Thailand – Water Festival April 6, 2017 - April 16, 2017

Loveland, Colorado 80537


  • Per Diem

Job Description

About The Mission Trip

trip_InfoAboutExperience the real "Land of Smiles" in a serene town of Northern Thailand where you will stay in a small forest compound surrounded by mango trees. Nestled among rice fields and the quiet hum of daily life, this town neighbors the bustling Chiang Mai night market. Stroll through lines of vendors for a total sensory experience; immerse yourself in the appetite-inducing smells, regional fruits, stunning silk tapestries, and sizzling fried insects; then break for a traditional Thai massage. With our advantageous location, remove yourself from the bustle with a short walk up the mountain to take in spectacular views of the valley below. Travel on an open-aired tuk-tuk through the city where the juxtaposition of historic temples and modern establishments is sure to inspire a deep love of the country's magnetism.

About Clinic

trip_InfoClinicThis unique trip offers a training partnership with International Medical Relief and the Barefoot Doctors, who hail from the Golden Triangle of Laos, Myanmar, and Northern Thailand. The Barefoot Doctors will conclude three years of medical training with a graduation ceremony in February and will join your IMR team to gain valuable hands-on experience in patient care. They will receive training and tools for their continued success and share their knowledge of local illness with our team. Our shared goal is to help them provide sustainable care for their patients in their home villages. Your team, with the Barefoot Doctors, will treat remote indigenous family groups from the Akha hill tribes, high in the Chiang Rai Mountains. These gentle people give respect based on age and experience and will treasure the care you take with them. Your team will also care for local migrant workers, many working under difficult conditions on the construction sites, refugees from Myanmar without access to the Thai health care system, and sadly, children, many under 5, who have already suffered personal abuse and violence due in part to their unprotected status.


The team will be staying with host families for the majority of the trip's duration. This is a special opportunity to live in the villages where your patients will have the honor of preparing meals for your team. You will find it surprisingly comfortable, with soft mattresses provided for you by IMR. There might be occasional evenings in which the team will stay in the IMR compound, a two-story, dorm-style accommodation with private rooms and bathrooms. Each room is complete with sheets and towels, and the compound is equipped with AC and Wi-Fi. There is a chance that we will spend one night in a more remote location as we finalize our logistics. Regardless of where you sleep, you will be enchanted by the opportunity to care for patients in so much need.

Water Festival

trip_InfoHighlightsThis medical trip coincides with Thailand's Songkran water festival, the most popular festival in the country that marks the beginning of the new solar year on April 13th! The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word that means “astrological passage,” meaning transformation or change. People celebrate Songkran by splashing water on each other, symbolizing the washing away of bad luck and a wish for a year filled with blessings. Major streets close and are instead used for exciting water fights! Celebrants young and old participate, and if you’re lucky, you may even get splashed by a painted elephant! The Songkran celebration is rich in traditions. For many locals, mornings usually begin with a visit to a temple, offering food to the Buddhist monks and pouring water on the Buddha statues. As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return home to their loved ones and elders. Younger people often practice water pouring over the palms of elders’ hands as a sign of respect. Paying reverence to the ancestors is an important part of Songkran tradition. We hope to have you join us as the IMR team embraces Thai cultural traditions and gets a little soaked!

Trip Highlights

trip_InfoHighlightsExperience the night market frenzy of shopping and bartering for local trinkets. Northern Thailand is famous for their renowned assembly of domesticated elephants, which you can admire as they go through their daily activities. Enjoy a Thai meal of many shared dishes and conversation over lunch at a serene orchid farm. Take a peek into the spiritual history and culture of Thailand when you step inside numerous Wats and temples sprinkled throughout the land.

Extend Your Stay

Have some extra days? Explore Bangkok, and pay a visit to the ornate Grand Palace and famous Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho. Visit Wat Arun, an icon so revered that you will find it on the 10-baht coin. See one of the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statues, worth millions of dollars, at Wat Traimit. Spend an evening sampling delectable, yet wildly affordable street food for the authentic Thai experience, and cap it off with a cocktail from a rooftop bar overlooking the commotion of this famous city. Take a day trip from the center of the city to a nearby waterfall or the lesser-known Rod VI vintage market, where you can score gently used clothing, retro propaganda, and modern fashions. If you love the beaches, head south to the famous beaches of Phuket, where you can enjoy a boat trip, snorkel, or dive experience, catch a Muay Thai fight, and even participate in a training! Paradisiacal island adventures are easily accessible from Phuket.

About Medical Relief

International Medical Relief (IMR) is a registered 501(c)(3) medical organization with NGO status based in the United States. We provide mobile medical clinics and sustainable health education to underserved communities in 40 countries around the world.

