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Day in the life: General Surgery, Guatemala

A typical day begins with an early morning start with 4 to 5 surgeries scheduled for the day. Surgeries are typically finished by 4 pm, after which, there is typically some down time where participants can explore the local area and visit nearby restaurants.

Day One

On the first day, volunteers are introduced to their team, have  an orientation tour of the hospital and to Antigua. 


Day Two

Day 1-2 the hospital physicians will have developed a list of surgical candidates. Surgeons will run clinics  with the assistance of a translator. The clinic is intended to book as many of your surgical days as possible. Typical patients include: inguinal and umbilical Incisional hernias, biliary colic and benign breast lumps. Patients are then seen by the anaesthesia team to plan their anesthetic.  

Typical Surgical Day


The Quinta de las Flores accommodations are a 10 minute walk from the hospital.

  • Surgeons typically arrive at the hospital shortly after 7 AM to do rounds on the previous day’s Postoperative patients.

  • Hot breakfast is served every day at the hospital and the first surgery starts at 8 o’clock.

  • The Hearing Clinic opens at 9 AM.



  • A hot lunch is also served at the hospital

  • Depending on the case mix most days include 4 to 5 basic general surgery cases and finish by three or 4 PM.


  • Once surgeries are finished, there are many opportunities for relaxing at the hotel, taking a Salsa or chocolate-making class or socializing with your Medicos team.

  • Antigua has an incredible selection of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. 


  • Almost all patients stay overnight due to long travel distances. Very few patients stay more than a day.

  • Overnight the hospital is staffed by local physicians. Our group maintains a call roster for surgical emergencies for our post op patients.

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