Contact: P. Jorge Nigsch
Mision Guadalupe
Message Organisation


The difficult situation of the sick in Ecuador leaves much to be desired. Health insurance is in the hands of the government and therefore, extremely deficient. Many families are not insured at all. So one could say, "Only the ones who have money can afford to get sick in Ecuador". Access to the public health system 'Subcento de Salud' has been greatly expanded but most of the facilities are understaffed and inadequately equipped. The poor cannot afford to see the private physicians. An important part of our pastoral work consists of helping the sick. Our project to build a small clinic started several years ago when Dr. Jaime Ortiz came from the neighbouring town Zumbi to minister to our people weekly at the Mission of Guadalupe. The Catholic mission director of the Dioceses of Feldkirch in Vorarlberg, Austria, and the pastor of St.Kolumban in Bregenz, Vorarlberg, Prälat Albert Holenstein, sent us medicines. We distributed these medicines at a low price to the poor in our primitive "Consultorio Médico." Creating a new health center became a dream of the mother superior, Sister Consuelo Carvajal C., of P. Jorge Nigsch and many parishioners. After several years of planning, we decided to make our dream come true. Father Holenstein designated funds from the Pontifical Mission Works of the Dioceses of Feldkirch to build the new clinic. Materials were donated by the community. A young architect from Loja in the highlands of Ecuador, Carlos Espejo, designed the health center. In May of 2000, we began construction.

The Clinica Misional 'Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe' is a rural health care center in South Eastern Ecuador. It is located on the grounds of a Catholic Mission in the tropical cloud forest of the Oriente. It serves a culturally diverse, impoverished and indigenous population. The facility has examining rooms, dental suites with x-ray, an operating theatre, pharmacy and basic laboratory. There is a hospital about one hour away. The clinic is staffed full time by an international multi faith group of medical volunteers. Primary care physicians are asked to serve at least one month and have remained for up to one year. Surgeons and other specialists come for two to six weeks as necessary, and are expected to be accompanied by whatever support personnel that they deem appropriate. Dentists and dental technicians visit for at least three weeks and are welcome to stay longer. There are also opportunities for teaching in the schools and for mobile health fairs. Travel is not reimbursed but room and board are covered once at the venue, with volunteer residences overlooking the Andes. There is also an apartment for a family. A working knowledge of Spanish is essential. On the website there are postings by various volunteer professionals, photographs of the region and descriptions of the community.

Our work involves general medicine, odontology, ophthalmology, general surgery, anaesthesia, gastroenterology, gynaecology, dermatology and plastic surgery. We are looking for professionals in these and other fields.

  • Children
  • Elderly People
  • Healthcare / Medical
  • Women
  • Young People


Suitability and Volunteering Roles

Volunteering Roles:
  • Caring / Healthcare
  • Computers / I.T.
  • Counselling
  • First Aid
  • International Aid / Relief
  • Scientific work
  • Teaching - Children
  • Training
  • Visiting / Befriending
Volunteering Type:
  • Individual Volunteering
Work Alone or With Others:

Work with others

Liability Insurance

Volunteers working in this organisation are not covered by legal liability insurance

Volunteers Placed Each Year



  • Ecuador, South America

Able to speak basic Spanish. Medical or dental professional, health care professional etc. Active medical/dental licence required.

  • We cannot accept volunteers who are visually impaired/partially sighted
  • We cannot accept volunteers who need help with their daily activities
  • We cannot accept volunteers who use a wheelchair all of the time
  • We cannot accept volunteers who use a wheelchair at any time
  • We cannot accept volunteers who use walking/other mobility aids other than a wheelchair
  • We cannot accept volunteers with a hearing impairment
  • We cannot accept volunteers with a heart condition
  • We cannot accept volunteers with a learning difficulty/impairment
  • We cannot accept volunteers with a speech impairment
  • We cannot accept volunteers with any breathing difficulties
  • We cannot accept volunteers with mental health needs
Health Requirements:

No restrictions.

Cost To Volunteer:

Travel to Ecuador and insurance costs. Food and accommodation are provided.


From 23 years old

Weeks min/max

Weeks from 3 up to 52 per year

Hours min/max:

Hours from 40 up to 40 per week

When to Apply:

Three months in advance.

Start Months:
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Additional Information


Housing for volunteers is private rooms and a kitchen.


Nothing special required.

Local Information:

Areas of Guadalupe in Ecuador.


Initial contact via email.


The volunteer needs to be a licensed health care professional in his or her home country.


No supervision.

Debriefing & Certificates:

Volunteers receive a certificate.

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