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COVID-19 General Update

We know that together as a family, we are all going through a unique and challenging time in our lives.

The most important thing is to stay safe, so our volunteers, staff, and communities are the number one priority. As the situation progresses, we work hard to ensure that we have adequate safety protocols to care for everyone.

Status of your Trip: Your Trip is currently active and recruiting volunteers. We know that this situation can change, so in the event of a change in status, we will notify you.

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@vidavolunteer.org

Rescheduling Policy

Due to the fast-evolving travel restrictions currently being enforced around the world because of Covid-19, we are implementing the following cancellation policy.

We want you to feel comfortable securing your spot on a trip without worrying about losing your funds. Please read carefully:

  • If you need to reschedule, your program fee is transferable to any future trip within the next 12 months of the cancellation date (application fee and deposit fees included).
  • If you cancel up to 31 days before the trip starts, 100% of your funds may be applied to a future trip or be fully refunded.
  • If you cancel less than 30 days before the trip, no refunds can be made but you can still transfer your funds to any future trips.
  • If Vida Volunteer postpones or cancels a trip, we will transfer your participation to a future trip or give you the option of a full refund.

Made a mistake and need to cancel your transaction?

You may need to cancel a transaction, for instance, if you used the wrong credit card. If this is the case, you have 2 business days from the transaction date to request the cancelation/refund of that transaction. Please contact financial@vidavolunteer.org

Need a payment extension? Contact us at financial@vidavolunteer.org or give us a call at +1.888.365.8432 Ext 2

Waiting List Policy

Vida may start a waiting lists to ensure the integrity of the program and a personalized learning experience for each student. If you register for a trip that is already full, you will be put on a waiting list and we will confirm your participation 90 days prior to the service trip.

If there are no spots available, we will reimburse your application fee and any additional payments you have made.

Safety Protocol

As you may know, this situation is going to stay with us for a while. That is why it is necessary to adapt our program offering a safe environment to all our team. The safety and security of our volunteers, staff members, and communities is our top priority, and we have to take precautionary measures to protect our people.

This safety protocol was created in response to the COVID-19 situation. It is based upon local Health Ministries and the indications provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and under the technical supervision of local professionals in Guatemala and Costa Rica. We are continually communicating with the local health authorities and updating this Protocol as needed.

GENERAL MEASURES: 

  • Wash hands
  • Social Distance
  • Use of facemask
  • Cough and sneeze protocol
  • Clean and disinfect

PPE: PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

  • Surgical mask
  • Faceshield
  • Medical Gloves

OPERATIONS AND LOGISTICS 

  • Our trips will have a maximum of 21 volunteers.
  • We will avoid close contact with people in the communities without protection
  • Students must bring with themselves at least 1 full scrub set for each clinic day, or a minimum of 3 scrubs. It is encouraged for students and staff members to use the laundry services at the hotels.
  • Avoid direct greetings such as handshakes and kisses.
    • The temperature will be taken at the beginning and the end of each day according to the itinerary.
    • Social bubble or within the same members of each program.

Arrival Day:

  • Team Leader will take the temperature of each person and register the information in a logbook, starting from the first day of the trip
  • Team Leader will briefly explain the dynamic of the activities regarding social distancing, roommate assignment for hotels and homestays, if applicable.
  • The use of a mask during the General Orientation will be mandatory for all the participants.

Clinic Day

  • Family visits activity and Homestay program  will be suspended until further notice.
  • During clinic days, there will not be any rotation between students and/or staff, meaning that the groups will stay the same from the beginning until the end of the clinics.
  • Each student will carry their Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) provided by Vida.
    • Surgical Face Mask.
    • Face shield.
    • Isolation gown (dental students).
    • N95 mask (dental students).
  • Each staff member will carry their Personal Protection

Equipment 

  • Vida will ensure through the community coordinators the cleanness of the facilities where clinics are performed before and after its use, by providing cleaning tools such as liquid Lysol, soap, chlorine, or a solution with at least 70% alcohol.
  • During clinic days patients’ consultation will be given through scheduled appointments organized by the Community Coordinator. There will be assigned 1 or 2 patients per hour per interpreter for each clinic day.
  • The organization guarantees access to soap, hand sanitizer, disposable towels that can be placed within the clinic.
  • Social distancing of 6 ft should be applied both in and out of the clinic.
  • The community coordinator will set and mark how social distancing should be in the waiting area for the patients.

Patients’ admission to the clinic 

Prior to the admission to any of our clinics, Vida will set a Triage station where a nurse will classify patients. The nurse in charge of patients’ admission to the clinics should use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

People with COVID-19 suspicious symptoms will not be admitted to the clinic and will get a referring medical order, according to the Alert System of the Health Ministry.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL PROTOCOL HERE

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We empathize with those who have been impacted by the outbreak and we know this is a very stressful time for everyone.

As you know, the safety and security of our volunteers, patients, community and staff members is our top priority and the rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced us to take precautionary measures to protect everyone at this time.

Since Vida relies entirely on the support of volunteers, it’s vital that we plan ahead to ensure we can continue with our important mission as soon as travel is less restricted. We require a strong and united stance and, as a member of our valued community of supporters, we are asking for your support to help us keep our operation going until this crisis passes.  Your kind donation will help us to keep impacting the communities in Central America

Credit Card
Check

All checks should be written out to “Vida”. Please send checks with the printed Check Payment & Donation form to the address below:

Vida

2612 South Arlington Mill Drive, Unit C

Arlington, Virginia 22206

*All checks must be mailed at least 70 days before the trip begins.

**All checks must be drawn from a US bank account.

***For people from other countries, you can go to the bank and ask for a US check to mail to us. You will be notified once the check has arrived

Hosted by Ogilvy Nicaragua

Our Communities

More than 50 communities are our allies in Central America. In these places, the situation of COVID-19 is evolving every day and changing very quickly.

That is why we maintain direct contact with our Community Coordinators, who are leaders in each of these places, and maintain relationships with the authorities at the local level (health centers, municipalities, schools, etc.) and provide us with information to understand what is happening in each area. In both Guatemala and Costa Rica, the government is directly working to contain the situation in these communities, and we continuously monitor it.

Once we return to the communities, our job is to work harder to promote health, providing all the information that people need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Local health systems will likely be strongly affected, so volunteers, staff members, and community leaders are more necessary than ever.

COVID-19 Update #1

Dear Costa Rica Team,

As you all know, we continue to closely monitor the global spread of COVID 19 and its potential impact on our future trips. Although things are still looking positive in Costa Rica, we know this is not the case for other places and everything can rapidly change so in regards to your August trip, we would like to share the following updates:

  1. Your health, safety, and wellbeing continue to be our top priority and we will follow the CDC’s, WHO, and Travel State Department recommendations and guidelines. Our clinic protocols are being updated to include their latest recommendations and ensure a safe experience while in Costa Rica and they will be sent to you prior to the trip.
  2. We will continue to assess these matters over the next few weeks and we will issue a final decision about the trip on June 22nd, 2020.
  3. You will still be able to join us even if you’re about to graduate.
  4. You will also have the option of a full reimbursement so please continue making your payments as scheduled (don’t risk losing your spot!).

We are committed to providing ongoing, accurate information to our entire community and we will continue to keep you posted via email. Thank you once again for your continued support and patience and remember that if you have any questions, you can always contact us at info@vidavolunteer.org or by calling us at 1.888.365.8432

This will be a life-changing experience and we hope to welcome you in Costa Rica soon!

Best,

Joining Vida has helped me discover my passion fot not just becoming a doctor, but to inspire others to chase their dreams as well.

– Danica Pratta
University of Pittsburgh 2019

 

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