Mobile Clinic Update: Dana Hills High School

groupwsign2Our first Mobile Clinic of the season marked another first for MEDLIFE — a clinic made up entirely of high school student volunteers! Over Thanksgiving week, 50 students and six parents from Dana Hills High School in Orange County, California joined us to volunteer in Lima. They may be young, but these students worked with endless enthusiasm and energy throughout their Mobile Clinic experience.

They didn’t let the language barrier stop them; when they took a break from working, you could always find the Dana Hills students playing with local kids. They especially had fun at the toothbrushing station, where they bonded with small children and came up with a song and dance to remind them of proper dental hygiene. The parents got involved too, some even using their own medical expertise to exchange ideas with the Peruvian doctors and help out at the clinic.


The Dana Hills students and parents also got their hands dirty building staircases in the Villa Maria de Triunfo district. Throughout the week, they worked on one stair project in Virgen de Cocharcas, and on Sunday they teamed up with community members from Laderas Nueva Esperanza to plant 80 trees at four different staircases.


When they finished, it was time to celebrate! MEDLIFE volunteers were guests of honor at an inauguration ceremony marking the completion of the staircase projects, as well as electricity legally coming to the community for the first time. The mayor of the Villa Maria district, Silvia Barrera, stopped by to check out the Mobile Clinic and preside over the inauguration ceremony. This was a huge event for the community, which had previously gone unrecognized by the municipal government. They marked the occasion with a band, speeches, traditional dances and of course, breaking bottles of champagne. The parents got to do the honors, together with the mayor. After meeting at the inauguration, the mayor invited MEDLIFE staff to her office later that week, where she expressed her interest in working together on projects in the future.


Looking back on their experience as the week came to a close, many of the students agreed that they were most impacted by the unexpected moments of connection that they experienced working with community members. Since they returned to the US, both students and parents have been planning ways to support future MEDLIFE community development projects.

Thanks to Dana Hills High for an exciting start to what’s sure to be another great Mobile Clinic season!

For more photos, check out the Facebook album.


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.