Project Update: A new staircase in 15 A-1


Earlier this year, we visited community 15 A-1 in Villa María del Triunfo and met Nelly, a community member who fell down a steep hillside while she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old son, Christian. After hearing her story, we knew we had to do something to help this community.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the University of Puerto Rico — Río Piedras (UPR-RP), we’ve now begun construction to build a staircase in this community that will prevent future falling!

Over the past few days, our year-long interns have made several visits to 15 A-1 in order to work with community members to construct the staircase. They’ve worked hard digging, mixing cement, and hauling bags of sand —  all while getting to know community members.  


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“Not only has it been incredibly rewarding to know your exhaustion at the end of the day is helping build the staircase more quickly, it has been so great to chat with the community members as we work,” said year-long intern Jennifer Clay. “I have learned a lot about some people who live there, and it is so fun to practice Spanish and laugh through the language barrier.”

For the folks at UPR-RP, it is rewarding for them to see that their sponsorship is actually coming to life.

“We are very grateful to be able to help this community and give Nelly and Christian some stairs,” they said.

Though the chapter did not have a large collection of money to give, they still wanted to help out a community in South America. Through a series of bake sales, movie nights, and other similar fundraising events, the chapter was able to raise enough money to sponsor this staircase. Although UPR-RPhas sent volunteers to Lima, Tena and Cusco, they have yet to visit this particular community of 15 A-1, and hope to visit one day soon once the staircase project is complete.

“We hope to be able to see the smiles of joy on the community members’ faces once they have these staircases,” the chapter said.

UPRRPMembers of the UPR-RP MEDLIFE chapter during a fundraiser. 

The project is slated to be completed next week. Thanks to everyone for all of your support!  



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.