Tina is a Wilderness Emergency Technician, with various experiences in search and rescue and hospital medicine. Also a midwife here to neighbors and I do occasional emergency assist ( wwoofers recently helped transport an invalid neighbor). We have an emergency evacuation plan and the place is safe, except that it is in a third world country in the secondary forest a few kilometers from the road or the telephone! We have snakes and bugs, but no incidences of trouble. Antivenom for any poisonous snake is available in Vilcabamba and the snakes are not aggressive. Sightings are very rare. We have no problems with crime.
We are at 1552 m., or around 5252 feet. Mosquitoes bearing Malaria and Dengue DO NOT OCCUR at this altitude. I guess malaria preventative is a good idea for the coast, but not needed here. No special vaccines are in order to come here. None. Do not risk your health getting unnecessary vaccines, call or write me and ask for more info. Many Doctors will not understand that your risk coming to altitude is minimal and advise vaccines and preventatives. You don’t need that to be here safely. There is a hospital in Vilcabamba, any serious injuries we take into Loja. An orthopedist and emergency room doc in Loja cares for us, 2 broken legs (one was me) and a few bumps and bangs. I fell on a slippery rock and broke my tibia, a wwoofer stepped off a platform one night when we were having a fiesta. Shit happens, but not very often, thankfully. Mostly we get wwoofers who have eaten in the bus station (starve! Do Not Eat in Bus Terminal! Weight loss by diarrhea is unpleasant). We treat mostly with herbs, natural homemade remedies and some homeopathic. We are not opposed to any western medicine, please bring your medicines if needed. And loads of medicines that are costly in the west are pretty cheap here- antibiotics are cheap and readily available, bring your prescription here to get filled rather than pay a mint there. We have a lab in town, in case of bad stomach more than a day or two I help you get your shit specimen to the lab for a 2. microscopic exam to find the culprit. Mostly papaya seed takes care of these troubles!
PLEASE TELL TINA IMMEDIATELY ABOUT ANY FOOD ALLERGIES, especially nuts. We have never had an incident. But if you have bee allergy or other bad allergy, please bring an epikit. Bring an extra for me to have on hand for a year or two! Ask your Doctor for a prescription and get it filled. We are too far away from help in case of anaphylactic reaction (you have 4 minutes). With information on your allergy and medication you will be fine. So rare, those things.