Intern Update: Mauricio

As a student at Florida State University, Mauricio Parra-Ferro founded a MEDLIFE chapter at his school and spent a summer interning in Lima, Peru. Even after graduation, he remains involved with MEDLIFE’s work, and came back to Lima for a week this March to help out at a Mobile Clinic. Now back in the States working as a biology teacher for underserved middle and high school students and preparing to go to medical school, he took some time to reflect on his visit with us.


My involvement with the MEDLIFE Florida State University chapter has made it very near and dear to me, and seeing how much the chapter’s expanded this past year makes me both amazed and extremely proud. With its 47 students, FSU comprised approximately 80% of the March 11-15th Lima Mobile Clinic. However, it was the combined effort from all of the universities which made the clinics and development project so successful.

Throughout the week, I spoke with several of the students to discuss their opinions on global health, the most memorable experiences, and what they hoped to get out of the trip. I was very pleased upon hearing the responses. Everyone seemed to understand the importance and necessity of real sustainability, and they appreciated how MEDLIFE always aims to create this through improvement of the local infrastructure, and through consistent patient follow-up. Moreover, rather than only focusing on their own experiences, they would often talk about the patients they saw in the various stations, the communities they visited, their admiration and respect for the MEDLIFE staff, and the reoccuring issues they were exposed to.


While several people came prepared, having learned various Spanish phrases and studied the Peruvian culture, I feel confident that everyone managed to leave with an altered perspective on life. The educational and eye-opening experiences which MEDLIFE provides gives participants the opportunity to expand their knowledge and subsequently be better prepared to serve others in the future, especially those who live in areas of extreme poverty.

In conclusion, my time helping run the clinics was everything that I hoped it would be and more. It was extremely refreshing to visit and work with the old MEDLIFE staff, people whom I consider family, and I loved meeting and getting to know the new members of the team. I sincerely appreciate having had the opportunity to be welcomed back to the communities to interact with residents, and help make even the slightest bit of impact on their lives. I have come to realize that throughout all of my volunteer efforts, especially the ones through MEDLIFE, while giving back to those who need it the most is undoubtably a rewarding feeling, it will always leave you feeling like you want to come back and do even more.


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.