Medical Groups

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There are many medical groups that come to visit the San Lucas Mission to volunteer, learn about the efforts in San Lucas, and participate in the cross-cultural experience the mission offers. Medical groups spend most of their time working in outlying communities. Through working alongside Guatemalans, receiving talks from community members, and observing the local culture, group members can learn about the efforts of the Mission clinic and the rural healthcare program, as well as the situation of healthcare in Guatemala.

Group Size:

Due to the nature of work associated with medical volunteering, a maximum of 10 people per group is allowed.

Volunteer Work:

Medical volunteers, after receiving an orientation and a tour of the projects, typically accompany local health professionals into outlying communities. Volunteering in the Mission clinic is typically unavailable.

It is required that medical groups bring a licensed physician in order to provide medical service in the communities.

Talks from Dr. Tun, as well as community members are usually arranged so that the experience is as complete and educational as possible. The video about Fr. Greg is also encouraged to view. 

During the festivities of Holy Week, Christmas / New Year's, and the San Lucas Feast Day (Oct.18), San Lucans do not work. Groups are welcome to visit the Mission, but should be aware that typical site work will not be available.


It is required that medical groups bring translators. Short-term volunteers are not required to speak Spanish, although being able to converse with Guatemalans – particularly in a medical context – will greatly facilitate the experience.

Medical Supplies:

If your group would like to bring medical supplies for the clinic, a complete list can be found here.  Medications for your time in San Lucas, need to be either purchased through the clinic prior to your trip, or you are asked to bring them. We will need to get the details of the medications, amount and expiration dates (need to be 13 month before expiration) to the clinic so that we can get the customs red stamp to ease bringing them into the country.  

Room & Board:

Groups stay in one of the many hotels in the San Lucas area – if you have visited San Lucas before and are familiar with a particular hotel, requests can usually be honored. Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are eaten at the mission, with lunch being the biggest meal of the day. All volunteers and staff members share meals. There are phones in the Mission to call the States.


Visiting groups are asked to offer a donation of approximately $40/day per person, which includes room and board at the Mission and transportation to and from the airport in Guatemala City. Money can be exchanged in the mission office with a personal check, is preferred.

Pre-Arrival Orientation:

Cultural sensitivity and openness to the local culture is paramount in ensuring that a cross-cultural experience is as fruitful and as mutually dignifying as possible. In facilitating the pre-arrival preparation, it is heavily recommended that groups visit the Preparation Supplies page, to download the package of preparation materials for visiting medical groups. Each group is required to connect with Dr. Paul Wise, the head of our Clinic committee to receive and orientation and insure all comply with the needs of the clinic. 

It is recommended that medical volunteers come with an open mind and willingness to do a variety of medical activities – needs of the Mission healthcare program vary from season to season and groups should therefore be flexible. To be humble, without preconceptions, and open to learning will ensure a meaningful stay in San Lucas Tolimán.

Travel Information: Up-to-date information about traveling to and from Guatemala can be found at the Department of State’s Guatemalan Travel Information Page.