Community Development Project: Torre de San Gabriel in Lima, Peru

MEDLIFE works with local authorities and community members to aid those most in need.  Our Community Development Projects help to improve infrastructure in developing low-income communities and aim to lessen injuries due to lack of these structures.  

In March of 2012, MEDLIFE completed another Community Development in the community of Torre de San Gabriel in Pamplona Alta of Lima, Peru. Read below to learn more about the project: 


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In the steep hillsides of Villa Maria de Triunfo, a simple concrete staircase can change lives. Families living in the area have no access to running water and instead are forced to haul buckets back and forth to their houses from large plastic containers filled daily by passing trucks. This task is not only time consuming but incredibly dangerous as the damp winter climate transforms the roads and pathways into slippery, eroding descents. Adults and children alike are slowed down by the downward climb on their way to school and work, and fall-related injuries are common and costly. By building stairs, MEDLIFE is able to make the cumbersome daily journey easier, safer, and faster.

MEDLIFE traveled to the small community of Torre de San Gabriel in March of 2012 to build such a staircase and spoke with a family from the community.

sangabriel1 2Community convenience-store owner, Victoria Rosalia, moved to Villa Maria seven years ago from the jungle region of Peru where she and her husband first met; Victoria hailing from the province of Satipo and her husband from Pucallpa. She recalls the richness of the vibrant culture of jungle life and cooks food from the region when she can — her favorite dish is called sopa de platano (banana soup). They opened a small convience store together in Torre de San Gabriel about two years ago and Victoria says that, although it’s been a struggle, they seem to be doing okay. Victoria’s children, Esther and Eduardo, playfully danced around and sang the popular Brazilian song Ai Se Eu Te Pego that is all the craze in Peru at the moment. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Esther enthusiastically answered, “A nurse for babies!” Eduardo, who explained to us that he was named after his father, shared his desire to become a policeman.

“The most difficult part is bringing in supplies from the town below,” Victoria explained. MEDLIFE’s staircase construction project in Torre de San Gabriel will help Victoria’s family run their small store more efficiently, along with benefitting the rest of the community’s 480 residents.


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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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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.