Medical Missions in the Amazon Region of Peru

Summer 2009

We spent the first and last weeks of our summer participating in Centura’s missions, splitting ourselves between a surgical team in Iquitos; a community health team traveling daily from Iquitos to do clinics in villages on the Amazon River; and a community health team staying and doing clinics on the Napo River. During the six weeks between Centura trips, we spent about two and a half weeks in Iquitos, the capital of

the Loreto region and the largest city in the world without road access at nearly 400,000 inhabitants. Iquitos has two public hospitals which serve the health needs of the entire Loreto region and its nearly 900,000 inhabitants. We spent two and a half weeks in San Pedro, a village of 300 inhabitants on the Lower Napo River, ten hours by boat to Iquitos. We also traveled to a dozen or so surrounding villages to meet with health promoters, who are laypeople appointed to this role and tecnicos, who have three years of post-high school training and staff government health post scattered in every tenth village or so. These villages all belonged to the District of Mazan, whose capital, Mazan, is located six hours from San Pedro by motorized canoe, and has a clinic with two doctors serving the nearly 20,000 residents of the district. We spent several days in Mazan meeting with health workers and doctors there. We also visited two villages on the Amazon River, Santa Teresa and Sinchicuy, where we observed a CONAPAC water workshop and organized a town hall meeting to discuss the creation of committee to repair, run and maintain a broken water plant. 

Summer 2008

We spent time in several areas of the Peruvian rainforest, specifically throughout the Maynas Province of the Loreto Region. Our primary location was in the city of Iquitos, the capital city of the region. While in Iquitos, we worked directly with b

oth local and Denver-based Centura healthcare providers in a private hospital, Clinica Ana Stahl. In addition, we accompanied the Centura Health Medical Missions teams to villages along the Amazon and Napo Rivers. While working in the clinics, we aided in translation, triage and physical exams and observed minor surgeries. We also spent time in Mazan, a larger village located on the isthmus between the Amazon and Napo Rivers. While in Mazan, we worked to remodel the Mazan Clinic, focusing specifically on the remodel of the maternity portion of the

hospital.  Upon completing our work in Mazan, we established a connection with a Lima-based Peruvian NGO, DB Peru. With DB Peru, we visited villages along the Napo River and established clinics in several of the villages. At the clinics, we provided medical attention under the supervision of Dr. Eric Bascunan, a Peruvian physician. In addition, we sought learning opportunities to expand our knowledge of herbal medicine and shamanic healing.



2nd year medical students:

Jason Murphy -

Blair Woodbury -

Jessica Miller -

Tin Ha-ngoc -

3rd year medical students:

Annie Larson -

Chris Warner -

Todd Carlson -



Cal Wilson, M.D. Director—Center for Global Health; Associate Professor of Family Medicine, UCDHSC

Greg Hodgson Centura Health