Lima is Peru’s capital and a modern, sprawling city of 10 million inhabitants. MEDLIFE is headquartered in this diverse city, but for reasons beyond why a typical tourist might stop here. MEDLIFE’s work in Lima focuses on the human settlements or “pueblos jovenes” in the outskirts of Lima, where almost 1 million people live in impoverished conditions. These communities consist of small shacks, often made of reed mats or plywood and built into the precarious rocky hillsides around Lima. Most of these communities lack access to basic services like running water and electricity. While the entire city was badly hit by COVID-19, these communities were affected severely. With the majority of the population living hand-to-mouth on wages from informal jobs, the pandemic brought months of financial hardship and food insecurity. Our COVID-19 relief effort helped make sure that families didn’t go hungry, but further support is needed to get communities back on their feet.

On a Service Learning Trip in Lima, you will volunteer at one of our Mobile Clinics to bring free, high-quality healthcare directly to these underserved communities. You will also work on a Development Project like a staircase or retention wall to help make the community a safer place to live. Register today for a Service Learning Trip in Lima to join the Movement for a world free from the constraints of poverty!


Highlights of the Trip

  • Learn about the challenges faced by low-income communities on a Reality Tour
  • Gain experience shadowing healthcare professionals at a Mobile Clinic
  • Help bring safer homes to families with a Development Project
  • Build bridges across cultures by connecting with community members

Key Pillars

Service: By volunteering on a Mobile Clinic and Development Project, you’ll directly help bring accessible medical care, health education, and a safer home to the marginalized communities you visit.

Environment: Service Learning Trips are created with sustainability in mind. In Lima, you may have the opportunity to volunteer on an environmentally friendly project such as a public park or eco-bathroom.

Education: Learn about the historical, political, and economic factors that have shaped the realities faced by families. Deepen your knowledge of global health by shadowing healthcare professionals.

Life-changing experiences: Through eye-opening experiences and building human connections, a Service Learning Trip will renew your passion for building a world free from the constraints of poverty.

Itinerary In Brief

Day 1

Arrival to Lima

Arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) where you will be greeted by a MEDLIFE staff member who will transport all volunteers from the airport to the hostel in the Miraflores district.

Overnight in Lima MEDLIFE Hostel




Day 2

Introduction to Lima

Sunday is an introduction to Lima for all volunteers with a walking tour of Miraflores. The evening will be dedicated to an orientation meeting where we will cover the historical context of Peru, what to expect for the week, safety precautions, and a brief training course on our Mobile Clinics.

Overnight in Lima MEDLIFE Hostel



Day 3

Reality Tour

After breakfast in the hostel, volunteers and Trip Leaders will depart for the Reality Tour for your first immersive experience in the urban settlements where MEDLIFE works. Throughout the day, we will explore the harsh realities of living in these settlements and learn about how MEDLIFE works to bridge the gap between Peru’s public health system and low-income families.

We will also visit the Mini MED Center in the community of Union Santa Fe for a firsthand look into our COVID-19 relief projects, including the Community Soup Kitchen, bodega, bakery, and computer lab.

Overnight in Lima MEDLIFE Hostel



Day 4-7

Mobile Clinics & Development Project

Upon arrival at a Mobile Clinic, volunteers will set up each station. Volunteers will be divided into groups to support the locally licensed medical professionals at each clinic station. Due to the incredible need in these communities, there may be upwards of 30-40 patients waiting to be seen – even in the early morning!

From Tuesday through Friday, small groups of volunteers will take turns working on a Development Project. Common projects in Lima include staircases, parks, and eco-bathrooms. On Friday afternoon, the entire group will join the community at the project site to celebrate the inauguration of the new infrastructure.

Overnight in Lima MEDLIFE Hostel



Day 8

Continue Exploring!

Explore more of Peru by adding an optional Epic Trip to your itinerary. This adventure will take you to the archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu before heading deep into the Amazon rainforest for a stay at an eco-friendly lodge. Alternatively, join a full-day tour to Ica that takes you from penguin dotted islands to rolling desert sand dunes.

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.