Testimonials

The winter session is great. It’s such an enriching way to spend the holidays. There is so much to learn medically in the internship and so much to love about the culture.

I love the winter session. Between how incredibly hands-on my entire internship was following doctors for a month and the time frame (mid-December through mid-January, i.e. Christmas and New Years), I can hardly describe how much I’ve learned about how passionate I am about medicine and also how in love with the culture I am. Two years ago I was a winter Clinical Medicine volunteer in Pacasmayo and this past year I came back to be a coordinator.

The internship itself almost sounds too good to be true. I got to follow doctors and nurses in my hospital for an entire month, observing in the ER, ICU, pediatrics office, and day to day consulting. The more I asked to do, the more I got to do. Everyone was extremely excited I was there and let me do anything I asked: from taking vitals, giving shots and I even left my phone number in the OR so that they’d call me when a surgery or a birth was about to happen.

Culturally, I think the winter session is one of the most amazing times to visit Peru. Vive Peru does a Chocolatada, a giant Christmas party for the impoverished kids, for all of the cities in which we work. There’s something about 100 kids at each location and it’s absolutely adorable. We fundraise presents for them and organize a day of games, hot chocolate and Peruvian cake called panetón, and they are all so excited to meet Santa and are extremely appreciative of their presents.

Christmas and New Years celebrations here are a different experience. For Christmas, Christmas Eve is the big party. On December 24th, we all stay up late and have a giant feast at midnight. Ham, tamales, Christmas rice, cake… it’s a feast filled with love between your host family, roommates, and how amazing all the food it. Christmas Day is more of a calm day—usually the host families have some family parties they attend and I’ve always gone hiking with friends at some breathtaking locations. New Years is the pretty typical New Years: another giant family feast, eating 12 grapes at midnight, running around the street with sparklers, and of course the party. They set up a giant tent on a cliff over the ocean in Pacasmayo, bring three DJs and a ton of people. This New Years party is so fun, it doesn’t stop until 6am, if you can stay that long.

The winter session is great. It’s such an enriching way to spend the holidays. There is so much to learn medically in the internship and so much to love about the culture.

Morgan Godley
Clinical Medicine Volunteer, Arizona State University


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