Welcome to MED Anywhere, MEDLIFE Virtual Service Learning Trip. This six-day experience dives into the root causes of social inequality and how they have played a part in Peru’s confrontation with COVID-19. Through remote field visits, workshops, and discussions, we explore key historical and social contexts as well as the current reality of communities and MEDLIFE’s response to the pandemic. Join us for this immersive virtual trip to network with other student leaders and gain a deeper understanding of COVID-19 in Peru. 


Highlights of the Week: 

  • Gain 20 service hours as you directly contribute to MEDLIFE’s goal of serving 1 million meals 
  • Network with MEDLIFE leaders, local community members, healthcare professionals, and other Chapters
  • Learn about the history of Peru, the emergence of COVID-19, and how these played a role in the current realities of life in the country
  • Empower yourself and others to take action and join the fight for a world free from poverty

Itinerary In Brief

Day 1: History & Context

1pm – 3:30pm EST*

Today we will dive into the history of internal migration, terrorism, and rural vs urban dynamics in Peru. Our team will take you on a virtual trip through the past as we explore the context that led to the country’s current political and social climate. The activities of the day will set the stage for the rest of your virtual service learning week.

Highlight: Venture through an oral history of Peru with local experts


Day 2: The Arrival of COVID-19 

1pm – 3:30pm EST*

Peru was one of the fastest countries to respond to the pandemic, yet it still had one of the worst outbreaks in the world. Today we will explore how this happened. Our sessions will focus on how the virus arrived in the country, the immediate action steps that the government took, and what it meant for partner communities. And we will begin to pose the question: 180+ days of lockdown later, has anything worked?

Highlight: Take a virtual reality tour through Lima


Day 3: Peru’s Healthcare System & COVID-19

1pm – 3:30pm EST*

After yesterday’s session, we will understand what happened when COVID-19 arrived, but let’s take a deeper dive into the healthcare system’s response to the crisis. Already struggling to provide services to the poorest of the poor, the pandemic only exacerbated overwhelmed hospitals and clinics. Today we will ask what really is public health, whose responsibility is this, and how should private healthcare respond?

Highlight: Q&A with a local healthcare professional 


Day 4: Economics, Food Insecurity, & Unemployment

1pm – 3:30pm EST*

In Peru, about 70% of people work informal jobs. This means no government benefits and unstable income. COVID-19 deeply affected the economy of the country and hundreds of thousands of people were left without a way to feed their families. Our sessions today will focus on large scale impact on the country and also how these factors impacted the day to day realities of our partner communities.

Highlight: Workshop with community members and MEDLIFE staff


Day 5: Interactive Ollas Comunes

1pm – 3:30pm EST*

Take an inside look at MEDLIFE’s community soup kitchens. Streaming from a community, we will check out how the cooking, serving, and pick up for hot meals works. In parallel, we invite all students to cook alongside the cocineras (chefs) working at the community soup kitchens. Try your hand at a Peruvian recipe and let’s all enjoy a meal together as we celebrate a great week!

Highlight: Cook a Peruvian recipe alongside our Ollas Comunes


Day 6: COVID-19, Pamplona, & You

1pm – 3:30pm EST*

Now that you know the history of Peru and the realities and effects of COVID-19 in the country, let’s talk about what you can do about it. In our remote session, we will explore the impact that one person or Chapter can have at MEDLIFE.

Highlight: Connect with and gain a firsthand perspective on individual impact

*Please note the exact time of your sessions may vary.

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.