About the Trip
Little known, little-visited Paraguay is a country of remarkable contrast: it's rustic and sophisticated; it's extremely poor and obscenely wealthy; it boasts exotic natural reserves and massive human-made dams; it is a place where horses and carts pull up alongside Mercedes-Benz vehicles, artisans' workshops abut glitzy shopping centers, and Jesuit ruins in rural villages lie just a few kilometers from sophisticated colonial towns.
Our local partner, Fundación Panambi received its first shipment from Project C.U.R.E. in 2012, working in various parts of Paraguay. Since then there have been 3 more shipments. In the fall of 2017, our partner was exploring the possibility of sending a container to El Chaco after our fall C.U.R.E. Clinic. During the 2017, 2018 and 2019 C.U.R.E. Clinic, several Lion's volunteers from Loma Plata contributed translation services and thus became interested in bringing C.U.R.E. Clinics to their community.
In May 2020, our team will have the opportunity to explore a new region of Paraguay, Ciudad del Este. The second-largest city in Paraguay, Ciudad del Este is 327 km from Asuncion. We will focus on primary care and education as we serve at La Universidad Nacional del Este. During our trip, we will work collaboratively with local staff seeing patients and share knowledge with residency students. The people of Paraguay are warm and jovial and look forward to welcoming us. We will enjoy the good work we do as well as great company, delicious local food, Paraguayan culture and hospitality as well as visiting some of the local sites.
We can take all medical specialties and backgrounds on this trip! Our partner specifically requested the following:
- OBGYN services including cervical cancer screening and treatment (Project C.U.R.E. has the supplies)
- Bio-Medical Professionals
About the Country
Paraguay is a small (157,000 square miles) country landlocked in the very heart of the South American continent. It has a population of approximately 6.3 million people, the vast majority of whom are mestizo (mixed Spanish and indigenous heritage). Paraguay has had a very sad history of war and dictatorship, although both are now in the past. The most recent war was with Bolivia during 1932-1935. The war was costly in terms of life and property, but it resulted in Paraguay annexing a significant portion of the Gran Chaco, adding to the northwestern part of the country. Paraguay entered a time of isolation from the outside world during the dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner who took over the country in 1954. His rule lasted until a coup ousted him in 1989. Since then the country has opened up to the world and there have been democratically elected leaders.
About the Clinics Site
Ciudad del Este is a is a large commercial city and home to one of the largest free-trade zones in the world. Universidad Nacional del Este (UNA) is a public university founded in 1993, and is one of the largest universities in Paraguay. UNA recently received a container from Project C.U.R.E. You will have the opportunity to work alongside local medical professionals and residency students in various capacities.
About the Program Cost
Your tax-deductible donation to participate on a Project C.U.R.E. Clinics Trip to Paraguay is $1,800. This program cost covers all accommodations, meals, clean water, and transportation once in-country, including internal airfare, buses/cars/taxies, fuel costs, drivers, and tips. Program costs also include the coverage of translators, medications, C.U.R.E. Kits, Kits for Kids, travel and evacuation insurance, Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) with the State Department, medical license transfer procedures, departure travel packet with Project C.U.R.E. scrub set, and all associated shipping costs. Additionally, tour guides and small touristic excursions and activities are included. Please note alcohol, internet access, laundry, and personal souvenirs are not covered in the program cost. International travel is not covered in the program cost.
Please note that costs associated with obtaining your visa are not included in the program cost. In 2016, 2017 and 2019 we were able to receive a visa fee waiver and the only cost associated with the visa was the cost of expedited shipping to and from the Paraguayan Consulate in Miami.
You will have the opportunity to arrange your own international airfare to and from Paraguay. Should you prefer Project C.U.R.E to arrange your international airfare and trip in full, we will put you in touch with our travel agents which will incur an additional fee of $30-$100. Be sure to notify us if you would prefer this option. Suggested flight itinerary will be posted in the near future!
Sample Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Your excursion begins as you leave the U.S. on Friday and arrive in Paraguay on Saturday.
Day 2: Sunday we will travel to Cuidad del Este by private transport, a 6-hour journey from Asuncion. That evening we will re-pack our medical supplies and prepare for clinics on Monday.
Day 3: Give back to the local community by providing primary medical care on your first Clinic day at the University Hospital. Work with local staff in putting to use the recent supplies sent by Project C.U.R.E.
Day 4: Day 2 of the Clinics at the Hospital. Educate on medical equipment, best practices and keep seeing patients.
Day 5: Another day, another exciting clinic! For clinic day 3, you might get to see patients in a rural community nearby.
Day 6: Day 4 half-day clinics followed by travel back to Asuncion. Your hard work has paid off! Say goodbye to your friends in Ciudad del Este and celebrate your successes.
Day 7: Tour day! After a refreshing night’s sleep in Asuncion, spend the day getting to know the city and learning more about the culture of Paraguay. Stop by a local market to fine beautiful dresses, jewelry and hand made goods.
Day 8: After saying goodbye to your hosts, celebrating with your team, and enjoying one last Paraguayan breakfast it is time to start your journey back home. It’s time to start planning your next trip to Paraguay!