Walking together: two chapters and their experience bringing shoes to children in Ecuador


At our Mobile Clinics, we always encourage our student volunteers to bring extras from home that are not in use — clothes, books and other similar materials. At our last Mobile Clinic in Riobamba, Ecuador two of our chapters went above and beyond and brought hundreds of pairs of shoes to give todifferent communities in the area.

For weeks before their arrival to Riobamba, students from the University of Puerto Rico — Mayagüez and the University of Puerto Rico — Rio Piedrasunderwent muchplanning and collaborationin order to successfully bring shoes to communities in Ecuador.

puertoricochapter2The idea to bring shoes to Mobile Clinics came originally from a student at Cornell University, Lorena Montalvo. After participating in two different MEDLIFE Clinics, she noticed a particular need for shoes in the various communities that we serve, especially for the children. After hearing about her idea, the two chapters in Puerto Rico decided to adopt the project and bring shoes to the communities at their trip destination of Riobamba, Ecuador, thus fulfilling the missions of the two organizations involved: MEDLIFE and Footprints, a new organization founded at Cornell University.

Thanks to various donations and the collaboration with the Boy Scouts of America in Puerto Rico, who held a Jamboree for the cause, the chapters were able to collect a total of 452 pairs of shoes to distribute among community members. The student volunteers were greeted with smiling faces from children and adults alike as they received their new pairs of shoes.
“It was any amazing experience seeing how the kids immediately put the shoes on once they received them, excited for their new gift,” said Eduard Valdes,President of Mobile Clinicsfor UPR – Mayaguez. “It made me reconsider the importance we place on material goods, something that media expertly infuses into people’s minds as a necessity.”

Congratulations to UPR – Mayaguez and UPR – Rio Piedras for successfully carrying out this amazing project, and we look forward to your future involvement and achievements with MEDLIFE!



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.