Amazon, Colombia Medical/Dental/Physical Therapy
About Project Location Leticia is a city in the Republic of Colombia, capital of the department of Amazonas, Colombia's southernmost town and one of the major ports on the Amazon river. Leticia has long been Colombia's shipping point for tropical fishes for the aquarium trade. Leticia has approximately 33,000 inhabitants on the left bank of the Amazon river, and is located at the point where Colombia, Brazil and Peru come together in an area called Tres Fronteras.The team will be serving indigenous communities and staying in their villages. The tribes are called the Ticuna and Yagua. Each village has approximately 500 inhabitants.
Climate Leticia has a tropical rainforest climate with average temperatures 85° F – 90° F (29° C – 32° C). The days will be hot and humid.
Country Entry Requirements To enter and depart Colombia, you are required to have a valid passport. You do not need a visa. For more information see: US Citizens: http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/ cis/cis_1090.html#entry_requirements Canadian Citizens: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
Travel International flights should be arranged to Leticia, Colombia Airport (LET). • If you are going on the June trip please arrange flights arriving to Leticia on June 15th and leaving on June 29th. • If you are going on the August trip please arrange flights arriving to Leticia on August 24th and leaving on August 31st. • If you are going on the October trip please arrange flights arriving to Leticia on October 26th and leaving on November 9th. If you are flying American Airlines, please use the MMI Business Extra Account Number 800686 when booking your travel. This will help MMI accumulate points for savings on travel for our staff members. You can use this number in addition to your personal AA advantage number.
Medical/Dental Professionals All medical professional should send a copy of their diploma and current license through the time of project. MD, DDS, DMD, RN, NP, PA, and surgeons, please send your CV also. All credentials should be sent to the MMI office by February 15. We will have pharmacy and a dental clinic, as well as primary care.
Integrated Health At the clinic location the patients will go to the Integrated Health area after registration to hear about eye care, hygiene, preventing the spread of germs, dental health, and information about the clinic stations. They'll also hear Bible stories or personal stories about how God has worked in someone's lives. If you would like to bring some gifts for the patients you will see at the clinic, pack them in your personal suitcase. Suggested gifts are: • Small school supplies (pencils, erasers, pens, stickers, rulers, etc) • Small toys (Happy Meal toys, Beanie Babies, etc.) • Toothbrushes , soaps, lotions, shampoos, sunscreen, lip-gloss/chapstick • Sunglasses for adults
Equipment and Supplies Part of your expected travel costs could include airline baggage costs. MMI needs your support in covering these charges as part of your travel expenses as outlined on the application form. Please contact your airlines before your departure to see what their policies are regarding extra/overweight bags, baggage restrictions or embargos. Canadians: Upon your return, please fax, scan, or mail your receipt to the Canada office so they can issue a 2013 donation receipt in 2014. Clipboards and pens are also helpful items to bring. Important! If your flight arrival time changes - please call your Project Director, Juan Alan Mu単oz, or the MMI Texas office to let us know!
Immunization Requirements No immunizations are required. Please see the CDC website for recommendations at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/colombia.htm.
We recommend malaria prophylaxis.
Getting Medical Supplies through Customs All supplies and equipment that will be left in country need to be documented on the MMI supply form Donation of Medicines and Supplies for Medical Projects in Colombia. This form is attached to this email. If you are bringing supplies given to you by Rick Skinner, the completed supply list will be sent to you with the supplies. You do not need to send this list to the MMI office unless you are taking additional items not previously on the list. If you are bringing your own supplies, please complete this supply list and send it to the MMI office as soon as possible!! Personal medications and non-medical items that you are bringing to donate or use on the project do not need to be listed on the form.
Accomodations The team will be sleeping in tents inside a school or house. There will be showers but they will be rationed throughout the day. Electricity is available only from 5-9pm. Bed Linens: Bring linens and sleeping mats Bath Towels: bring your own towels Laundry Service: available for additional charge Hot Water: no A/C: no Internet: yes; wi-fi Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider Voltage: 220v (US is 110v)
Meals Meals are provided by MMI staff. Please bring your own bowl, cup, and silverware. Please notify us if you are vegetarian or have some medical/health problems concerning your diet. We will do our best to accommodate your needs. We recommend you bring some snacks to have throughout the day. Suggested snacks are: peanut butter, granola/power bars, trail mix or pretzels and crackers in sealable containers (like Ziploc bags). You can also purchase drinks and snacks at local stores. Be sure to bring your own refillable wide-mouthed water bottle with a lid to refill with purified water supplied by MMI. You need to take your water bottle with you each day to the clinic. Tap water is unsafe to drink in Colombia.
Packing Suggestions Itâ€™s a good idea to pack your carry on well, just in case your suitcase does not arrive on the same flight as you do. Please put the orange and green luggage labels from your acceptance packet on your suitcases for easy identification and for sorting of supplies and personal luggage. It is highly recommended to pack everything in a hiking back pack instead of a suitcase with wheels. Please refer to the last page of this letter for a suggested personal packing list. Hospital scrubs make a good work uniform to all team members at the clinic. We suggest you bring anything that you canâ€™t live without!
