Intern Journal: Exploring Parque Zonal Huáscar


A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to visit Villa El Salvador on the outskirts of Lima; myself and Nicole as yearlong interns, along with Luis from Communications and Carlos the Director of MEDLIFE. We met with community leaders to discuss the prospect of future support in the form of mobile clinics.

This is an incredibly organised community compared to some of those around it; they have a flourishing furniture making business, and more impressively have created and maintained a green oasis amongst the dusty hills.

Parque Zonal Huáscar is one of the craziest parks I have ever seen, pass by a roundabout topped with giant doves and you’ll find it: a lake filled with green water that you can row boats on, a grove of trees stalked by T-Rex replica skeletons, a library stuffed with books, chess sets waiting outside. And my favourite part — a full-blown petting zoo populated with several goats, an alpaca, a lot of horses, around 50 tortoises and a proud albino peacock. With the animals spaced out under leafy-green trees and alfalfa on sale to bribe shy creatures closer, it was outrageously idyllic.


More importantly the community of Villa El Salvador hasn’t had an easy ride; there’s a mural on the library building of María Elena Moyano, an activist during the 1980s who worked tirelessly to improve the living conditions of women and children in the community; organising soup kitchens, health committees and a milk program for children. She was assassinated by the Shining Path movement in 1992, but as Carlos pointed out, her memory lives on in the minds of the community and in their park which they continue to sustain.


The cost of entry is a mere s/3, the equivalent of 30cents, which means almost everyone in Villa El Salvador can access it. From families picnicking on the weekends, to the youth wanting to gather away from their parents, here there is space for all.




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.