Trip Destinations

Pandemic Update as of August 2021 

We are carefully monitoring vaccination rates and covid positive cases at all potential ISI locations together with our Center for Community and Global Health colleagues. If Loyola University Chicago, HSC leadership, and our partner organizations decide it is safe to resume in-person collaboration, we plan to send vaccinated students on immersion trips during spring break and summer 2022.  

 

Program Timeline 

Ministry will hold Info Sessions to learn more about the ISI program and trip options on the following dates. (Hybrid ABSN students can register for a Zoom link to attend live virtually.) All interested students must attend one session to apply:  

Monday, September 20  
2:30-3:30 pm 
SSOM Room 360  

Wednesday, September 22 
1:00-2:00 pm 
SSOM Room 360  

Thursday, September 23 
12:00-1:00 pm 
SSOM Room 360 
 

Applications are due in late October (date TBA). Students will be notified of their trip placement by the end of the fall semester. All ISI small groups will meet in January, February, March, and April to build community, learn about their partner organization and immersion destination, and reflect on their experiences together.

 

Spring Break 2022 ISI Trip Destinations:

Due to the shared spring break (March 5-13, 2022) across all Health Sciences Campus programs, our trips will provide opportunities to build interprofessional relationships among medical, nursing, and public health students on the El Salvador trip and also with LUC School of Social Work on the US-Mexico Border trip.  

7-9 day immersions, $1000 individual fundraising goal: 

El Salvador   

The El Salvador Encounter through CRISPAZ is an educational immersion experience in which participants learn from the Salvadoran people about their lives, histories, and hopes for the future. A major focus of the encounter is to reflect on the meaning of working for justice rather than working for charity, understanding one’s role as a global citizen and humanizing the different issues that are present in our societies. Participants learn directly from Salvadorans about issues such as the impact of war, neo-liberal economics, U.S. foreign policy, migration, mining, the environment and a tradition of liberating faith all through a healthcare lens. The trip will also include meetings with Salvadoran medical professionals to learn from health care teams and public health educators to understand ongoing initiatives in a rural community. This educational immersion has a special emphasis on the voice and experience of the poor and marginalized of El Salvador.  

 *No language prerequisite, but conversational Spanish is recommended. 

 

US-Mexico Border 

Trip coordinated in conjunction with LUC School of Social Work faculty and students. 

This educational immersion experience presents two primary objectives: 1) introduce participants to the first-hand realities of border health and justice, and 2) provide a shared experience in immigration that serves as a point of entry to advocate for social justice and human rights in the Chicagoland area. This  immersion will take place with partners in Nogales on both sides of the US-Mexico border. The ISI delegation will hear from local organizations doing grassroots activism and providing legal advocacy and medical care to understand the complexities of migration patterns and pertinent factors.  

*No language prerequisite, but conversational Spanish is recommended. 

 

Summer 2022 ISI Trip Destinations:

1-Week Immersions, $1000 individual fundraising goal: 

Belize City, Belize 
May 22-28, 2022 

The Belize City immersion offers a unique experience that integrates cultural immersion in a country rich in Caribbean and Mayan history while supporting the right to housing for local residents and community members. Serving with long-time partner Hand in Hand Ministriesparticipants will sponsor the building of a home in just two weeks – from start to finish – and will learn from and connect with local families. The ISI team will witness key moments in the build, such as meeting the family who will live in the home, watching the construction crew raise the home’s walls, and virtually participating in the traditional house blessing. The ISI team will also gather for communal reflection and cultural learning on topics ranging from local outreach for those living with HIV/AIDS, the DR’s response to COVID, health care delivery systems in Belize, and traditional forms of Belizean music and dance. 

*No language prerequisite. 

 

Pine Ridge, South Dakota 
7 days in late May  

This trip is led by Dr. David DeMarco, S.J., a Stritch faculty member who previously practiced medicine for four years on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This immersion invites students to learn about the Oglala Lakota, their culture, their spiritual tradition, the impact of history and geography on contemporary life, and contemporary challenges, including health care. This trip consists of conversations with tribal leaders, including spiritual leaders, nurses, educators, pastors, counselors; visit to historical sites, including Wounded Knee, White Clay, the Badlands, and the Black Hills; tour of the Indian Health Service Hospital; Sunday Mass in the tribal church and lunch with the congregation. 

*No language prerequisite. 

