Veterinary Program

Thinking about a career in veterinary medicine? Have a passion to serve and help others? Vida Volunteer is the place to start your lifetime commitment to animals.

Vida helps control animal overpopulation in underserved communities by providing high quality spay/neuter clinics & animal welfare education.

Who can participate?

Pre-vet students, upper level veterinary students and recent graduates

Why you should join?

Vida operates field clinics in accordance with the International Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association -Field Services Guidelines. We emphasize on patient and volunteer safety, high quality pain management protocols, appropriate post-operative care, and ethical participation of volunteers in surgical procedures.

Our high quality educational program is especially for those who wish to gain clinical and practical experience in the field of Veterinary Medicine. Although our program focuses mainly on the sterilization of felines and canines in field clinics, participants also have the opportunity to gain experience working with large animals.

You will be working with a skilled team of local veterinarians and technicians to provide quality veterinary care and educational services. Some of your tasks include:

  • Physical examination.
  • Intravenous catheter placement.
  • ET tube placement.
  • Pre-surgery preparation of patients.
  • Sutures.
  • Assist veterinarians with anesthetic procedures.
  • Post-surgery: provide recovery attention to patients.

Components for a successful trip

Field Clinics

Our mobile clinics are held in community centers, churches, schools, private farms, local ranches, or animal rescue centers in coordination with local community members and organizations. Regardless of the location, we set the highest level of professionalism for our volunteers and staff.

Large and/or Farm Animal Day

Livestock and farm animals are very important for small producers and families. We usually schedule at least one Large/Farm Animal Day where students help control internal/external parasites with deworming treatments. We also provide vitamins to improve the animals’ health and wellness.


A home away from home!

Homestays* promise a whole-hearted and culturally immersive experience. You’ll get a chance to learn about local family values and enjoy delicious, authentic, home-cooked meals​ ​while forming life-long bonds with our world-famous host families.

*Homestays depend on itinerary and group size

As a Veterinary program participant you will:

  • Improve animal welfare in Central America.
  • Actively participate in high quality spay /neuter clinics. Understanding the fundamentals and standards of small animal field surgery clinics.
  • Learn different surgery techniques, preventive medicine, infectious disease control, animal behavior and public health.
  • Learn about the challenges faced by Central American Animal Health Authorities.
  • Analyze concepts, evaluate experiences, and form opinions.
  • Foster cultural awareness.

Clinic set up

1. Waiting Area

This is where patients await to be seen.  Their names are added to the list of patients we will see each day. Lists are usually handled on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, prioritize seniors, pregnant women and patients with conditions that might require immediate assistance.

2. Intake

Students will assist with patient physical exams. Performing thorough physical examinations is important to evaluate the patient’s condition prior to surgery. If the patient is suitable for surgery, students will assist the veterinarians in prepping their patient for surgery.

3. Surgery

Students will assist the Veterinarian during spay/neuters and monitor vital signs while learning about minimally invasive techniques and different diseases.

4. Recovery

After surgery the students will help recover their patient by monitoring vital signs until they are fully recovered and can be sent home. Application of external parasite control, nail trimmings and ear cleanings will also be done. They will also prepare the medication that goes home with a surgical patient.

5. Cleaning Area

Students will wash and sterilize instruments following strict protocols.

What´s included?

  • Airport pick up and drop off.
  • All ground transportation between sites.
  • Accommodations with host families and/or hotels.
  • Most of meals (included specified in the Sample Itinerary tab).
  • In-country orientation.
  • Program Manual.
  • 24 hour staff assistance.
  • All medicine, equipment, supplies, and professionals needed to successfully perform on clinic days.
  • Evening group activities.
  • All recreation activities listed in trip itinerary.
  • Border and customs fees.
  • Statement of service hours and Certificate of Participation. (Letters of recommendation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis).

Sample Itineraries

*Order of clinic, family visit and/or recreation days may change depending on country and route.


Visit our Help Center to learn more about our program, safety and logistics.

Feel free to contact us! Fill out this form and one of our Student Engagement Representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.

Inquiries? Fill out this form so we can answer them properly!

Check Upcoming Trips

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mon17mayAll Daythu27Medical, Dental and Veterinary Trip to GuatemalaTKGT051721Guatemala Duration: 11 days Date: May 17th, 2021 - May 27th, 2021

mon17mayAll Daythu27Medical and Dental Trip to GuatemalaLCGT051721Guatemala Duration: 11 days Date: May 17th, 2021 - May 27th, 2021

tue18mayAll Daysun30Medical, Dental & Veterinary Trip to GuatemalaUAGT051821Guatemala Duration: 13 days Date: May 18th 2021 - May 30th, 2021

sat22mayAll Daysun30Medical, Dental and Veterinary Trip to GuatemalaOTGT052221Guatemala Duration: 9 days Date: May 22nd 2021- May 30th, 2021

wed02junAll Daymon14Medical, Dental and Veterinary Trip to Costa RicaUHCR060221Costa Rica Duration: 13 days Date: June 2nd 2021 - June 14th, 2021