A day in the life in Guatemala

Have you ever wondered what each day is like on a medical mission trip? Earlier this year, the Making a Difference Foundation and International Medical Relief traveled to Guatemala to provide healthcare to local communities. Keep reading to learn more about what each day was like!


After months of planning, a team of 37 volunteers traveled to Guatemala City where they spent a week working in clinics to provide medical care for the local population near Antigua.

Volunteers for this medical mission trip included doctors, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other non-medical volunteers.

On the night of arrival, everyone gathered together for orientation. This is where volunteers meet each other, get their scrubs, organize supplies and medicine, and learn how the clinic will run throughout the rest of the week.


Volunteers are up early in the morning to catch a bus and drive out to rural Guatemala. The first two clinics will be about an hour outside of Antigua where most people lack access to the traditional healthcare system most of us are used to.

International Medical Relief puts a lot of effort into organizing these clinics and does such an amazing job. Patients from all around are welcome to participate in community health education, visit an eyeglass station, and receive treatment after being triaged by a team of nurses. Patients can then be seen for whatever medical care they’re in need of.

At the end of the day, 230 patients came to receive care at the clinic! And that’s just day one.


International Medical Relief supports 42 communities throughout Guatemala. With each medical mission trip, volunteer groups visit 4 of those 42 communities during a single week. IMR organizes frequent trips to Guatemala to care for the people who live in these communities.

Patients who come to the clinic are often seen for common ailments such as gastrointestinal disease, infections, ulcers, musculoskeletal pains, dermatologic conditions, and respiratory issues.

Many patients experience these symptoms for years before being able to receive care from a medical professional.


On a week-long medical mission trip, volunteers will usually have a day off to explore on their own. For this trip, the group enjoyed walking through the streets of Guatemala City and nearby areas to enjoy some of the culture of this beautiful country.

Some of the volunteers woke up early and ventured out to hike Pacaya Volcano. After about an hour-long hike that only goes up, the group enjoyed some wonderful views and used the hot coals to roast marshmallows and make fresh hot pizza!


There were so many smiles in the clinic throughout the week, and the impact of this work was shared by both patients and volunteers. It was an unforgettable opportunity, all made possible by International Medical Relief and the incredible effort they put into this important work.

Some of the patients were so grateful for the care they received they left blessings in Spanish and said they would always carry the doctors and nurses in their hearts.

Thank you to our incredible partners and volunteers for the work they do! If this sounds like how you’d like to spend a week, please reach out to us to learn more!

About the author

Margaret Vallejo

I am passionate about helping others make a difference - in their backyards or around the world. When not working for others you can find me spending time in the mountains, with friends, and family.

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