Posted by: Ali | September 18, 2009

Policlínico Parroquial Belén

This is the aforementioned clinic that I visited on Tuesday and then proceeded to go out to visit yesterday.

I really don’t know how to describe it to a Canadian.  It’s technically called a clinic, but it’s a lot bigger than any clinic I’ve been to.  But it’s definitely not a hospital, they don’t have any surgery facilities or overnight patients.  They do a whole bunch of things, not what you’d usually consider a clinic to do: besides visits when someone comes in when they’re sick, they also do maternity stuff, dentistry, physiotherapy and psychiatry, and I think they also do lab work.  There’s even a lady that does “alternative medicines.”

But it’s a small building, there’s maybe three floors and about four rooms on each floor, and they’re each labelled, like “dentist.”  I guess they just have one of each.

We sent a volunteer there about six months ago, which is kind of a funny story: he was supposed to be working at a hospital in Lima but there was a tuberculosis outbreak so they had to find a last minute placement for him, so he got sent here because somebody knows somebody that knows somebody.  Turns out he had a great time, and after visiting, I can see why!  Hermana Paula, the director of the clinic, is so awesome.  She knew that I could send volunteers so she dedicated most of yesterday to showing me ways volunteers could help out, not just in Cusco, but in the surrounding communities as well.  If she is that helpful to volunteers, I’m sure it will be a great placement!


  1. Hermana Paula is definitely great. If you’re still sending volunteers there, I would recommend that they try to go on one of the outreach trips, where they load up as many people as can squeeze into a truck’s cab and drive out to rural (predominantly quechua) communities to provide much-needed medical care. It’s a striking contrast even to Cusco.

    I’m not sure if Hermana Paula mentioned this, but the Parrish also runs an agricultural education centre for which they need volunteers.

    Oh, and I’m the volunteer that was sent there. It was a great experience.


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