Packing Recommendations • Sheets • Air mattress / Sleeping pad • Towel • Personal RX Medicines and OTC medi cines as needed (suggestions are Cipro, I mmodium, Bonine, Pepto-Bismol, Advil/Tylenol) • Powdered Gatorade (electrolyte replacement) • Re-usable wide-mouth water bottle • Snacks • Travel Alarm clock • Contact lens stuff (if applicable) • Hand Sanitizer - Pocket size • Antibacterial hand soap • Soap/Shower gel • Shampoo/Conditioner • Shower Shoes • Washcloths • Repellent (at least 70% deet) • Sunscreen • Sunglasses • Pens, clipboards • Fanny pack or waist wallet • Small backpack for day & weekend
...Packing Recommendations • Kleenex & Toilet Paper – travel pack size • Camera/extra batteries or charger • Flashlight • EAR PLUGS! • Clothesline/pins and soap for hand washing • Sleeping bag • Pillow • Baby wipes
Clothing • T-shirts/Tops (quick drying are great such as scrubs) • Light weight pants • Shorts for evening/weekend • Sleeveless tops for evening/weekend (no sleeveless tops when working at the clinic) • Comfortable shoes (2 pair in case of one gets wet) • Dress outfit for church & final dinner • Bathing Suit • Scrubs • Rain Jacket/poncho • Tain boots • Hat
Tips for Staying Well • Before packing, spray all your clothes with Deet (at least 70%). There are lots of mosquitos in this region. • Use Hand Sanitizer after hand washing. • Only brush your teeth with bottled water and do not open your mouth in the shower. • Drink plenty of clear fluids and only bottled or boiled water. Clean water is supplied by MMI. • Rest when you need it and continue to take all of the same health care measuresthat you would if you were back home in North America – e.g. take your medications as prescribed by your health care provider. • Don’t eat food purchased from street vendors
Expenses $100.00 – 200.00 USD Incidental expenses such as souvenirs, snacks,drinks, laundry service, tips, etc. Weekend touring options - Cost TBD
Currency Colombian Peso (COP). MMI staff will help you exchange money. All major credit cards are accepted in Colombia. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted. You must bring US dollars in good condition. Torn, stamped or old bills will not be exchanged. Also, $1.00 bills are not useful in Colombia; they are exchanged for less than other bills. $100.00 bills that start with the series CB are not accepted.
Important Documents • Emergency contact Information (end of letter). • Original and copy of your passport. • Travel insurance information (on salmoncolored paper sent in your first packet.) • Medical credentials (med personnel only) • Copies of supply forms and donation letter (carry one copy & put another copy n the luggage containing the supplies. • Minors only - Notarized letter for minors from both parents stating you are allowed to travel with a parent or chaperone (see first letter for more information.)
Emergency Contact Information If there is an emergency at home and family/friends need to reach you in the Amazon, have them contact the MMI office during regular office hours, Monday thru Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm CST. If you need to reach MMI after normal office hours or weekends, phone 972-727-5864 and select option 6. The team may only have cell phone signal during the first two days and the last day of the project. The villages do not have phones or internet.
Reminder The MMI Colombia team and their local partners are working hard to have this mission well run and organized. Unexpected events may occur such as the loss of electricity or water, late time situations, etc. So please be flexible, stay in a good mood, and cooperate with your project director….PRAYER CAN CHANGE THINGS! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we are here to help!!
Code of Conduct Medical Ministry International, with over 30 yearsâ€™ experience, expresses the good news of the gospel by caring for those who have little access to medical care. Medicine is ministry! Volunteers from many Christian traditions serve with MMI through practice of medicine. Local MMI volunteers are Christians who take time from work or school to help and learn from us. Interaction with local cultures demands sensitivity. Also, the integrity of our testimony as a Christian ministry must be maintained. MMI participants are expected to abstain from using alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. They should also refrain from any activities deemed inappropriate by a project director including visiting night clubs, casinos, and bars for the duration of the MMI Project. Only married, heterosexual couples may stay together when such accommodations are available. Volunteers are expected to observe local dress codes as outlined in MMI information packages for each area.
Thoughts from Juan Alan Mu単oz, MMI National Director We are gathering to show the love of Christ through our words and deeds. Because we are representing Jesus to the people of Colombia, our behavior needs to reflect our faith and our attitude the love to serve those in need. We would ask that all participants refrain from visiting bars or any other site deemed inappropriate by the project director. We look forward to meeting you and getting to know you. Pray for the people we are going to help so that they can discover God through the service we give to them. We will be praying that your preparation and departure from North America to Colombia goes well as we work together to meet the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors.
Contact Information If you have any questions, please contact one of the following: Juan Alan MuĂąoz, Amazon Project Director Bogota, Colombia email@example.com 011-057-3208442467 Danielle Grabrian, Amazon Field Coordinator Leticia, Colombia firstname.lastname@example.org 011-057-3213108365 Sherae BenĂŠ, MMI USA Project Coordinator Allen, Texas email@example.com 972-727-5864 ext 24; Tracey Vanderkolk, MMI Canada Participant Coordinator Stoney Creek, Ontario firstname.lastname@example.org 905-524-3544 (phone); 905-664-8386 (fax)
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We are looking forward to working with you!