General inquiries please email: ucla.gmb@globalbrigades.org

Who are we?

UCLA GMB is a chapter of Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Global Brigades is a non-governmental organization which promotes sustainable development in under resource countries while fostering the community culture. The UCLA chapter systematically works with more than 300 other university groups around the world to deliver and implement one of nine skill-based programs that benefit more than 130,000 community members in Honduras, Ghana, and Panama annually. Global Medical Brigades develops sustainable health initiatives and provides relief where there is limited access to healthcare. Each community receives a brigade every 3 to 4 months where hundreds of patients are treated and volunteers deliver public health workshops. Electronic patient records are collected for future visitations and to monitor overall community health trends  Our current emphasis is in the country of Honduras, where we provide sustainable health care to over 57 villages and have provided aid to more than 40,000 patients in 2007.

A medical brigade consists of student volunteers and medical professionals to provide health care to in-need communities. The group functions as a mobile medical unit, setting up small clinics to diagnose and treat patients at no cost. From in-take, to triage, to medical consultations, to filling of prescriptions, the volunteers experience the many realms of the medical profession under the guidance of licensed medical professionals.

If you would like to get involved, sponsor a student trip, or donate medical supplies or clothing, please contact Priscilla Mapelli at priscilla.mapelli@globalbrigades.org.

Why Ghana?

Why Honduras?

Honduras is a small country located in the heart of Central America, approximately the size of Tennessee, with a population upwards of 6.7 million people.  It’s the second poorest country in Latin America, an estimated 80% of the population lives in poverty.  The unemployment rate soars at 35% and the average annual per capita income is just under $1000 per year.  Education, health care and clean water are luxuries for the majority of the people there, and in the rural communities where we work, they are even scarcer.  Poverty here results in preventable deaths, malnutrition and thousands of abandoned children living on the streets.  However, with your help, we can bring an end to needless pain and suffering and bring hope and love into the lives of thousands.


How are are the travel arrangements taken care of?

Global Brigades has a travel company that organizes and ensures our travel arrangements. They will purchase our airline tickets, provide the transportation, and ensure security and safety. They will book the airline tickets as a group.

Do we need to raise medicine and supplies?

To make the brigades a success, we must bring medications with us to give to our patients. Collecting medicine has never been easier.  If you would like to join to help efforts in collecting the medicine, let the leaders know. We work on grant and sponsor letters to drug companies that can provide us the medicine we need to go on the trip. Another option is to fundraise money to buy the medicine. Please contact the committee leads in how you can help out. Medical supply collection is a critical part of the trip and should be conducted several months prior to the trip.

Where does the group stay when in Honduras?

Global Medical Brigades has expanded operations and relationships throughout Central America to accommodate volunteers. Volunteers will stay in fully functional orphanage with security guards, running water, in-house chefs, and other accommodations.

How many people are selected to go on each trip?

There is no current limit to the number of brigaders per trip.

Do we need to recruit doctors/health physicians?

Recruiting licensed medical professionals to join the group is very important so that students can learn from their experiences.  They include doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists. Students in a professional health program, such as third and fourth-year medical students, can be regarded as health professionals if they are willing to diagnose. Health physicians have the option spend a night with the students to teach us about medicine with hands on training, e.g. learn how to pull teeth, give stitches, check vitals etc.  If no doctors is available to join us, it will cost us $100 per Honduran doctor per day to accommodate them (They in fact are also volunteering their time, the money covers basic transportation and food). This money cuts from our medication funds so it is important that we have our own physicians to join us.

What will we eat?

The food on the trip always exceeds the expectations of the volunteers. In-house, chefs at the compound provide home-cooked meals with clean water every morning and evening.  Lunches are provided while on brigade.  All meals are included in the price of the trip and dietary restrictions will be accommodated.

Is there free time on the trip?

Outside of the brigades, the only requirements are packing medication and preparing for the next brigade. This leaves a great deal of free time to mingle, relax, and enjoy the country.  There will be a day at the end of the week designated for sight-seeing, orphanage visiting, and some good futbol action with the orphaned kids. The last day will also include time to purchase souvenirs to remember the awesome week you will have had.

What is included in the cost of the trip?

The cost includes: flights, 3 meals per day, lodging, and in country transportation.