How much does the trip cost and what does it cover?
The full trip cost varies slightly each year, but is typically ~$2500, including airfare and most meals. There is a $100 application fee, which is applied to your trip deposit upon acceptance. A $750 trip deposit is due by April 30th in order to secure your spot on the team. The optional beach excursion after the campaign is an additional $350. For the main campaign, we have multiple fundraising
The money covers airfare, transportation in Brazil, hotel, and meals. Any incidentals, snacks, souvenirs, etc. are your responsibility. You are also responsible for your Brazilian Visa application costs, which typically run $250.
What happens if the trip costs less than planned, do I get a refund?
Due to the unknowns, the odds are the trip will cost more than estimated. In that case, you do not owe any more. In the case of the trip actually costing less than anticipated, you will get a donation letter acknowledging your contribution to the organization.
Do I need a passport?
Yes you do, and we recommend that you get that process started as soon as possible, even if you aren’t positive you’ll be joining us. The process can take several months, and you will need your passport in order to apply for your Visa.
You say I will need a Brazilian Visa—what is that?
A Visa is an additional page in your passport that certain countries require for entry. Without it you cannot enter Brazil. You will be instructed on how to do this once your CURA application and fees have been accepted and approved.
Who can apply?
We accept all eager and willing medical professionals willing to treat people with care, respect and love. We are a Christian organization, and we accept all individuals, regardless of belief. The only requirements are that you are kind, caring, and genuinely excited to be of service to others. We especially need professionals in Gynecology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Chiropractic, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Optometry, Ultrasonography, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition.
I am not a physician—can I still apply?
Most certainly! We also need nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, yoga therapists, ultrasound techs, and EKG techs. Residents and medical and nursing students are strongly encouraged to apply. If you elect to bring children younger than 16, we require one non-medical person per child for supervision. We are also in need of those with IT expertise as we run the clinic on our own intranet which can be very challenging on occasion.
What type of services are offered?
We offer diagnostic services with some limited intervention. We have lab, xray, EKG, and ultrasound available. Procedures that can be done simply under local anesthesia are possible, such as skin biopsies, pterygia removal, mild laceration repairs. With all of our medical services provided, we are most focused on listening. We diagnose, but what most patients want is to be heard and to know that someone is listening and cares.
What happens the rest of the year, after the one week campaign has ended?
We have worked hard to develop a corps of Brazilians to work year-round with the population we serve. We have year-round dentistry and ENT services. Our Brazilian Operator, Bruno Ishikawa, organizes community activities, plans children’s health education efforts, and recruits local volunteers. With these people and services in place, CURA has a year-round presence.
Why aren’t these services available in Brazil? Why is CURA needed?
Brazil has a single Federal Health Care system that has fallen vicitim to severe fraud and corruption. The people are heavily taxed to fund the system, but that money doesn’t make it to the regions where the services are needed. Within the system, when a patient makes a medical complaint to a clini or nurse, testing begins. Rarely is the patient examined; Instead, blood work, x-rays, and ultrasounds are done first. Typically, the tests are scheduled months apart, and it can be up to a year or more before the patient is first seen by a doctor. CURA is able to shorten this process to a matter of a week for many. We are a certified primary care clinic and therefore have the ability to directly refer patients to the next tier of care.
Where do my donations go?
Over 90% of all money raised goes to the provision of services. This year, through money raised, we were able to purchase a flexible nasopharyngoscope, lease a new laptop based ultrasound system, purchase all supplies, and provide campaign scholarships. Our administrative costs are minimal: liability insurance, accounting and postage fees, website and social media development for recruiting and fundraising, direct fundraising expenses and a salary for Bruno Ishikawa, our year-round Brazilian Operator.
Do you offer scholarships? How do I apply?
Yes we do offer a scholarships, awarded on the basis of need as established by application. The maximum scholarship available is $1000.00 per person. Need is based on financial ability to pay on the part of the applicant, as well as our level of need for their particular area of expertise. We make every effort to try and reserve the majority of our scholarship money for students, in order to afford them the ability to establish a service mentality.
What type of fundraising options are there?
As a group, we typically organize a spring fundraising event in San Angelo, TX. We ask that everyone works to sell tickets to the event, and a percentage of your ticket sales is credited toward your overall trip cost. Additionally, we can provide you with a letter template to customize and send out to friends and loved ones who might be interested in supporting you. We’re also happy to chat with you about additional ideas for how you can raise the money you need to be able to join us!
Where can I go if I have more questions?
We encourage you to contact us with questions at [email protected]