Volunteer Vets and Nurses Abroad Program

Volunteer with the GAAP Veterinary Clinic in Chile

A Veterinary Experience of a Lifetime!

Interested volunteers: please submit an application.


The GAAP Veterinary Clinic in Valdivia, Chile

The GAAP Veterinary Clinic in Valdivia, Chile

Through support of the GAAP community clinic in Valdivia, Chile, Vets International is able to provide veterinary care for all sectors of the community while increasing the human-animal bond by offering innovative education for dog owners. Vets International is sending a veterinary team to Chile monthly to partner with the GAAP in providing sterilizations, health consultations, and educational programs to the local community.

Each month, Vets International is a sending 2 volunteers (a veterinarian and a veterinary technician) to the beautiful city of Valdivia to spend one week collaborating with the Chilean clinic. Volunteers will gain valuable international experience by providing veterinary services to the community, exchanging ideas with local veterinarians, and learning about the free-roaming dog issue first-hand.

Volunteer nurse Feliza and Chilean nurse Marina in Corral, Chile

Volunteer nurse Feliza and Chilean nurse Marina in Corral, Chile

Volunteers are asked to fundraise $1500 to help fund the GAAP clinic and keep it running all year round. Your accommodation and food will be included during your week with the GAAP clinic.

Volunteers are responsible for their own airfare, optional excursions, travel and/or health insurance. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the departure date.

Detailed information about your trip to Chile can be found here.


Veterinary surgeons in action in Valdivia, Chile

Veterinary surgeons in action in Valdivia, Chile

Prior to your arrival, you will be put in direct contact with the Senior Veterinarian at the GAAP Clinic to discuss your experience and strengths to see if there is a particular skill you would like to share with clinic staff.

This program is extremely unique, in that we give you the opportunity to tailor your week to the type of expertise you bring to the table. Therefore, quite a bit of flexibility exists depending on your skill set, goals and interests.

Depending on your skill set, there could be opportunities to teach/review techniques, surgical emergencies, CPR, surgical tips, or share knowledge on particular specialties such as ophthalmology, neurology cytology, anesthesiology etc. Depending on your Spanish proficiency, there are opportunities for teaching other veterinarians, engaging children in learning activities, or going on rural campaigns.

There is always an opportunity to perform sterilizations and manage medical cases depending on what is scheduled and what you bring to the table. Everyone is expected to demonstrate teamwork including cleaning and prepping for the next day.

Chilean veterinarian Anjelica with a potential patient

Chilean veterinarian Anjelica with a potential patient

On the last day (Friday) of the week there will be a debriefing to review lessons learned throughout the week and to ask any remaining questions. There will also be time on Friday afternoon to travel to a town in the Andes: Pucon, about 3 hours drive from Valdivia. There you can enjoy the nearby natural hot springs or take part in one of the many adventure tourism opportunities. The trip to Pucon is optional- some volunteers may be gearing up for a much bigger trip after their stay with the GAAP and that is completely fine! We have put together a summary of Chile’s main attractions if you need inspiration.

Most participants travel to the airport on Sunday.

Packing List

  • Clothing
    • Hiking boots and/or running shoes
    • Flip flops
    • Comfortable pants
    • Quick dry pants
    • 2-5 scrub tops/bottoms
    • Warm jacket, fleece, or hoodie
    • Rain jacket
    • Hat (+/- gloves)
    • Shirts or t-shirts
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • Warm pajamas
    • Shorts in the summer
    • Bathing suit
  • Vet Supplies are provided; feel free to bring the following if you have specific preferences
    • Surgical gloves
    • Surgical caps
    • Suture material
    • Surgical packs
  • Assorted
    • Sleeping bag (optional)
    • Small notebook
    • Pens
    • Headlight
    • Stethoscope
    • Watch/travel alarm clock
    • Earplugs if noise bothers you
    • Any portable food supplies you are particular about (energy bars, granola bars)
    • Any medications, toiletries, contact lens/glasses, GI meds, First Aid
    • Sunscreen
    • Small bottles of hand sanitizer
    • Day pack
    • Quality instant coffee
    • Waist wallet
  • Flight
    • Passport and a copy of your passport photo page and other important ID (driver’s license) tucked in your pack
    • Tickets
    • Emergency contact info
    • Copy of travel/health insurance