Panama - Medical & Dental Relief

Panama

July 13, 2019 - July 20, 2019

Minimum Donation: 2,750

  • After Apr 16th, 2019, Minimum Donation increases to 2,950*Save $200 - Early Bird Special
  • See Flight Info below for full details and additional options for travel.
  • Interested in our $300 scholarship? Apply to purchase a group ticket and carry supply bags for IMR. See Cost tab below.

About The Mission Trip

trip_InfoAboutInternational Medical Relief is committed to helping the people of Panama. IMR has sent 8 teams in the last three years to Panama, working with indigenous people and small villages throughout the country. On this trip, you will be part of a continuing effort to help some of Panama’s poorest groups of indigenous people. The team will travel by various modes of transportation into the Panamanian jungle. You will be staying in dormitory style accommodations and you may also camp for part of the trip in small schools while staying in the villages where your patients live . You will have a great adventure, seeing first hand how your patients live while helping hundreds of indigenous people to be healthier!

The Republic of Panama is located in Central America. Panama is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica, and Columbia. The striking landscape of Panama varies from mountains to long stretches of pristine beaches. Rich in natural resources and minerals, the landscape is scattered with waterfalls. Panama is known for the Panama Canal and this must see engineering wonder is on our list of things to do. Watching the big ships go through the canal and learning about this engineering wonder is quite fantastic - did you know that the original gigantic dredging machines are still in daily operation, more than 110 years after first starting their engines?!

About Clinic

trip_InfoClinicThese indigenous people have greatly limited chances of survival if their illnesses are not diagnosed and treated. According to the World Health Organization, diarrheal diseases, cholera, and pneumonia are among those diseases devastating the people of Panama. Communicable diseases are not the threats, however. Alcoholism, poverty, and a lack of potable drinking water all contribute to the public health issues of these communities. Indigenous people comprise 8% of Panama's population but 19% of the poor and 35% of the extreme poor. Hypertension and diabetes are on the rise, as they are everywhere. The IMR team will help ensure that these tribes survive and have the health care that they need – we combat these acute illnesses through a strong focus on preventative education and with your fantastic skills by providing acute medical and dental care. You can expect to see and treat many skin infections including tinea, impetigo, cutaneous leishmaniasis, and staph infections. Scabies and lice are also prevalent. You'll see ear infections, upper and lower respiratory tract infections, and many different vaginal infections. Leptospirosis and giardia are also common conditions. From an education perspective, your team will focus on clean drinking water, water storage, and sanitation. Malaria and mosquito bite prevention will also be important! Please join us as we return to Panama to care for people with very limited access to care. To help you give the best care possible, your translators will speak excellent English and Spanish. We will add additional local translators as needed for the indigenous languages. We need your help! Please join this amazing team!

Transportation & Lodging

This trip will be a mix of dormitory style accommodations and camping (or sleeping inside a building) in the villages where you will provide much needed care for patients in remote communities. It will have the best of all worlds--time in the jungle, time in the city, and wonderful food! You will experience life in the small villages and may have the opportunity for some amazing birdwatching . The harpy eagle is Panama's national bird, but the bird to watch for is the famous emerald-green quetzal!

This trip will start and end in David, Panama - a short 1 hour flight from Panama City. San José de David, or David, is the capital of Chiriquí Province, in western Panama. David is Panama's third largest city and Chiriqui Province is home to Panama’s tallest mountains, longest rivers and most fertile valleys. It is also home to Panama's only volcano and not just any volcano but a volcano with 7 craters! No longer active, it is the highest point in Panama. Chiriqui is the center of Panama's thriving coffee industry so come thirsty!

Trip Highlights

trip_InfoHighlightsA one-day tour of the Panama Canal and the Miraflores Lock Visitors Center is included with this trip. We hope to see one of the massive cruise or container ships slip through the Miraflores lock during our visit. It is remarkable to see how the ships are guided through the locks as they silently rise and fall.

During your time in Chiriqui Province you will be able to take in some of the lush landscape famous for Panama and view some of the numerous waterfalls cascading down throughout the countryside. You will travel through some amazing country as you wave to the local children who will excitedly wave back with both hands!

