Miguel Tanguila worked hard on his platano finca near Tena in the Ecuadorian jungle to support his wife and 8 children. “We are peasants,” Tanguila said. “We don’t have much to feed ourselves with, but thank god, with platano, we can live.” Miguel can grow enough to feed his family, but he still needs more to pay for the costs of sending his kids to school. “Sometimes we plant some Naranjilla too. Which we sell to pay for the costs of our kids education.”
One day, Miguel began to experience intense stomach pain. After several days, it still hadn’t gone away, days became months and it only got worse. He wasn’t able to make the journey out to his finca anymore, two hours of walking and a river crossing. His thirteen-year-old son stopped going to school and began working in the finca full time to help make ends meet.
His family had another stroke of bad luck when his 5 year-old daughter fell and hurt her hip. She couldn’t walk anymore. “Sometimes she cries in the afternoons,” Miguel said. “It makes me feel terrible as a father.” They went to local medical centres, but they could not get adequate treatment, just temporary relief. Their problems persisted.
In 2016 MEDLIFE met Miguel in a Mobile Clinic and brought him and his daughter to see the proper medical specialists. MEDLIFE will continue to work with them until they get the proper treatment. “Thank God the foundation came to our community,” Miguel said. “We are really thankful for the support.”