I am a current senior at Roger Williams University and have been on two trips to Nicaragua through Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC). Taking some time to reflect after my trip last March and most recent trip in May, looking back I can say just how pleased I was with the FIMRC staff as well as members of the community I worked in. FIMRC staff really worked hand and hand with us, the volunteers, to learn and gain new knowledge about different medical terms and just about the community overall. Medical backgrounds are not necessarily needed. I am a criminal justice major however, I learned how to check blood sugar and pressure with the diabetic program, learned about different terms and body stages of someone who is pregnant through the prenatal program, assessed children with the pediatrician based on weight, height, and overall development, and I learned how to preform physical therapy and developmental assessments for children with both physical and mental disabilities through the Los Pipitos program. Our school brought medical supplies, extra clothing, and school supplies down to Nicaragua to donate to the FIMRC clinic as well as in the community. We distributed toothbrushes to the children because most of them did not know the importance of brushing their teeth and some of them could not afford them. The community members respond positively to the staff coming in to their homes and are open to volunteers coming in to learn as well.
I am very pleased with my past two trips and I can honestly say I am thankful for my experiences I have had because through the education by the staff and just experiencing the different cultures has helped me shape who I am.
The FIMRC staff not only in the community is helpful but the staff behind the scenes is as well. Whether I needed a list of donators or had a question regarding my trip, the staff was always able to help with the issues and questions as soon as possible. I recommend this non-profit to those looking to volunteer or to just donate and continue to help FIMRC grow.
A current senior, I started FIMRC my freshman year of college and it has forever changed my life. This is such an amazing organization that actually changes the world. One thing I really do love about this organization is the actual impact that is visible at their sites. Yes, their work is long term and never ending, but you can also see how well the people in the areas respond to them and the work they are doing.
While volunteering for them a total of 4 weeks, I have only begun to love them more and more. The staff is hard working, and extremely dedicated, something that is visible every second of every day.
FIMRC makes a difference like no other organization that I have ever seen, and I am genuinely so lucky to be a part of it. It has taught me that anyone can be a helping hand to someone in need despite the odds that are against you. I have reassured my faith in the world through this organization and the amazing people I have met in it, and it is safe to say that FIMRC will be a part of me for the rest of my life.
FIMRC is an organization that has truly changed my life! Before my first FIMRC trip to the Dominican Republic I had no idea what to do with my life. After the trip I realized Public Health was the field for me. Then my second trip only reassured me so. I have met so many amazing people through my FIMRC trips. It has given me the opportunity to use my language skills and help better my knowledge of Public Health issues and asses patients to the best of my capability. Working alongside these amazing doctors at the FIMRC clinic was the best experience I could ask for. I am so grateful for these experience and those to come.
I have traveled with FIMRC on three occasions, once to El Salvador and twice to the Dominican Republic on week-long trips. Each experience far exceeded my expectations. The US staff is incredibly organized and helps you feel prepared prior to departure. Staff on site in each country were also very well prepared for our arrival and had tasks pre-planned for us. Each site offered a variety of volunteer options! There were clinical opportunities to shadow physicians, and public health outreach within the communities. Health fairs and presentations were conducted and I was able to see how FIMRC is bringing health education to those who need it most. I would highly reccommend traveling with FIMRC if you are interested in helping to better the health status of those in the developing world.
I've traveled with FIMRC to El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, and both sites offered great experiences that I have since used in my medical education. FIMRC's focus on preventive medicine and sustainability make for a positive experience while on site, but also the comfort of knowing there will be a long-lasting impact after the departure of volunteers. While in country, I gained valuable shadowing experience, but also found ways to relate to people whose cultures are vastly different from mine, which has been even more important in the pursuit of my medical education in the USA.
I have gone to El Salvador and Costa Rica, and they were both great experiences. In Costa Rica, I was able to evaluate a community's living conditions and observe the doctor. In El Salvador, we gave a presentation to students in a little community about the value of vitamins. We also did eye checks in the local school. The organization also did a very good job of making sure that the group I was with had activities to do when we weren't helping out in the clinic. I can't wait to go to Central America again this Spring Break
I went to El Salvador last spring break on a mission with FIMRC and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I'm a pre-med student, so to be able to not only travel and experience a new culture, but also to help out actively with the health of the community was an amazing experience. We did so much in so little time: conduct vision checks at a local school, go on house calls, create a vitamin campaign for children that were malnourished due to mud slides that cut off the community, help out with world’s first non-monetary model of health insurance, etc. We were there to work, but FIMRC made sure we had opportunities to explore the country too. We were able to hike up a beautiful volcano, see Mayan ruins, and spend an afternoon at a lake. Highly recommend! Heading on another FIMRC trip this year.
I have spent my last two spring breaks traveling with FIMRC to Nicaragua and El Salvador. I must say that FIMRC offers one of the most unique and flexible travel schedules for college students. They make every effort to accommodate their volunteers! My experiences at both FIMRC locations were wonderful! I was able to gain extensive knowledge about the healthcare systems in both countries, and was able to interact with people in the local community on a daily basis. FIMRC was also able to incorporate other fun activities into the trips as well and offered volunteers the opportunity to visit local markets, restaurants, and other tourist locations. I would recommend traveling with FIMRC to anyone interested in serving others while having a great time!
I traveled to Alajuelita Costa Rica with members of my university's (UNC Chapel HIll) FIMRC chapter for 1 week in March 2012. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, from working in the clinic to spending time with the children in the community. My homestay family was wonderful, and I really enjoyed the challenge of having to use spanish all the time when at home. I recommend this program, especially if you are interested in a medical or public health related career! Because it is a little costly (About $2000 for the week for both flight and trip fees) I highly recommend planning ahead to fundraise for your travels.