Panama is famous for handicrafts and you will certainly have some time to shop during this medical mission. You will be able to choose from molas (bright panels of cloth with intricate patterns and stitching), beautiful plaited baskets, polares (intricate and spectacularly beautiful traditional outfits), and more!

Extend Your Stay

Many of our volunteers have extended their stays at the back end of the trip to take advantage of the world-class sport fishing or kayaking in the Panama Canal. You can take a real tram tour of the rainforest or enjoy the Gatun Lake Expedition. You can see Panama's only volcano and the famous Quetzal at the Parque Nacional Volcan Baru or search for the Geoffroy's tamarin monkey - found only in Panama! Howler monkeys are an experience all to themselves. No matter your interest or desired activity level, Panama will surprise you and enchant you. The IMR office is here to help you extend your stay!

Trip Itinerary


Coming soon...

Trip Donation & Flight Options

50% of the minimum donation and a completed application is REQUIRED to secure your place as a TEAM MEMBER.

Travel Assistance

If you would like help booking flights, hotels, extended stays, and more contact Worldwide Navigators at (970) 633-3033.

PURCHASE YOUR
OWN FLIGHT
50% Payment by Apr 16th, 2019 =$200 saving
PURCHASE A GROUP FLIGHT

50% Payment by Apr 16th, 2019 =$200 saving and opportunity to purchase a group flight

TRIP PRICE without airfare 2,750 

You will be confirmed on the team when 50% of the minimum donation and your application, including all required document uploads, is completed by Apr 16th, 2019 - .2,950 .  After this date, your place on the team is confirmed on a space available basis. 

2,750

You will be confirmed on the team when 50% of the minimum donation and your application, including all required document uploads, is completed by Apr 16th, 2019 - .2,950 .  

To take advantage of the group airfare, you must have 50% of your donation paid by Apr 16th, 2019 - . 2,950

DOMESTIC and  INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT INFORMATION - airfare is not included in the cost of the trip  Flights are not included in the trip fee when flying independently. 

You will book your own airfare from your home city to the international destination city.  Some trips will require additional flights after arriving in country at your expense.

You may book your tickets through a travel agency.  The cost will include a small service fee.  IMR's preferred travel agent is WorldWide Navigators (travel@worldwidenavigators.com)

Flights are not included in the trip fee when flying on the group flight.

Costs of group airfare will be priced at the cost set by the airline at the time of purchase.
 

ECONOMICAL FLIGHT: An economical option with longer routings and layovers in exchange for a less expensive flight. Some layovers may be long enough to allow you to leave the airport to explore on your own or take a tour at your leisure.

PREMIER FLIGHT: A more direct routing that is a higher cost for those of you looking to save time.

IMR can route you directly from your hometown as an added convenience when choosing either group flight. You will pay the cost of the customized ticket and a small service fee at the time of purchase.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL -$200 off the cost of your trip  Paying 50% of the total due by Apr 16th, 2019 and having your application and uploads complete = a $200 saving off the cost of your trip, taken automatically off your invoice.   Paying 50% of the total due by Apr 16th, 2019 and having your application and uploads complete = a $200 saving off the cost of your trip and qualifies you to purchase an economical or premier group ticket.</span
DONATION DUE DATES To guarantee your space on the team, payment of  0 (50%) is required by Apr 16th, 2019 and qualifies you for $200 off the cost of the trip. Payment balance is required by Jun 22nd, 2019

If paying after"earlybird"  the Full Minimum Donation Amount is due by Jun 22nd, 2019. Space on the team is confirmed on a space available basis when you  reach 50% of the total payment due.  

Payment of 0 (50%) is required by Apr 16th, 2019 to be included on the IMR Group Flight.  You will also qualify for $200 off the cost of the trip. 


Full Minimum Donation Amount due Jun 22nd, 2019.

