How Do Our Volunteers Spend Their Week?

Text Author: Anastasia Sedukhina
Photographer: Polina Soyref, Irina Arbuzova

Take a virtual tour of our clinics in Guatemala and Nicaragua, and spend a day with our volunteers. 

Mornings start at 6 or 7 am depending on the schedule for the day. Volunteers on breakfast duty get up earlier, while those responsible for washing the dishes have an opportunity to get some more sleep. For breakfast, volunteers usually have oatmeal, crepes, fruit and eggs. 

The work day starts at 8 am. While doctors are busy seeing patients, administrators take care of daily chores. They make schedules for the week, fill in cleaning checklists, monitor garbage disposal, keep financial records, and deal with non-medical issues. Due to Covid restrictions, doctors try to receive patients outdoors, and only those in need of serious help are allowed into the clinic. 

Lunch time: from 1 to 2 pm. As we remember, volunteers plan ahead, so they know whose turn it is to make lunch for today. However, sometimes the doctor in charge of lunch has a lot of patients. In this case, cooking is done by whoever is free at the time.

The work day ends at 4 pm. When there are no patients after lunch, volunteers clean the clinic, sort medications and carry out inventory counts of the stockroom. There is always plenty of work!

After 4 pm, volunteers have time for themselves. They usually spend it on their hobbies. They go for a run, read books, watch movies or cook. The clinic in Guatemala has Wi-Fi, so there is always an opportunity to chat with family and friends or discuss work issues.

Dinner starts at 7 to 8 pm. The menu usually includes beans, pasta, rice, fruit and vegetables. Volunteers shop for groceries every Thursday. The administrator and one of the nurses go to the market and, depending on the number of volunteers in the clinic, take two to four suitcases for food. They also clean the clinic once a week, and once a month they do a deep clean of all rooms and the area surrounding the clinic. Another important thing is the monthly treatment of the clinic for bedbugs. Volunteers live next to the forest, so insects are a regular occurrence.

The day ends at 10 pm, and until 6 am the clinics are quiet. Doctors may deviate from this schedule only if they need to see a patient on an emergency call.

On weekends, volunteers from the Nicaraguan clinic go to the beach, which is within walking distance. And in Guatemala, they relax by the riverside, drive to the nearest town, or take walks to a nearby volcano. 

What do you find the most challenging in the life of our volunteers? Do you think you could follow such a routine? If this sounds like you, it’s time to take a step towards your own future! Apply to become a volunteer at

Last news

How Nursing Mothers in Nicaragua Live: The Story of Our Patient

Problems with lactation, lack of sleep, children’s illnesses are the problems nursing mothers from all over the world face. However, the women, who live in regions with limited resources, are having an especially hard time with it. We share a story of one of our patients for you to understandg how women from Chinandega, Nicaragua cope with those difficulties.

Learn more

Portrait of the Patient: Timotheo

Timotheo is 45 years old. For the last 30 years, every morning he goes to work in the field, because vegetables and corn can’t grow themselves. What you grow is what you put on the table later. This is how most locals in our village live.  Every month, Timotheo and his family come to our…

Learn more

The Way We Help Women in Guatemala

The reality of life in Guatemala, as in many developing countries, is that many women are kept in the dark about reproductive health, family planning, and contraceptives. Both sex education and abortion are prohibited by law in Guatemala, and in the machismo culture, women’s rights in general can be severely restricted. In 2022, the Guatemalan…

Learn more

4276 0600 3966 7996

Получатель: Валикова Ирина Владимировна
Счет: 40817810906004795329
Банк получателя: Уральский банк
ИНН банка получателя: 7707083893
КПП банка получателя: 027802001
БИК банка получателя: 048073601
Корреспондентский счет: 30101810300000000601