Health, Service & Sustainability

Medical Service Expeditions

Our Medical Service Expeditions offer a hands-on opportunity for providing essential medical care and other services to the residents of remote communities who otherwise have little or no access to healthcare. We use our riverboat the M/F Esperanza to access communities on a number of different rivers in the region. Most expeditions are 7-12 days in length, but shorter and longer ones are both possible. All of our medical expeditions start and end in the city of Iquitos (airport code = IQT). 

Requirements: Participants must be 18-year of age or older. Priority is given to individuals with a medical or dental degree and to medical and dental students. On a space-available basis, non-medical participants can also assist with patient registration, data entry, health education, general organization and collection of community data. Licensed medical and dental volunteers will need temporary authorization from the Medical College of Peru.

Scheduled Trips: Click for the schedule of trips through the end of 2022, rivers visited, costs, and much more. 

Signing up: You'll need to visit the Scheduled Trips link immediately above. Prior to filling out the reservation form, contact us directly to ensure that there is space available on a particular trip. 

Groups & Organizations we have worked with:

  • Amazon Cares (2001, 2002, 2007-2009)

  • Berkshire Community College (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2019)

  • Broward College (2017)

  • Christ Episcopal Church (2019, 2020)

  • Endicott College (2015)

  • Everything Connects (2014)

  • Florida Gulf Coast University (2017-2019)

  • Florida International University - Honors College (2007-2013)

  • Florida International Univ. - School of Medicine (2017-2019)

  • Friday Harbor High School (2006)

  • Future Scientist (2010)

  • Global Leadership Adventures (2016, 2017)

  • Greens Farms Academy (2016, 2019)

  • Heliconia Society International (2008)

  • Lawrence Academy (2007, 2008, 2015)

  • Lawrenceville School (2009, 2011, 2012, 2014)

  • Living Waters (2018-2020)

  • MGY (2014, 2015, 2017)

  • Mission Sports (2004, 2007, 2008)

  • MIT D-Lab (2010)

  • Montana State University (2015)

  • Montreat College (2020)

  • National Collegiate Honors Council (2009-2011, 2015)

  • Nourish International - Ohio State University (2017, 2018)

  • Nourish International - McGill University (2015, 2016)

  • Nourish International - Miami University (2018)

  • Nourish International - Rice University (2014, 2015)

  • Nourish International - University of Indiana (2016, 2017)

  • Nourish International - Univ. of New Mexico (2012-2014)

  • Nourish International - Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville (2014)

  • Organization for Tropical Studies (2002-2005)

  • Puerto Rico Heliconia Society (2001)

  • Rivers of the World (2001, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2013-2015)

  • Rockhurst University (2013)

  • Tennessee Wesleyan College (2016)

  • The Heritage Institute / Antioch University (2012-2014)

  • Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana (2003-present)

  • University of California-Merced (2017, 2020)

  • University of Florida - Dept of Biology (2011)

  • University of Michigan - M-Heal (2018)

  • University of Mississippi Medical Center (1998, 2001-2020)

  • Vincennes University (2015)

  • Wabash College (2011)

  • Western Kentucky University (2012, 2013)

  • Wired International (2014-present)

  • Worldwide Veterinary Service (2007-2009)

  • Xaverian Brothers High School (2004)

  • Young Nurses Take Action (2016, 2018, 2019)

Service Groups & Opportunities

Service Groups

Along with our medical service groups, we have hosted numerous service groups which have come to the Peruvian Amazon to engage with local communities on a variety of projects. These have included:

  • Construction of the Clinica Sarai (Orosa River Clinic)

  • Construction of clinicians house at the Clinica Sarai

  • Construction of dining hall and kitchen for the Santa Cruz elementary and secondary school

  • Education for Community Health Workers

  • Community Health Initiatives

  • Documentation of traditional knowledge & cultural revitalization

  • Mentoring and teaching in elementary schools

  • Building handicap accessible ramps

  • Building and refurbishing school desks, chairs and blackboards

  • Rainwater capture and clean water projects

  • Reforestation and sustainable agriculture initiatives

  • Sanitation and community health projects

Service Opportunities

In addition to the service activities noted above, there are several more we would like to pursue in the immediate future:

  • Building adequate teacher housing at secondary schools on the Orosa and Mazan Rivers (see our Teacher Housing news article)

  • Developing digital libraries using low-cost Raspberry Pi components for rural schools

  • Developing a home-stay ecotourism circuit with communities in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz Forest Reserve. 

  • Developing tele-consultation capabilities for the Clinica Sarai and other rural clinics in the region. 

 
 
 

Clinic & Hospital* Volunteering

Our Clinica Sarai (Orosa River) and several government clinics in the region can also host medical and dental volunteers, including medical students. 

Requirements: For clinic and hospital placements, it is essential that participants speak intermediate-level or higher Spanish, or have a bilingual translator to facilitate communications. Participants must also be either medical or dental students in good standing at their universities, or licensed medical or dental professionals. Medical or dental professionals will need temporary work authorization from the Medical College of Peru. This will require application several months in advance of anticipated placement dates. 

Dates: Clinic and hospital placements can be scheduled for for most dates and for varying lengths of time. For logistic reasons, a placement of less than a full week will not be considered except for certain medical specialities.

*In Peru, only the government operates entities known as hospitals.  All private medical facilities are called clinics, regardless of their medical capabilities. 

An aerial view of the Clinica Sarai (Orosa Clinic) operated by Project Amazonas

 

Sustainability

Sustainability is a broad topic and means different things to various people, but at the core, it is about our continued existence on a planet that has the capacity and health to sustain us. A good overview of sustainability can be read at Environmental Science

In the rural Amazon, a key focus of our sustainability efforts is to alleviate the poverty that forces people to exploit the environment in a non-sustainable manner. This includes introducing new ideas and green technologies, agroforestry practices, and improving health metrics, since poor health is often a key factor in poverty. 

At our own facilities, we are working to solarize our operations to reduce or eliminate our use of fossil fuels, are instituting rain-water collection, and building to last, using quality materials and construction methods which will endure for decades. 

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©2020 by Project Amazonas

Reading glasses are always in demand

Reading glasses of different strengths are always in high demand in rural communities where people have no other access to them. We partner with Restoring Vision to acquire low-cost readers for free distribution.