MEETING THE TEAM You are responsible for meeting the team at the airport or designated location in Panama prior to the team’s official arrival. Should you have travel delays it will be your financial responsibility to meet the team at their location upon your arrival. You will fly with other IMR team members to IMR's final destination. The official ground itinerary will exactly match your flight schedule if you have met the Early Bird requirements and received the group ticket.  
AIRPORT TRANSFERS Ground transportation to the IMR meeting place on the first day of your trip is available for all independent flyers for an additional fee.  Transportation pickup is from the final arrival airport at pre-set times.    Ground transportation is included from the airport to the IMR meeting place. 
EXTENDED STAY Extend your stay to see some of the amazing sites that this country has to offer. Flexibility in your arrival and return date may also help you reduce your ticket cost. Additional nights before or after the trip are at your own expense. Please contact travel@worldwidenavigators.com for more information. Extend your stay on an official IMR trip extension with World Wide Navigators.  Choose the "group" ticket and the "extension" option.   If you have questions about the extension: travel@worldwidenavigators.com

$300 SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR TAKING IMR SUPPLY BAGS

  • IMR is offering a limited number of scholarships of $150 each way for carrying 1 or 2 IMR supply bags on our trips. You will receive a $300 scholarship if you carry bags both ways.
  • You may apply for the scholarship on your IMR account page.  To be eligible for the scholarship you are required to meet the required minimum donation by the payment deadline for your trip.
  • You will be sent 1 or 2 IMR supply bags at IMR’s expense approximately two weeks prior to your trip.  Please assume you will be sent 2 bags for planning purposes.
  • You are responsible for taking the bag(s) at your own expense (and prior to receiving the rebate from IMR) on your domestic flights and checking the bag(s) on your international flights one or both ways.  You are required to deliver the bag(s) directly to your team leader in country or to send the bag via a pre-paid UPS mailer to IMR upon returning home.
  • The $150 or $300 rebate will be paid via a check from IMR after your IMR supply bags are delivered to your team leader in country and/or have been returned  to IMR via UPS.

Accommodations

  • The minimum donation cost includes a shared room. If you want a private room, you can request a single room at an additional cost. Please contact the IMR office via office@imrus.org or 970-635-0110 for more information.

Transportation

  • All independent flyers will be able to purchase ground transportation at designated times from the final airport in country to the starting point of the trip for an additional fee. You may also request the same service to return to the airport for the next part of your journey.  Please contact the IMR office if you will be needing this service via office@imrus.org or 970-635-0110.

Fundraising

IMR provides a personal and customizable fundraising page to all registered trip applicants.  We provide a fundraising packet that is full of ideas on how you can raise support or supplies to be utilized on this specific mission.  You may download this information and individual items such as letters requesting support, our 501(c)3 information, and a list of needed supplies from your Volunteer Resources page.  When soliciting donations for any of our trips, your personal story is your most powerful tool.  Why do you want to go? Whom will you help?  How will your donors help you achieve your ultimate goal?  Tell your story to anyone and everyone. Refer your potential or active donors to your IMR personal fundraising page by sharing your unique URL on social media, via email, and through personal contact.  Give your supporters our website and Facebook page so they can see the great things that IMR has accomplished since our founding in 2002.  Did you know we have cared for almost 300,000 patients in the last 16 years?  We need your help and the help of your donors to see 300,000 more patients in the years ahead!

Your Donation to IMR Includes:

  • All group costs from the time you arrive at the designated team meeting location in country until you separate from the team at the designated ending location of the trip in country, including transportation, lodging, food, tips for services provided to the IMR team, costs associated with clinic, and all logistics, including translation services and security as needed.

 

Costs that you are responsible for in addition to your donation to IMR:

  • Any costs associated with travel, regardless of flying independently or on an IMR group flight.  Travel is defined as any travel occurring before meeting the IMR team at the designated meeting location in country and after separating from IMR at the designated ending location of the trip.
  • If flying on the group flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs in transit associated with your domestic travel.
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit.
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel.
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases.
  • Trip supplies and personal equipment or small gifts for the special people you meet. 
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team trip, payable at the time of service to the local vendor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the donation amount include?

The donation amount covers the cost of lodging, meals, and transportation while after joining the IMR team at the designated starting location, and clinic supplies/medications for our patients.  You may choose to join an economical or premier group flight, priced at the time the tickets are purchased, if you donate 50% of the total donation by the Early Bird date. 

Costs that are not included in the donation amount are your passport, travel visas (if applicable),  and if you choose the group flight, your domestic airfare to the group departure city, vaccinations, and insurance. If you choose to fly independently, the cost of your international flight and all other costs in transit are not included in your donation to IMR.  This option gives you the opportunity to extend your stay to do some sightseeing after the trip, choose a routing that best meets your need and your budget, and/or fly directly from your home city to your final destination.  

