Guayaquil, Ecuador Mission Invitation May 28-June 10, 2017
Gateway to the Galapagos Islands.

Hospital del Nino Dr. Francisco de Icaza Bustamante



You are cordially invited to participate in the inaugural CardioStart mission to the Hospital del Nino Dr. Francisco de Icaza Bustamante in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

img2The Children’s Hospital Dr. Francisco de Icaza Bustamante received gold level accreditation by Accreditation Canada International (ACI) on November 20, 2014, after meeting international quality standards of health care. This is the first hospital in Ecuador and Latin America to receive international accreditation as one of the first medical units to meet international standards of quality care and services provided to its citizens. The hospital has 442 beds, modern equipment, as well as several clinical and surgical subspecialties. Services provided by the hospital include cardiology, endocrinology, genetics, dermatology, gastroenterology, nutrition, hematology, oncology, infectious diseases, nephrology, neurology, pulmonology, neonatal intensive care, intensive care unit, pediatric outpatient palliative care unit, pediatric gynecology, and emergency medicine.

Despite this quality facility the hospital lacks the expertise, manpower and funding to support a heart surgery program for children with congenital heart disease.  Without visiting teams these children will not receive the care they need.  You will play an integral part in saving lives.


Picturesque colonial centers, Quechua villages, Amazonian rainforest and the breathtaking heights of the Andes – Ecuador may be small, but it has a dazzling array of wonders.

Cultural Splendor

The historic centers of Quito and Cuenca are lined with photogenic plazas, 17th-century churches and monasteries, and beautifully restored mansions. Wandering the cobblestone streets amid architectural treasures from Spanish colonial days is a fine way to delve into the past. Beyond the cities, the Ecuadorian landscape unfolds in all its startling variety. There are Andean villages renowned for their colorful textiles and sprawling markets, Afro-Ecuadorian towns where days end with meals of fresh seafood and memorable sunsets, and remote settlements in the Amazon where shamans still harvest the traditional rainforest medicines of their ancestors.

Sublime Scenery

After days of Ecuadorian adventures, there are many appealing places where you can go to relax amid awe-inspiring scenery. Head to the mountainous highlands to recharge at a historic hacienda, or find Zenlike beauty amid a cloud-forest lodge near Mindo. There are peaceful, timeless mountain villages like Vilcabamba and picturesque former gold-mining towns like Zaruma that offer a perfect antidote to the vertiginous rush of modern-day life. And for a coastal getaway, you’ll have plenty of options, from tiny end-of-the-road settlements like Ayampe and Olón to charming towns on the Galapagos, with great beaches and magnificent sunsets right outside your door.


The famed Galápagos Islands, with their volcanic, otherworldly landscapes, are a magnet for wildlife lovers. Here, you can get up close and personal with massive img3lumbering tortoises, scurrying marine iguanas (the world’s only seagoing lizard), doe-eyed sea lions, prancing blue-footed boobies and a host of other unusual species both on land and sea. The Amazon rainforest offers a vastly different wildlife-watching experience. Set out on the rivers and forested trails in search of monkeys, sloths, toucans and river dolphins. Some lodges also have canopy towers offering magnificent views (and a better chance to see birdlife).

Setting off on a trek into the Andes can seem like stepping into a fairy tale: there’s the patchwork of small villages, gurgling brooks and rolling fields, with a condor slowly wheeling overhead. Although the view from the top is sublime, you don’t have to scale a mountain to enjoy the Andes. These verdant landscapes make a fine backdrop for mountain biking, horseback riding or hiking from village to village, overnighting at local guesthouses along the way. Ecuador’s other landscapes offer equally alluring adventures, from surfing tight breaks off the Pacific coast to white-water-rafting Class V rivers along the jungle-clad banks of the Orient.


Mission Goals

To build a self-sustaining cardiac surgical pediatric surgical program.

To support the efforts of the cardiac surgical team by having a presence in the community. Working in concert with the Fundación El Cielo Para los Niños del Ecuador to provide treatment to the underserved population and assisting to create a sustainable infrastructure base for the Fundación El Cielo Para los Niños to work from.

Team Composition Needed:

1 Pediatric Cardiologist

1 echo tech

1 Pediatric Anesthesiologist

1 Pediatric Intesivist

1 Pediatric CV Surgeon

2 Pediatric Perfusionists

1 Research Assistant

2 Scrub Tech/RN

6 Pediatric CV  ICU RN’s

1 Pediatric Respiratory Therapist

1 Biomedical engineer


Mission Logistics

Airfare: Airfare costs and VISA will be self-funded by each volunteer.  When instructed to do so you may book your own flight or consult  WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT BOOK FLIGHTS UNTIL YOU ARE CONFIRMED ON THE TEAM.  You will receive a CONFIRMATION letter when all required documents have been submitted and approved.

Lodging:  To be provided. CardioStart seeks certain minimum standards (2-3 star) to ensure volunteer safety and comfort as well as keeping the team together.  Volunteers should expect same-sex room sharing in order to help reduce the costs.

Meals: During the day, meals will be freely provided at the hospital.   Evening meals/snacks, etc., will be at your own expense and are available at the hotel or other area establishments.

Travel/touring:  For patient safety reasons, we do need the medical personnel to be in the hospital until the Friday of the second week. Upon completion of the mission, you may wish to take a few days vacation. You can visit some of the many natural wonders of Ecuador, or book yourself additional nights before heading back. However, we cannot assist with the tourism arrangements.


How to apply

Complete the volunteer interest form for the Ecuador Mission.