 

8-10 Day Immersions, $1100 individual fundraising goal: 

Santiago, Dominican Republic (Maywood and Hybrid ABSN students only) 
May 11-19, 2022 

Our Dominican Republic immersion builds on a Jesuit partnership with the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) affiliated with Creighton University. The ILAC Center, now over 40 years old, is located just outside of the city of Santiago. The ISI team will receive an orientation into the socioeconomic, political, and cultural history of the country. Through ILAC’s collaborations with Chronic Care International (CCI), participants will learn about the care provided through the ILAC network in the villages surrounding Santiago while staying with local families. With CCI, participants will hear about the growing need for, as well as complex challenges presented by, chronic care in lower resourced settings through learning from health promoters and providers who address the epidemic of chronic disease in the international setting. Participants will partner with CCI and their team of health promoters to understand the health education and chronic care prevention and management they carry out in local campos. In addition, the ISI team may provide public health presentations for the Diabetic Clinic and local schools. 

*No language prerequisite, but conversational Spanish is recommended. 

El Salvador and US-Mexico Border 
10 days starting in late May/early June 

This immersion invites participants to follow the path of a Central American migrant by starting in El Salvador and then traveling to the US-Mexico Border. For the first part of the experience, the El Salvador Encounter through CRISPAZ is an educational immersion experience in which participants learn from the Salvadoran people about their lives, histories, and hopes for the future. A major focus of the encounter is to reflect on the meaning of working for justice rather than working for charity, understanding one’s role as a global citizen and humanizing the different issues that are present in our societies. Participants learn directly from Salvadorans about issues such as the impact of war, neo-liberal economics, U.S. foreign policy, migration, mining, the environment and a tradition of liberating faith all through a healthcare lens. The trip will also include meetings with Salvadoran medical professionals to learn from health care teams and public health educators to understand ongoing initiatives in a rural community. The immersion then continues to the US-Mexico Border where participants will visit migrant shelters and learn from various migrant justice and advocacy organizations, such as COFAMIDE, No More Deaths, and Hogar de Esperanza y Paz. 

*No language prerequisite, but conversational Spanish is recommended. 

 

4 to 5 week immersions, $1500 individual fundraising goal:

Santiago, Dominican Republic   
July 5-July 28, 2022 

Our Dominican Republic immersion builds on a Jesuit partnership with the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) affiliated with Creighton University. The ILAC Center, now over 40 years old, is located just outside of the city of Santiago. The ISI team will receive an orientation into the socioeconomic, political, and cultural history of the country. Through ILAC’s collaborations with Chronic Care International (CCI), participants will learn about the care provided through the ILAC network in the villages surrounding Santiago while staying with local families. With CCI, participants will hear about the growing need for, as well as complex challenges presented by, chronic care in lower resourced settings through learning from health promoters and providers who address the epidemic of chronic disease in the international setting. Participants will partner with CCI and their team of health promoters to understand the health education and chronic care prevention and management they carry out in local campos. In addition, the ISI team may provide public health presentations for the Diabetic Clinic and local schools. 

*Near fluency in Spanish is a prerequisite for participation. 

 

Other Past Partner Organizations:

Quito, Ecuador 
4 to 5 week immersion in June  

Join the tremendous work of the Working Boys’ Center (Centro del Muchacho Trabajador) in Quito, Ecuador. Their mission to accompany and educate began over 50 years ago as an effort to provide an employment alternative to shoeshine boys working in the streets. Today, the work of the center has grown to positively impact the lives of over 6,000 families, or over 30,000 individuals, through accompaniment of whole families, building educational opportunities, providing technical skill training, and community building through education and health initiatives. The ISI team will learn about daily life of the community as well as the intersection of community need and organized response. Participants will encounter local Family & Social Promoters who work with individuals and families on basic health practices and initiatives through home visits and educational sessions. There will also be opportunities hear from local physicians, physical therapists, or other health care providers as they respond to the health care needs of the community. 

* Conversational to advanced Spanish is a prerequisite for participation. 

 

Palacios, Bolivia 
2 week immersion from late May to early June  

The majority of this immersion is spent in a rural clinic, Centro Medico Humberto Parra. Founded in 2001 by Loyola nephrologist, the late Dr. Susan Hou, her husband, Northwestern endocrinologist Dr. Mark Molitch, and Bolivian endocrinologist, Dr. Douglas Villaroel, CMHP serves over 3,000 patients annually through clinic visits, surgical campaigns, deparatization programs, and emergency care resources. Participants at this site receive exposure to clinical flow and care provided in CMHP, having the opportunity to participate with daily clinic operations such as assisting in the lab or pharmacy, patient intake, observing physicians, and practicing patient interview skills in Spanish. Students may also work with the network of Community Health Promoters and give health education presentations at local schools. While in Palacios, students stay in a home on the clinic property and are immersed in the daily-life routines of the surrounding community. 

*Conversational to advanced Spanish is a prerequisite for participation. 

 

If you are interested in local service opportunities, please contact the Center for Community and Global Health to learn more.