Once again, this year, Timmy Global Health (TGH) is going on a service trip to Ecuador! The trip is a nine-day faculty-led travel to Guangaje, Ecuador, in which students assist in providing locals necessary medical treatment that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. All students are welcome to apply for the trip, no matter their affiliation with TGH or major.

Timmy Global Health, the sponsor of the trip, is a national organization that strives to provide proper healthcare to people all around the world while also giving students unique opportunities to practice skills for their future careers. The TGH chapter here at Indiana State is led by chemistry professor Dr. Glendening.

The trip happens Dec. 30-Jan. 10, so students will have the wonderful opportunity to experience New Year’s celebrations in an entirely new country that has its own unique way of starting a new year! The students will be staying at a hotel in a town about an hour and a half away from where the clinics will be set up. The first and last days will be spent exploring nearby cities, including Quilota, via cable cars and bike tours. During clinic days, which will make up the majority of the trip, students will assist volunteer doctors at the clinics by transcribing, performing crowd control, playing with the children there, and more. Students do not have to be able to speak Spanish, although it is beneficial if they do. In fact, Dr. Hanson, one of our Spanish professors, will be on the trip to serve both as a supervisor and translator. Costs for the trip are estimated to be between $1,900-$2,648, with the opportunity to fundraise in order to cover costs.

There is also a General Honors 301 class available for Honors students that corresponds with the trip. Within the course, students will learn a number of things that pertain to the trip, including the ethics of service trips, conversational phrases in Spanish, and culture in Ecuador. The class can be taken during the fall or spring semester. That being said, the GH 301 is not necessary for participating in the service trip.

Due to the current international pandemic, all participants of the service trip are required to be fully vaccinated from Covid-19. Additionally, students must have a negative Covid test before leaving the United States and Ecuador. Receiving the influenza shot is also recommended, as the trip will be during the peak of flu season. For those particularly concerned, Ecuador is in the process of administering vaccines to all of its citizens, with 60% vaccinated and only 200 cases nationwide within the past two weeks.

The trip to Ecuador seems like it will be a lot of fun, and I definitely go if given the chance. Timmy Global Health has been going for more than six years now, so it seems like a lot of people have enjoyed it. If you are interested, you can pick up an application in the Chemistry and Physics office in the science building, but act fast! Forms are due Wednesday by 5pm. Good luck to all who are going! It’ll be much warmer there than it’ll be here.