FAQ Category: After you’re accepted

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Does the Hospitalito charge for services? If so, why?

Hospitalito Atitlán is a private, nonprofit hospital and receives no money from the government. It is not aligned with any religious or political organizations. The Hospitalito has two sources of funding — patient fees and private donations. Without both, the hospital would have to close its doors. Even if we wanted to, we could not afford to provide free care. Our work is able to continue thanks to donations of money, equipment, medicine and volunteer labor. That is why our volunteer staff and the medicines they bring are so essential to our existence. Charging patients for care and medicine helps pay for the rent, electricity, permanent staff salaries, and essential medicines and supplies. The Hospitalito currently charges Q25 ($3.50) for consultations and Q50 ($7.00) for emergency visits. Our patients come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. For many patients, these fees are affordable. For others, they are not. Those who can pay are expected to do so. Hospitalito Atitlán has a full-time social worker available who evaluates each family’s ability to pay. The hospital discounts its services by 25 –100 percent for those in need. Patients are never refused care because of an inability to pay. If you volunteer at […]

What kind of care does the Hospitalito offer?

Hospitalito Atitlán provides the only 24-hour emergency care within a two-hour radius. Our facility also provides weekday outpatient and general consultation, including complete obstetrical services. On occasion, we care for patients who otherwise would be in an ICU but are not willing or able to be transferred. Depending on the specialist on hand, we also provide general, simple surgeries and other specialty care. The Hospitalito also performs diagnostic tests. Those that we cannot analyze are sent to a lab in Panajachel. Learn more about what we do.

What are licensing requirements?

The Guatemalan government must approve all medical volunteers before they can work at the Hospitalito or they must obtain a Guatemalan medical license (good for two years). We will work with you to make sure you complete the process. View the requirements. Note: To reserve your volunteer spot and be included in the schedule, we need to receive all of your paperwork two months in advance so we can send to the Colegio Médico for review and approval. This includes: • 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.

Are there visa requirements for long-term stays?

You will have 90 days in Guatemala starting with the day of your arrival. If you plan on staying longer, you will need to visit the immigration office in Guatemala City, where you can pay $10 and get an extension of an additional 90 days. After your first 180 days, you must leave the country for two nights, after which you can start the process again.

How do I know I’ve been accepted?

You will receive an acceptance and confirmation letter from the Hospitalito. Please note that you must have this letter before coming to Guatemala. We are not able to accommodate volunteers who show up without making prior arrangements, nor are we able to allow clinicians to work in the hospital if they have not been accepted or had their work dates confirmed. All accepted volunteers are required to read the Hospitalito Atitlán Volunteer Orientation Manual prior to their arrival in Santiago Atitlán. A digital copy will be sent to you with your acceptance letter. After reading it, please sign your confirmation letter, scan it, and return it to us via email