Be sure you are able to meet all requirements before applying to participate.
Clinics in Mexico can be physically and mentally challenging. You can expect hot days and cold nights with little heat, outdoor clinic spaces in the cold OR the heat and long hours with minimal breaks.
You should be prepared to live and work under a variety of conditions. The facilities that we stay in are safe, but often pretty basic. We work outdoors, in gyms or community centers or in tents. Often bathrooms are non-existent or non-functional and showers are often cold.
Most clinics will run seven days with one day on either end for travel in Mexico, travel is often more than 6 hours to location.
What to Bring
You must bring the equipment listed here. While there are usually places to buy sundries on most trips, such facilities may not be available every day and may not be particularly well stocked.
REQUIRED FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS:
Scrubs (one pair/clinic day)
Comfortable work pants
Sweatshirt and/or jacket or other warm layer +/- rain jacket
Personal items for the duration of the trip
Refillable water bottle
Insect repelient and sun block / sun protection
REQUIRED FOR PROFESSIONAL AND STUDENT VOLUNTEERS:
Pens, permanent marker and yellow highlighter
Small notepad (pocket-sized)
Watch that counts seconds (buckle type can be attached to your belt for surgery)
A lab coat or smock to wear over scrubs while in receiving
Sterile surgeon's gloves (5 pair/clinic week) in your size (vet students only)
Travel: Volunteers are responsible for transportation to and from the pre-determined meeting site. Most clinics we will move daily without any time for sightseeing.
Food and Lodging: Basic meals and lodging will be provided by the community for the duration of the clinics. Volunteers are responsible for necessary hotel accommodations, meals and any other expenses.
Surgical Gloves: All veterinarians are required to bring 1 paid of sterile surgeon's gloves in their size for each surgery and the surgeons will do between 20-40 surgeries a day. Most clinics run for 7 days.
Misc: Your only other expense will be incidentals, such as snacks or souvenirs "on the road".
All volunteers are required to arrive at the same location at a predetermined time and will join group travel to our locations.
Sleeping arrangements are generally in hotels provided by the community however you should be prepared for whatever accommodations are available.
Food and amenities are variable, we cannot accomodate special diets, if you have dietary restrictions you are responsible for brining your own pre-packaged foods such as gluten free or vegan.
Most locations will have showers. However, a large team of volunteers can put significant strain on local resources and plumbing and or hot water does not always work. You do not have a constitutional right to a shower!
Our volunteers are courteous to hosts and are grateful for what is provided. Questions about food or accommodations should be directed to the team leader, who will handle all problems. Complaining to community residents or hosts is grounds for dismissal.
Clinic assignments are made based on prior experiences, you will not be exempt from sharing in all duties, even our veterinarians will need to pitch in with duties such as packing, cleaning up, instrument prep and post op work.
Every effort is made to keep our volunteers safe. All volunteers must read, and agree with our volunteer agreement.
By participating in a Compassion Copper Canyon clinic, you are agreeing to release Compassion Copper Canyon supervising veterinarians and volunteers from liability for injuries that may occur during the trip or while traveling to the site.