panamanian community members annually. Global Medical Brigades develops sustainable health initiatives and provides relief where there is limited access to healthcare. Each community receives a brigade every 3 to 4 months where hundreds of patients are treated and volunteers deliver public health workshops. Electronic patient records are collected for future visitations and to monitor overall community health trends
Honduras is a small country located in the heart of Central America, approximately the size of Tennessee, with a population upwards of 6.7 million people. It’s the second poorest country in Latin America, an estimated 80% of the population lives in poverty. The unemployment rate soars at 35% and the average annual per capita income is just under $1000 per year. Education, health care and clean water are luxuries for the majority of the people there, and in the rural communities where we work, they are even scarcer. Poverty here results in preventable deaths, malnutrition and thousands of abandoned children living on the streets. However, with your help, we can bring an end to needless pain and suffering and bring hope and love into the lives of thousands.
How much does the trip cost?
The cost of the trip is broken down into the following:
Deposit: $150 (goes towards total cost)
Airfare (tax, charges, insurance): $400-900
In-country cost: $750
Total: $1,200- $1,600 to go to Honduras for 7 days.
This includes everything you’d need once there: food, clean water, private buses, and secured lodging.
Additionally, each volunteer is asked to raise $50 worth of medical or monetary donations for the general mission to perpetuate a holistic and sustainable model for health care to the villages in which we serve throughout the year.
How are are the travel arrangements taken care of?
Global Brigades has a travel company that organizes and ensures our travel arrangements. They will purchase our airline tickets, provide the transportation, and ensure security and safety. They will book the airline tickets as a group.
Do we need to raise medicine and supplies?
To make the brigades a success, we must bring medications with us to give to our patients. Collecting medicine has never been easier. If you would like to join to help efforts in collecting the medicine, let the leaders know. We work on grant and sponsor letters to drug companies that can provide us the medicine we need to go on the trip. Another option is to fundraise money to buy the medicine. Please contact the committee leads in how you can help out. Medical supply collection is a critical part of the trip and should be conducted several months prior to the trip.
Where does the group stay when in Honduras?
Global Medical Brigades has expanded operations and relationships throughout Central America to accommodate volunteers. The group will be flown to Tegucigalpa International Airport, and be picked up by bus to Nuevo Paraiso (about an hour away from the airport). Volunteers will stay in fully functional hostels with security guards, clean water, in-house chefs, maids, as well as laundry service.
How many people are selected to go on each trip?
The number fluctuates. In the past we have taken around 40 volunteers.
Do we need to recruit doctors/health physicians?
Recruiting licensed medical professionals to join the group is very important so that students can learn from their experiences. They include doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists. Students in a professional health program, such as third and fourth-year medical students, can be regarded as health professionals if they are willing to diagnose. Health physicians have the option spend a night with the students to teach us about medicine with hands on training, e.g. learn how to pull teeth, give stitches, check vitals etc. If no doctors is available to join us, it will cost us $100 per Honduran doctor per day to accommodate them (They in fact are also volunteering their time, the money covers basic transportation and food). This money cuts from our medication funds so it is important that we have our own physicians to join us.
What will we eat?
The food on the trip always exceeds the expectations of the volunteers. In-house, chefs at the compound provide home-cooked meals with clean water every morning and evening. Lunches are provided while on brigade. All meals are included in the price of the trip and vegetarian options are available.
Is there free time on the trip?
Outside of the brigades, the only requirements are packing medication and preparing for the next brigade. This leaves a great deal of free time to mingle, relax, and enjoy the country. There will be a day at the end of the week designated for sight-seeing, orphanage visiting, and come good futbol action with the orphaned kids.