Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Population  Population: 188,694

Land Area  Land Area: 2,672 km²

Languages  Languages: Spanish

Currency   Currency: American Dollar

About esmeraldas

Map LocationThe most ethnically-diverse city in the nation, Esmeraldas sits on the northwest coast of Ecuador. 70% of the area’s population is Afro-Ecuadorian and the majority are descendants of slaves who were brought to Latin America during the time of Spanish colonization in the early 16th century. Esmeraldas went on to become an important maroon community —  a society of free Africans and/or escaped slaves. The African cultural heritage is manifested in Esmeraldas in the music, dance, and traditions of the region, and travelers generally pass through the city to get to close by beaches and tropical forests.

Why we work in esmeraldas

Why You Should ComeEven with all of its’ unique attributes, the area and this population often receives less than their fair share of government resources. They specifically report drug abuse, pregnancy at a young age, and lack of access to medical care as major issues in their society. 

How You Can Help

Due to the terrorist activity and threats in the area, we are currently not running Service Learning Trips to Esmeraldas, Ecuador. But that only means there is a greater need for your support through donations to continue our patient follow-up work and community development initiatives.

Donate Now

Hear it From MEDLIFErs

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Reya Seby
Western University

This trip motivated me more to pursue a career in the healthcare field so that I can use my resources to help those who need it the most, similar to MEDLIFE’s mission.

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Victoria DiCanio
University of Connecticut

It was most enjoyable to finish the hard work and see how big a difference a group of individuals can make. It was such an amazing experience.

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Anita Woo
University of Toronto

I enjoyed the mobile clinics the most, especially the dental and triage portions. I would definitely recommend a MEDLIFE trip, it was a great experience.

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David Saff
Maclay High School

The most enjoyable part of my trip was hanging out with the amazing group of kids I was with. I would highly recommend a MEDLIFE volunteer trip to others.

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Sydney Sansone
Nova Southeastern University

This trip made everything that I was learning in my public health courses come to life and immersed me in a new culture while also learning about medicine.

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Abygail Youmans
College of Charleston

Being involved with MEDLIFE is not like joining another club - its bigger than that. It is about joining a movement that seeks to help change people’s quality of life for forever.

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Emi Hofmann
University of Central Florida

Not only was I able to participate in a week long Mobile Clinic, shadowing doctors of all types of specialties including pharmacy, dentistry, gynecology, and more, but I was also able to learn about the culture and visit incredible places.

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Julian Takagi-Stewart
University of Toronto

One thing that I really loved about this trip was that MEDLIFE made sure that the volunteers got an understanding of the complexity of issues that lead to underprivileged people in communities outside of the main city

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Hannah Van Hofwegen
University of Ottawa

Whether it was basketball with the local kids, assisting the doctors, talking with families, building washrooms, holding babies, or spending time with the people who were on the SLT with me, this was an amazing opportunity that I would do over and over again.

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Isabelle Holt
Cornell University

I loved learning about the patients MEDLIFE has followed and how they offer real help to people with chronic/urgent conditions. It is amazing how the organization formed real connections with the communities.

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Valerie Lindeborg

Our family had the privilege of participating in multiple trips with Nick [founder] and his amazing staff. Their expertise made the trips unforgettable while instilling in my boys the fundamentals of good character: selflessness, compassion, and empathy.

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Harry Vildibill
University of Georgia

As an aspiring physician, MEDLIFE motivated me to further continue my goal of becoming a doctor. In fact, I enjoyed the Tanzania Service Learning Trip so much that I decided to go on another trip to Cusco, Peru.