What will the team be doing on the trip?

IMR teams provide medical and dental care and community health education to communities that lack access to care. A typical IMR team consists of doctors, dentists, and advanced practice providers, nurses, EMTs, medical/dental/nursing students, pre-med students, and non-medical volunteers.  The team makeup for your trip is not guaranteed to be as described above and is dependent on the individual volunteers who make up your team.  The team usually stays in a central location and travels each day to a different community to set up a mobile medical and dental clinic. In order to promote lasting and sustainable improvements in the health of those communities, IMR conducts an extensive community health education program, teaching about prevention and treatment in small groups and during individual consultations with providers. No matter what your specialty or skill level, there is a job for you on an IMR trip!

Can I fundraise for the trip?

Yes!  Many volunteers fundraise for trips.  You can find information and tips on how to fundraise on your Volunteer Resources page on the IMR website.  You will have access to a personal fundraising page with a unique URL that you can share with family, friends, business associates, and any potential donors via social media.   IMR is a 501(c)3 charity, and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Are there any important dates I need to know?
      • IMR Group Flight: In order to qualify for the IMR Group Flight, you will need to reach 50% of the required donation on or before Apr 16th, 2019.
      • Early Bird Special: A discount of $200 is awarded to team members who raise / pay 50% of the required donation on or before Apr 16th, 2019.
Are there additional costs / expenses for the trip?
  • If flying on a group flight: your domestic round-trip airfare to the central point of departure and any costs associated with this portion of your travel or during the international portion of your travel.  Your all-inclusive trip starts and ends at a designated location in country.
  • If flying independently: your international round-trip flight and any costs associated with this portion of your travel until joining the team at the designated starting point and after you separate from the team at the designated ending point of the trip.  If you wish to join the group ground transportation from the final airport to the designated starting point and/or back to the airport at the end of the trip, you may do so for a small fee.  
  • Passport fees, visa fees, and transit fees, including baggage or overnight accommodations/meals while in transit.
  • Vaccinations and medications common for travel.
  • Spending money for souvenirs and personal purchases.
  • Trip supplies and personal equipment or small gifts for the special people you meet. 
  • Any lodging, meals, and transportation outside of the scheduled team itinerary, payable at the time of service to the local vendor.
Can IMR assist me with travel plans and extended say options?

Yes!  We encourage our volunteers to extend their stay and explore.  Extending your stay also puts money into the economies of these developing countries!

Trip Preparation


A service that we are very proud of at IMR is the preparation that each team and team member receives prior to the trip. This is one of the most important reasons that you should join an IMR team.

All team members have access to the IMR Volunteer Resources page where you may view and download important conference calls, a detailed briefing packet outlining the important elements that make a successful trip, packing lists, a checklist to keep you on track, and much more. You will find detailed information on how clinic operates, the roles on an IMR team, community health education topics, fundraising tips, and all of the materials our licensed providers need including best practices for providing care in short term medical clinics, public health information specific to the country you are traveling too, and a guide to the infectious diseases of that country.  You will also find a comprehensive country briefing packet that provides background information, cultural etiquette, common phrases, and links to additional information from a variety of sources on your volunteer resources page.  Finally, a departure packet that outlines how and where to meet your team will be sent just prior to departure and can be downloaded from the volunteer resources page.

IMR applicants and team members are also able to join in two informational calls: About IMR and How Clinic Operates/Provider Guidelines.   A Q and A call just prior to departure helps to ensure that you have the most important information and are ready to go!  If you can't join our live calls, you can listen at any time via your Volunteer Resources page.  Your team's departure call will be recorded by and sent by email to the team immediately following the call.

All of our volunteers have access to a personal IMR fundraising page with a unique URL that can be emailed and shared with family, friends, business associates, and other potential donors.

Did you know you can earn CME credits on line with IMR?  www.cmeonline.net will get you to 6 1 hour courses containing great tips for treating a variety of conditions in the field including wounds, hypertension, dengue fever, and more.

Most importantly, we are always here to answer your questions or help you complete your application. It is our goal that we exceed your expectations for preparation, patient care, and your overall trip. Let us know how we can help and how we did!

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