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Day in the life: General Surgery, Guatemala

A typical day begins with an early morning start with 6 to 10 surgeries scheduled for the day. Surgeries are typically finished by 4 pm. Generally,  there is  some free time later in the day when volunteers can explore the local area and sample restaurants.

Day One

On the first Saturday, there is an informal orientation to Antigua and volunteers meet their team. Join other volunteers for a welcome dinner (prepared by team volunteers) that evening at our hotel.


Day Two

The day begins with breakfast at the hospital followed by an orientation for all volunteers.
Following this,  surgeons and anesthetists will run clinics, with a translator, to review potential patients referred by the hospital. The clinic is intended to book as many surgical days as possible.

Anesthetists will begin checking their equipment in the ORs. Nurses will  setup the ORs and PACU. The hearing clinic will also be setup.  

Typical Surgical Day


The Hotel Quinta de las Flores is a 15 minute walk from the hospital.

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

  • Hot breakfast is served daily at the hospital. The first surgery starts at 8 o’clock.

  • The Hearing Clinic opens at 9 AM.



  • A hot lunch is served at the hospital

  • Depending on the case mix, most days include 4 to 6 general surgery cases and finish by  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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