Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

I don’t have a medical background, can I join a team?

Absolutely! We welcome team members of all professional backgrounds. We have lots of tasks for non-medical team members such as managing data entry, preparation of supplies, etc.

Where will I stay?

In Pucallpa, the teams stay at the Scalpel guesthouse, known as “Jungle Bunks.” The house is stocked with bed linens, towels and basic shower supplies. A local Peruvian housekeeper will assist the team with cooking, laundry andmaintenance of the house during their stay as the days in Pucallpa will be very busy. The laundry capability allows us to limit the amount of personal items you have to bring in your luggage, which gives us capacity to take medical supplies or items for gifts (toys, clothing, etc.).

In Lima, we book hotel rooms for team members.

How long are the campaigns?

Campaigns typically last 10 days. While the itinerary varies we dedicate two days at the beginning and end of the trip for team members to travel.

What is the weather like?

It may be fairly cool and overcast in Lima, but hot and humid in Pucallpa.

Is there financial aid to help fund my trip?

Scalpel At The Cross is dedicated to making sure potential team members are not discouraged from joining us due to monetary reasons. While Scalpel will not fund potential team members trips, we guide them through a fund raising process to help get their trip fully funded.

Will I have internet access?

While in Pucallpa, internet access is not guaranteed at Jungle Bunks (the Scalpel guesthouse). Jungle Bunks does have a house phone that you are welcome to use during the trip. If you anticipate needing internet/phone access while in Peru, you may choose to activate an international plan on your cellular device. Please contact your mobile service carrier for rates and more information.

Trip Specific Questions

What official documents will I need to bring?

We recommend that you bring your passport and a copy. We also recommend that you travel with your medical insurance card, including an international phone number. If you plan to purchase travel insurance, please have that information with you as well.

What vaccinations will I need to get?

Prior to departure (we recommend 2-3 months if possible), it is necessary to get properly vaccinated. The following vaccines are advised:

  • A recent tetanus booster
  • Yellow fever (Effective for 10 years)
  • Typhoid fever (Effective for 3 years)
  • Hepatitis A (Effective for 10 years) – 2 injections: 2nd administered 6-12 months after the 1st
  • Hepatitis B (Effective, possibly, lifelong) – 3 injections: 2nd and 3rd administered 1 and 6 months after the 1st
  • Malaria* – Prescription obtained from healthcare provider

*According to the “in-resident” missionaries in Pucallpa, malaria has not been problematic in the area we are serving in over 10 years. Please discuss your personal decision regarding this with your healthcare provider.

What will happen regarding check-in for flights?

You will be able to check-in for your flight 24 hours before departure to and from Lima. This will also provide you an opportunity to choose and/or upgrade your seat if desired. Check-in for in-country flights from Lima to Pucallpa is usually done at the airport or at the hotel.

What type of clothes should I bring?

The trip is fairly casual. The only requirement we have is that team members wear long pants while at the hospital. We also recommend casual pants and dress/polo shirts for the church service on Sunday. There may be an opportunity to visit a tribal village while in the jungle, and some may choose an adventurous swim in the Ucayali River. Please keep in mind the conditions in Pucallpa are such that you may want to avoid taking any clothing that you do not want to risk getting damaged. You will not have to bring your own scrubs. We have a supply of scrubs, however, if you wear scrubs in an uncommon size, it might be helpful to bring your own.

Is there a safe place if I bring camera, computer, etc.?

During your time in Pucallpa, the team will be staying at the Scalpel guesthouse, known as “Jungle Bunks.” It will be safe to keep your valuables here. If you would like an added level of security, you could bring a suitcase with a lock and keep your valuables stored in the locked suitcase while the camera/computer is not in use.

Any need for voltage converter, plug adapters, etc?

Peru’s power is 220v, so please bring a plug adapter/voltage converter if you plan to charge your electronics while in Peru.

Will there be places in Pucallpa where I could purchase something I might need?

Yes. Most basic items are available for purchase in Pucallpa, if the need arises. For purchases, we recommend cash. Traveler’s checks are generally not accepted in Peru. There are currency exchange kiosks at Lima airport, so you should have an opportunity to exchange dollars for Peruvian soles upon your arrival in Peru. As always, if you plan to use a credit card, please contact your credit card company before leaving to let them know of the dates that you will be traveling.


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