FAQ Category: Before you apply

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Do I have to speak Spanish?

All medical volunteers and trainers/mentors must speak at least intermediate level Spanish. Only exceptions: OB/GYNs surgeons, and a few specialists. Intermediate Spanish is defined as the ability to: • Speak, read and write in the present, past (preterit and imperfect), and future tenses (ir + a + infinitive construction sufficient). • Understand everything said by Spanish speakers, conversing at a rapid pace. • Interview, examine and treat Spanish-speaking patients without an interpreter.

What if I have special skills?

When you send in your application, tell our volunteer coordinator Febe Sosof about your special talents. If you’re accepted, we’ll try to make the most of your skills.

What are the requirements for registered nurses?

Registered nurse volunteers work regular shifts alongside Guatemalan nurses under the supervision of the hospital’s head nurse. Nurse volunteers have been instrumental in providing additional expertise to their Guatemalan colleagues, whose training is very different. Requirements are: • A minimum four-week commitment. • Advanced Spanish language ability. • A minimum two years-experience in your field.

What are the requirements for specialists?

Although we appreciate volunteer specialists, the hospital is not capable of providing all types of specialty care to its patients. We encourage specialist to check the Specialties Needed list or to contact us. Requirements are: • A minimum of two years-experience in your field (except for residents). • An unrestricted license. • A letter attesting to your good standing in your residency program. There are no time or language requirements.

What are the basic requirements?

These are special requirements for obstetricians, medical specialists and nurses: • Minimum four-week commitment. • Minimum intermediate Spanish. • Minimum two-years experience in your field (except for residents) • Unrestricted license. • Written proof of good standing in your professional or residency program. Medical students: Check for special requirements.

What is the application process?

Every volunteer must fill out an application for review by Hospitalito administration. Clinicians cannot work in the hospital unless they have been formally accepted and had their work dates confirmed in writing. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Guatemala now requires that all volunteers working in the country receive either a short-term work permit or a Guatemalan medical license (good for two years). To be accepted, you will have to provide various documents for review by the Colegio Médico two months prior to arrival: • Copies of your: ◦ Diploma* ◦ Specialty Diploma* ◦ Medical license* (should not expire before your volunteer dates) ◦ Residents must include a letter from their university supervisor. *These documents must be notarized. The packet must also include a document identifying the notary as a public officer constituted by law.