New Water Project for Union Santa Fe

MEDLIFE works by partnering with local communities and listening to their needs. That’s how we became involved in the construction of our first-ever potable water project, which will provide a community of 400 people with safe access to clean water for years to come.

Unión Santa Fé is a settlement located high in the hills of Pamplona, in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. For several months, since January of 2012, MEDLIFE has been working with residents to construct staircases and a Wawa Wasi daycare center in their community. Yet as we visited the site and spoke to local leaders, it became clear that the school project alone would not be enough; the community was lacking the infrastructure to support it.

In response to these needs, MEDLIFE Director of Peru Carlos Benavides gathered community support and began the process of constructing both a road and a system to transport potable water. Building there was challenging, because it meant navigating both the difficult terrain of the work sites as well as a complicated bureaucracy.

To ensure sustainability, MEDLIFE works with existing government programs to make sure our projects will be utilized and properly maintained. In this case, we are partnering with a group called “Agua para Todos” (“Water for All”), a state initiative with the goal of improving access to potable water, particularly in poor communities. In order to benefit from this program, a settlement first has to be legally recognized by the district government. Then they must present a formal application to the water company, SEDAPAL, with plans drawn up by professional engineers. MEDLIFE helped the community of Unión Santa Fé along the way, with the entire process taking about 6 months. 

In addition to covering 50% of the building costs, MEDLIFE played an important role in organizing community meetings and coordinating with the different entities involved in the project. Now the pipes and basins that will distribute water have already been constructed and installed; all that’s left to get the system up and running is a final inspection and approval from SEDAPAL. We look forward to completing this project within the next few months!

See a slideshow of photos from our progress on the project here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/medlife/sets/72157631747754638/show/


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.