Panama - Medical & Dental Relief

Panama

July 13, 2019 - July 20, 2019

Join For As Little As: 2,650*

  • * Includes $300 rebate for bag scholarship. Apply to purchase a group ticket and carry supply bags for IMR. See More Info below.
  • See More Info below for full details and additional options for travel.

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 and the indigenous community that works in the largest garbage dump in Panama City.  The team will also work in small villages where 8 different indigenous communities will come together to receive care.  The team will travel by various modes of transportation into the Panamanian jungle for this part of the trip and you will have one night of camping in the village!  All of the other nights you will be in a lovely hotel in Panama City - this trip is the perfect mix!  You will have a great adventure, seeing first hand how your patients live, in the city and in the jungle, 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

trip_InfoLodgingThis trip will be a mix of staying in a great hotel and camping (or sleeping inside a building) in the village 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 Panama City, Panama.  We can't work to work with you!!

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 Panama you will see a bit of the city and a bit of the jungle.  You will travel by canoe through some amazing country as you wave to the local children who will excitedly wave back with both hands!  Don't forget to look for sloths!!

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

trip_InfoExtendedStay

You're venturing around the globe, have you considered extending your stay a few additional days to visit some of Panama's top spots? Join IMR on an exclusive three-day extension!
The Panama Canal, which cuts through the country’s center, links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to create an essential shipping route. Modern skyscrapers, casinos and nightclubs in the capital, Panama City, contrast the colonial buildings in the Casco Viejo district and the rainforest of Natural Metropolitan Park.


Take a look at the trip itinerary here: https://worldwidenavigators.com/trips/a-taste-of-panama/


For more information contact Worldwide Navigators, our preferred travel agency, at travel@worldwidenavigators.com

Trip Itinerary

This itinerary is subject to change without notice.

Please note:  Independent flight arrangements should not be made until after the group flight is booked.  You will be notified about the group flight at the Early Bird deadline.  If you are planning on flying independently and want to book your flight in advance, please contact Worldwide Navigators at travel@worldwidenavigators.com for the most up-to-date trip information before you book your independent flight.  Thank you.

July 13, 2019: Get ready to see where the city meets the jungle!  Flying into Panama City will amaze you today!  Please plan to arrive at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, PANAMA (not Panama City, Florida!!) by 5:00pm on July 13.  If you are on the group flight or have arranged for the IMR transportation you will be picked up and taken to your hotel in the Cerro Patacon region of the city.

Your first day of clinic is tomorrow!  We will go over clinic protocols, patient care guidelines, safety and security, how we work together as a team, schedules, and much more.   Dinner and a good night's sleep are the final items on today's agenda.

Meals included: Dinner       Lodging: Hotel    

 

July 14 - 16, 2019: Clinic days 1, 2, and 3. Today is your first day of clinic and there are a lot of patients waiting for you!  You will be working in a church located in the heart of the indigenous families community who work in the garbage dump - one of the largest in the Americas.  These hard-working people receive little care and have been waiting for you all year.  You'll see everything in these clinics from the newborn to the very elderly with many families of all ages.  Much of their hygiene revolves around bathing in the many small streams, and of course,  much of their drinking water comes from the same source.  You will see wounds, infections, general illness, cerumin removal, and some tropical disease as well. Hypertension, diabetes, and asthma/COPD don't miss this place - you will diagnose, educate, and provide medications as appropriate for these kind and quiet people.   This is a wonderful clinic with something for everyone to help with!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner     Lodging: Hotel

 

July 17, 2019: Clinic day 4. You'll be leaving your hotel early today for a short bus ride and a long canoe ride!! Motorized canoes followed by a short hike will take you to your clinic in the jungle!! Clinic will start around 11:00 am and continue into the early evening.  Throughout the day today and tomorrow the surrounding villages will arrive and you will have the opportunity to treat patients from many different tribes.

You'll be spending the night tonight - don't forget your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and free-standing mosquito net.  You can choose to sleep outside (bring a tent if you like)  or inside the school house.  Local cooks will prepare your meals and you will be amazed as the stars come out and the milky way shines bright.  Bring your tripod for some astral photography if you are so inclined!!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner      Lodging: Camping in the village!  

 

July 18, 2019: Clinic day 5. Today will be a 3/4 day of clinic. More villagers will arrive by canoe, flatboat, and maybe even horseback.  As with your first clinics this week, these patients are waiting for you too!  After saying some sad goodbyes, you will hike back to our canoes and begin the journey from the jungle to the city.  But don't be sad - the Panama Canal and the Miraflores Locks await tomorrow!!   Tonight and tomorrow night you will spend the night in Casco Viejo - the heart of the tourist area - as you prepare for a day at the Panama Canal and then, sadly, your departure home.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner         Lodging: Hotel

 

July 19, 2019:  Sightseeing,   You will be transported to the Miraflores Locks this morning and will spend a 1/2 day watching the big ships as they lumber upwards toward their goal of the Pacific Ocean. more than 50 miles away.  Take a tour of the museum, watch the film - but don't miss the ships!  The afternoon will find you back in Casco Viejo with time to people watch from the balconies, shop for treasures, head for the beach, or explore the area with your new friends.  Dinner is on your own tonight so that you can pick and choose as you wish - Casco has everything from nouveau haute cuisine to simple fare and lots of ice cream in between!  Your team leader will host dinner if you wish to stay close to the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (or dinner on your own if you prefer)     Lodging: Hotel

 

July 20, 2019: Departures.  Depending on your flight times, the day is yours!  If you are on the group flight or have arranged for IMR transportation, you will arrive at the airport 3 hours ahead of your flight home to ensure a smooth check-in and give you time for a bite to eat at the airport.  If you are transferring on your own, taxis and ubers are everywhere - grab and go!  Don't forget to upload your great photos to your team's cluster photo site!  We hope to see you back in clinic soon!!