IMR offers short-term assignments for volunteer medical professionals and dental professionalsstudents, and non-medical volunteers to conduct medical and dental clinics that provide free, expert care and health education in areas where it is limited or difficult to obtain. We make all arrangements for our volunteers, including transportation, lodging/meals, government permits, and clinic logistics. We secure equipment, supplies, and medicines from within the United States through partnerships with pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, hospitals, and other health and development organizations. We provide this service without compensation or discrimination, and irrespective of race, religion, creed, or political affiliation.

IMR was founded on the belief that knowledge of basic health facts and access to healthcare should not be the prerogative of select nations, regions, or classes, but should be shared by as many people as possible. We undertake our work to include some of the millions of people who have been excluded from today’s healthcare systems worldwide.

IMR contributes to the world’s communities by improving the overall health and wellness of the people via medical diagnosis and treatment, partnerships with local medical designees, community training, and fostering the principles of prevention.

To provide access to health care in underserved and vulnerable communities around the world to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life of those populations most in need.

To be the preeminent global nonprofit health provider that will create, sustain, and enhance global community health status by providing compassionate, responsive, and high quality services.

International Medical Relief promotes the well-being of underdeveloped communities through a comprehensive continuum of services provided in collaboration with partners. These services are accomplished through three main functions of the organization:

IMR provides free health care services, medicines, and supplies to entire communities, particularly to community members who are sick or frail, especially poor, or at great risk of ill health and disease. To foster community interaction and development, we begin each clinic with team members’ introduction to community leaders and members and proceed through pre-arranged logistics. Locations for clinic can vary from community hospitals to small clinics, health posts, and temporary areas set up in a village, or even in individual homes reached by trekking from village to village for house calls. We work with our hosts and the local Ministry of Health to determine the best way to reach the most vulnerable and those most in need.

Our volunteer medical and dental providers diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions, typically while being shadowed by student volunteers who learn in the process. We commonly treat patients suffering from respiratory infections, malaria, urinary tract infections, pain, moderate and severe dehydration, headaches, parasites, dermatological infections, and wounds. Common wounds include those from snake bites, motor vehicle accidents, and agricultural accidents, such as goat bites. We may conduct minor surgical procedures on abscesses, jiggers and other burrowing parasites, or large wounds.  Many of the illnesses we diagnose are the result of a lack of clean water, sanitary conditions, and education.
We commonly treat patients suffering from dermatological infections, impetigo, scabies and staph infections, some of which are highly contagious. We conduct minor surgical procedures on abscesses or lesions needing sutures.

Our medical teams enhance direct patient care through our comprehensive laboratory and wound care stations. We can typically provide rapid testing for pregnancy, malaria, strep A, HIV, and hemoglobin. The wound care station includes specialty dressings, cleaning supplies, and suturing materials.

We also provide a privacy area for examinations, IM injections, and mental health counseling. An in-clinic ICU for oral and IV hydration and observing patients completes the clinic.

Because our teams are staffed by volunteers, every team looks different and has different capabilities. We frequently have pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, infectious disease, pain management (including acupuncture and chiropractic providers), physical medicine, geriatrics, family practice, and mental health providers on our trips. Our dental teams often include oral surgeons, general or specialized dentists, and certified dental hygienists and assistants. Technical providers such as respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists often accompany us as well.

For patients who require care beyond the scope of what we are able to provide, we do our best to get them to the nearest medical facility for treatment.

During each clinic, basic equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies are used in clinic and then donated to trained local health care workers within recipient communities to be distributed, free of charge, as diagnosed needs arise. Our medicine and supply donations occur as a result of IMR partnerships with pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, as well as donations from area hospitals and clinics. These resources are lifesaving.

Education is as important as medical and dental care for our patients. Each clinic includes basic health education according to the specialties and skills of the IMR volunteers, as well as the needs of the local people. When communities become empowered to take health and wellness issues into their own hands, they become self-sufficient. IMR provides learning opportunities for the local communities through classes and hands-on learning to sustain their well-being beyond our visit.
Community classes focus on prevention and run throughout the clinic day. They might include basic first aid, clean water, breathing solutions, hand washing, infectious diseases, dehydration, smoking, and simple treatments for chronic ailments affecting the community. Clean water, basic hygiene, and nutritional tips

The medical exchange component of education is critical for the continuum of care outside of our visit. IMR provides technical expertise to local medical professionals through a partnership with them in diagnostics and treatment, and through a mutual exchange of ideas. During our clinics, doctors, nurses, dentists and other volunteers work side by side with the host community’s own medical and health professionals for a collaborative exchange of modern and traditional means of healing.
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Loveland, CO, United States

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Thailand – Water Festival April 6, 2017 - April 16, 2017


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