People and communities around Esmeraldas

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IMG 5049Hillside in Tabiazo, the town where this volunteer group did project and the site of many other MEDLIFE projects. A few thousand people live in this small agricultural community, growing primarily cacao and yuca among other things. Most of the families in the community have lived there for several generations. The nearest major town, Esmeraldas, and nearest hospital is about an hour away by car. You can see that the homes are elevated to prevent the river from rising and submerging them during floods. One government worker said that “this sometimes works, but they are not always high enough.” 

IMG 5148MEDLIFE volunteers arrive to begin work on project, renovating a building built by another NGO about 20 years ago that had fallen into a state of disrepair. The building is used partly as a school, for community events and for medical brigades that come through once a month or so. The community requested MEDLIFE do this project.

IMG 5049Cleaning the school inside the building, the sign in the background reads “The participation of citizens and the organizations of families promotes the integral development of children.” The other one reads “All of us have the right to be treated well.”

IMG 5049Kids riding bikes down a street in Tabiazo.

IMG 5049Home in Tabiazo.

IMG 5049Girl on her porch in Tabiazo.

IMG 5518Brianna is a 14 year old girl who came to the MEDLIFE clinic in Carlos Concha complaining of a painful swollen arm. She had broken her arm when she was eight years old, lack of proper medical treatment caused it to heal incorrectly. A tumor developed in her arm. The injury still impairs her daily activity, making it hard to do necessary work like clean dishes and work in her families finca, though she said she still manages to cut down plants by swinging her machete with her uninjured arm. She was finally able to see a doctor and was enrolled in the MEDLIFE follow-up program so she can get the treatment she needs.

IMG 5049Patients line up outside of the MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic.

IMG 5049Volunteers teaching clapping games to kids after clinic.

IMG 5049Bodega in Tabiazo.

IMG 5049This child had critical malnutrion and was finally taken to a hospital and given supplements at a MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic in Tahique.

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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.