Riobamba, Ecuador

Population  Population: 144,795

Land Area  Land Area: 990 km²

Languages  Languages: Spanish & Quechua Dialects

Currency   Currency: Peruvian Sol

About Riobamba

Map LocationRiobamba, a small city in the Andes mountains of Ecuador, is where it all started. This is the original MEDLIFE home, where Dr. Ellis first was inspired to start the Movement. The area is gorgeous and known as the trekking and climbing capital of the country thanks to the surrounding mountains and volcanoes that make up Chimborazo Province.

Why You Should Come

Why You Should Come

Riobamba, a small city in the Andes mountains of Ecuador, is where it all started. This is the original MEDLIFE home, where Dr. Ellis first was inspired to start the Movement. Though the area is rich in natural beauty, it is one of the poorest provinces in Ecuador and it lacks many basic services. The city of Riobamba is surrounded by many smaller Indigenous villages where realities of everyday life can include malnutrition, lack of healthcare, and no sanitation infrastructure. These challenges can be attributed to a variety of factors, but as the agricultural goods upon which the economy relies continue to decline in value, residents fall deeper into poverty. The arrival of COVID-19 further exacerbated their difficult financial situation, leaving many families with no way to keep food on the table. To make matters worse, recent volcanic eruptions resulted in severe damage to the crops that communities depended on. 

Join us on a Service Learning Trip to Riobamba to help families bounce back from the pandemic and learn about global health in the context of Indigenous families in rural Ecuador. You will work hand in hand with the community to improve their living conditions by bringing a Mobile Clinic and Development Project to families in need. Register today!


How You Can Help

MEDLIFE has had strong ties with the communities of Riobamba since our founding in 2004, and the area has become a primary destination for our Service Learning Trips and community development efforts.

That being said, MEDLIFE addresses some of the most pressing issues in these communities through Mobile Clinics, patient follow-up, and community development projects. But our work would not be possible without motivated individuals like you choosing to volunteer in Service Learning Trips (SLT).


Additional Travel opportunities

A trip to Ecuador would be incomplete without witnessing the majestic Galapagos Islands or hiking in the amazing Cotopaxi National Park. With optional tourism extensions offered by our partner travel company, Good Life Expeditions, you can explore more of your SLT destination while continuing to support MEDLIFE partner communities and traveling sustainably.

Click here to view extension options

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.