Meet the Interns: Eduardo

Venezuela native, Eduardo Solorzano, is a two-time Mobile Clinic participant in Peru and Ecuador. Now in Lima working as a Summer Intern, he shares with us a little of his newfound perspective from the operational side of things:

Where are you from? 


I was born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela. After finishing high school at 17, I moved to Miami, Florida and have lived there ever since.

What was your first impression of Lima?


As soon as I arrived in Lima, I noticed the people were very welcoming and friendly. It is very common to see families walking around at the different squares in the city as opposed to Venezuela, where people are not often seen walking in the streets. When I arrived in Lima, I was told that the most efficient way to get around the city was by taking the bus. At first I was very scared of the idea, because I had never taken public transportation before. But after a couple of rides on the bus, I started to feel comfortable. Now, I take the bus by myself almost every day and I feel safe doing it.  


Tell us an anecdote from your experience with MEDLIFE thus far:


During my first week in Lima, Carlos Benavides — the Director of MEDLIFE Peru — invited the interns to join one of the late night meetings with the leader and neighbors of Virgen de Cocharcas, a small slum in the district of Villa Maria del Triunfo. However, we had to take a bus to Pamplona to get there. It was late at night and families were coming back home from the day’s work. All of the buses were packed, and even people were hanging out of the doors. Five of us needed to take the same bus to Pamplona, but there was only space for one. I sat in the bus, and with a few directions from Carlos, I embarked on my adventure. I am not going to lie, I was panicking the entire ride. However, the bus driver and a few of the passengers knew where I needed to get off. I was really surprised to know that they were willing to help someone that was clearly not from Pamplona, or even from Lima. Thankfully, when I arrived to the location safe and sound, Carlos and the rest of the interns were already waiting for me.  


How did you get involved with MEDLIFE?

I was in a fraternity at Florida International University where I met members who were already involved with MEDLIFE and they invited me to a meeting. There, I learned what MEDLIFE was all about and didn’t think twice about signing up. Before I knew it, I was flying to Lima for my first Mobile Clinic on May 1st, 2011. 

82-2-EduardoWhy did you decide to become an intern?


After going on a Mobile Clinic, I knew I wanted to become more involved with the organization. I decided to sign up for another Mobile Clinic — this time to Tena, Ecuador on my spring break of 2012. I also simultimaneously applied for the internship and got my acceptance while participating at the Mobile Clinic in Ecuador.

Now that I’m working as intern, I get to see a different side of MEDLIFE that I wasn’t able to as a student volunteer. Organizing a Mobile Clinic takes a lot of coordination with the community weeks before the clinic starts. Projects do not happen overnight — they also require frequent visits to the community. Meetings with community leaders and their neighbors are crucial for the building of projects. 


What do you look forward to most this summer?


What I look forward to most this summer is learning what happens after a week of clinics end. I am excited to start following patient histories and to work with the community to organize more projects for the following clinics. I also learned that projects do not only happen during clinics, but rather, are always occuring throughout the year. Finally, I am looking forward to working on MEDLIFE’s newest project, the building of their first Wawa Wasi (day care center). 


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.