Meals included: Breakfast (time permitting)

 

 

 

Trip Donation & Flight Options

Pay 1,475 and complete your application to secure your place as a TEAM MEMBER!

Payments & Requirements

How much do I need to pay?

Before Apr 16th, 2019: 2,450

  • Pay 1,475 of the total cost by the Early Bird date AND upload/complete all of your required documents and forms receive $200 off the cost of your trip.  
  • Meeting this goal ensures that your space on the team is confirmed
  • You are an EARLY BIRD!  
  • Payment in full is due by Jun 22nd, 2019

After Apr 16th, 2019: 2,650

  • To confirm your space on the team: Pay 1,475 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms!  
  • Space on our teams is on a first come/first serve basis.  Your space is not reserved until you have met these requirements.  
  • Payment in full is due by Jun 22nd, 2019
  • Unfortunately, eligibility for the $200 savings on this trip is no longer available after Apr 16th, 2019.
     

Flexible Flight Options

Is group airfare available through IMR?

Before Apr 16th, 2019:  YES! IMR will arrange your international flight on a "group" ticket at your request!

  • Domestic and international airfare is not included in the published cost of the trip.
  • Pay 1,475 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms to be eligible to fly on the international group ticket.
  • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier” in your account.
  • Approve the ticket that IMR is going to purchase on your behalf and complete the purchase with IMR's approved travel agency.
  • The cost of airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket!

After Apr 16th, 2019: You may still be able to join the group flight on a space-available basis only

    • Pay 1,475 of the total cost AND upload all of your required documents and forms by Apr 16th, 2019
    • Contact the office to see if group tickets are still available.
    • Submit your flight choice as “economical” or “premier”, approve the ticket, and complete the purchase with IMR's approved travel agency.  
    • The cost of airport transfers are included in the cost of your ticket!
    • You will need to purchase your domestic roundtrip ticket after your international flight is ticketed and confirmed.
May I purchase my own international flights?

Yes! Purchasing your own international flights provide you with maximum travel flexibility! 

  • Some trips may require an international flight and a domestic flight in country to meet the team.
  • You are required to meet the IMR team at the designated time and location per the trip itinerary
  • Submit your flight choice as “independent”.
  • You have many options for extending your stay including extended stays available through IMR’s preferred travel agency, Worldwide Navigators
  • If you would like to request airport transfers at an additional cost, please click on the link to send an email to the IMR office.

$300 Bag Scholarship

Doesn’t IMR need to send supply bags for my trip? Can I save some $$$?

YES!

  • We hope you made the Early Bird and saved $200.  Would you like to save $300 more?
    • YES - We need your help to take IMR supply bags internationally to Panama!
      • The scholarship is first come, first served.  We only have a few on every trip!
      • Priority is given to group flight ticket holders but independent fliers are also welcome to apply!
      • Apply for the scholarship on your account page.  It is simple to do.
      • You will receive the funds in the form of a rebate after your IMR bags have been received at the IMR warehouse after your trip.
    • The IMR office will let you know when you have been approved for the scholarship!  
      • REQUIREMENTS:
        • Take 2 supply bags for IMR both ways to Panama.  
        • IMR will provide prepaid shipping to send you IMR bags and to receive IMR bags from you after your trip.
        • Occasionally, bags are not included on international flights.  If you are flying on the group ticket, IMR will cover this cost for you.
        • You are responsible for any checked baggage charges on your domestic ticket to and from the departure airport.
        • Bags may weigh up to 50 lbs and are not always roller bags
        • You will receive a rebate check for $300 after returning your assigned bags to IMR immediately following your trip (using your pre-paid UPS mailer).

Extended Stays - Trip of a lifetime!!

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose the group flight?

Yes!

Contact Worldwide Navigators to see your options

May I book an extended stay through IMR if I choose to book my own tickets?

Yes!

Sleeping the way you want to!

What are the sleeping arrangements?
  • Triple or double twin bed rooms are standard on IMR trips. This is part of our safety and security policies.
  • Each volunteer has their own bed (no shared beds outside of couples). 
  • Let  the IMR Office know if you are a family or couple.  We always try to accommodate our volunteer’s needs!  Please use the link to email our office. 
  • IMR does not discriminate in any way – please let us know your rooming needs.  
  • Please understand if we are unable to accommodate your specific needs based on availability at the hotel or lodging on your trip. 
Are single rooms available?

Yes!

  • Contact the IMR Office to find out if single rooms are available and at what cost
  • Standard IMR sleeping arrangements are double or triple rooms, twin beds

Sleeping the way you want too!!

Travel Assistance

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

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!

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 stay 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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