Elizabeth Haro is a MEDLIFE summer intern working out of both Riobamba and Tena, Ecuador. Learn more about Liz below!
Tell us an anecdote from your experience with MEDLIFE thus far:
MEDLIFE’s global health participation in Riobamba, Ecuador is unmatched. Today, for example, I went with Maria — part of MEDLIFE Ecuador’s patient follow-up team — to Chambo in the Chimborazo province for follow-up care with three patients. Only one of the three patients was able to make the appointment. Therefore, Maria and I, with the help of local women, walked across cornfields, down muddy hillsides, and past cows to the homes of the two women that needed to be seen for follow-up care. The lengths MEDLIFE goes to to ensure the necessary medical care for the community of Chimborazo is incredible. Many of MEDLIFE’s patients have the odds working against them, yet continue to live their lives with perseverance and joy. MEDLIFE’s commitment to follow-up care has heightened my enthusiasm for community medicine and encouraged me to develop lasting relationships with the people of Ecuador.
Where are you from?
I am from San Diego, California. I studied archaeology and biology at Stanford University.
How did you get involved with MEDLIFE?
I became involved with MEDLIFE through the Riobamba summer internship where we have been hosting week-long Mobile Clinics in Tena and the surrounding communities of Riobamba, Ecuador.
Why did you decide to become an intern?
I decided to become an intern with MEDLIFE because of the organization’s unique combination of medicine, education, and community development. I was also inspired by MEDLIFE’s goal to bring sustainable healthcare that will bridge health disparities across rural communities in Ecuador. Additionally, the MEDLIFE internship offers a platform to explore my personal interest in women’s health, especially by looking at disparities in Ecuador’s cervical cancer mortality rates.
What was your first impression of Ecuador?
Ecuador is incredibly beautiful — from the coast to the Andes to the Amazon. It is surreal to wake up each morning with the Chimborazo volcano as our backdrop, to take bus rides through the clouds, and to see the most magnificent waterfalls.
What do you look forward to most this summer?
What I am looking forward to most this summer is taking part in MEDLIFE’s patient follow-up care. After Mobile Clinic weeks, as interns, we accompany the MEDLIFE staff members who make sure our patients receive the post-clinic care that they need. This includes everything from transportation to clinics and hospitals, to laboratory testing, to obtaining necessary medications or surgeries.