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Frequently asked questions for volunteers

Frequently asked questions for volunteers

Do you want to become a volunteer but have doubts? Here are the answers to your questions:

  • Flights – Travel Cost:
    • Flights ALWAYS leave from Barcelona and arrive in Barcelona, it is not possible for anyone to fly directly to the destination country or join halfway. Nor is it possible to extend the trip, the team always comes and goes together.
    • The volunteers pay for their own plane tickets to the destination city of the expedition.
    • Flights always leave from Barcelona and go to Barcelona. Each volunteer will pay for their own transportation to Barcelona. It is recommended to buy cancellable tickets for possible changes or cancellations of the expedition.
  • Do I have to be vaccinated? Vaccinations are mandatory in some of the countries we travel to and others are recommended. Before traveling we recommend you to make a clinical visit to receive personalized orientation. In this link of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona you can find all the information and make an appointment.
  • Travel expenses during the expedition: The expeditions are organized by Elena Barraquer Foundation, but it is a local organization who invites us to their country and this is the one in charge of paying the transportation, per diem and accommodation expenses during the expedition. Alcoholic beverages are not included except for small exceptions.
  • Visas: Visas to travel to the destination country are managed by the Foundation. Sometimes it is necessary to send us the passport physically so that we can process it. All those volunteers who live abroad will have to process their visas themselves, with all the documentation that we will provide you.
  • Can we go with two siblings, father and son, married couple… to live the experience as a family? From the Foundation we recommend not to travel as a family, simply for reasons of effectiveness. If one of the two gets sick or suffers a setback, the other family member usually leaves his or her chores to take care of him or her, something that influences the pace of work. If, even so, and knowing this condition, the family members are committed to give 100% in the expedition in spite of everything, the case can be studied.
  • Do I need to bring cash, where do I change, how much do I need? When traveling we have many logistical doubts that, fortunately, on the Internet we can find the solution. We leave you free to make these decisions.
  • What luggage can I carry? From the Foundation we carry an average of 25-30 large suitcases per expedition with all the necessary medical equipment that we check in. That is why each volunteer can only take one hand luggage and one bag/backpack.
  • Do I have to take out travel insurance? It is mandatory for all volunteers to have travel medical insurance in case of any unforeseen event. If you do not have private medical insurance, it is recommended that you take out one for the specific trip.
  • Can I deduct the cost of the ticket? No. The payment of the ticket is not recorded as a donation, so it is not possible to issue donation certificates for this matter.
  • Do I have to return the clothes you give me? All volunteers are provided with polo shirts, t-shirts and fleece to go on the trip. You do not have to return anything we give you.
  • Will I be able to do some sightseeing? The days, as we said, are very long and there is rarely time for sightseeing, but whenever possible, group outings are organized. It is not allowed to go out only during free time.
  • I have celiac disease, food allergies…, can I have a special diet? Within our possibilities, we try to adapt to the most special requests, but we must take into account that we travel to developing countries and that local organizations are in charge of the diets, so we do not guarantee that requests can be fulfilled.
  • Will I have my own room and bathroom? The rooms are generally shared and there is a bathroom inside each room.
  • How much time do I have to confirm? The expeditions are organized with enough time to be able to make all the necessary arrangements. That is why we ask for commitment and to confirm your attendance as soon as possible. Once the tickets have been issued, they are non-refundable.
  • I am an ophthalmologist and I want to operate, can I? Generally, we ask ophthalmologists who travel for the first time with the Foundation that the first trip they make is as a consulting ophthalmologist, since this way they become familiar with the operation and the rhythm of the expeditions.
  • Is it necessary to have some kind of training to be a volunteer? No, any person willing to work and collaborate can come as a field volunteer. It will be positively appreciated if they have some kind of health training, but it is not mandatory for this type of volunteering.