About Us

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 Our Mission
 Our History
 What do We do
 How is MEDLIFE Funded?




Our mission is to help families achieve greater freedom from the constraints of poverty, empowering them to live healthier lives. Our patients did not choose to be poor, but they have chosen to strive toward a better life; MEDLIFE stands beside them in this pursuit.

We aim to achieve this goal through partnering with motivated individuals in poor communities working to improve their access to MEDs: Medicine, Education and community Development. MEDLIFE believes access to quality healthcare is a basic human right.

To this end, we commit our time, resources, knowledge and hope to bring Medicine, Education and Development to Low Income Families Everywhere. 


MEDLIFE was founded in 2005 by Nick Ellis as a University of Maine student group. Nick organized a medical mission to Cebadas, Ecuador. Upon returning home, he raised funds to provide surgery for a young boy he met named Darwin. Since our inception, we’ve expanded to new schools, refined the Service Learning Trip structure and created the MEDLIFE Project Fund to engage in more sustainable forms of aid. 

MEDLIFE currently operates in Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua and Tanzania. In each country, MEDLIFE staff seek out the poorest of the poor. The hardships faced by our patients and communities vary from country to country: In Lima, MEDLIFE works in a community on the ourskirts of the city where 20,000 people are designated to a single doctor for their primary care needs. In Ecuador, MEDLIFE works with villages where access to a hospital or emergency medical services are essentially nonexistent during heavy rains.


MEDLIFE believes that in order to improve the overall health and welfare of families and communities in need, a comprehensive approach is needed. With this goal in mind, MEDLIFE seeks to deliver aid through three broad avenues: Medicine, Education, and Development.

MEDLIFE Mobile Clinics deliver primary care services to individuals and families who otherwise lack access. Going beyond the services we can provide on our Mobile Clinics, MEDVIDA staff conduct year-round patient follow-up services for those requiring additional care, ensuring that no patient is left behind. Additionally, MEDLIFE Project Fund development projects often directly contribute to the overall health of a community. Read more.
Education is essential to affecting sustainable change in poor communities. MEDLIFE hosts age and gender specific educational programs that instruct and empower our patients on relevant health topics.MEDLIFE Project Fund projects assist through the construction of new classrooms or other services for schools in poor areas. Read more.
MEDLIFE Project Fund community development projects address specific issues faced by individual communities.The types of projects we engage in vary greatly from region to region. MEDLIFE places a priority on engaging and involving community stakeholders, so as to promote long-term use and maintenance of all of our projects. Read more 


MEDLIFE divides donations into two funds, the MEDLIFE Project Fund, which dedicates 100% of every donation toward building sustainable development projects for poor communities, and the MEDLIFE General Fund which is the broadest kind of giving to MEDLIFE and helps MEDLIFE accomplish it's overall mission.

The MEDLIFE Project Fund

100% of donations and fundraising are used toward the creation of medical clinics, schools and other development projects to promote access to basic necessities and skills encouraging poor individuals and families to free themselves from the constraints of poverty and promote a cycle of health, education and personal development.

All public donations and chapter fundraising dollars go to the MEDLIFE Project Fund.

 The MEDLIFE General Fund

To aid MEDLIFE in achieving its overall mission: promoting local primary care providers to bring preventative health education and curative treatment to people living in poverty who live in marginalized, rural or areas that otherwise prevent their access to quality medical care; educating these patients about gender and age specific health concerns; providing students with real-life, hands-on experience working with poor and underserved populations and to provide them an opportunity to reflect on the root causes and implications of poverty. To support the logistical and operational expenses associated with these goals as stated above.

MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic participation fees and Mobile Clinic campaign donations go to the MEDLIFE General Fund.

Disclaimer: In accordance with United States tax law and regulations, a donation to the MEDLIFE Project Fund is 100% tax-deductible by the person making the donation. However, only 50% of a donation given to the 50:50 campaign (i.e., the portion that goes towards MEDLIFE's General Fund) is tax-deductible for the person making the donation. The portion of a donation that reduces a student's cost of participating in a mobile clinic is not tax-deductible. If donors have general questions about whether or not donations to MEDLIFE are tax–deductible, they can call MEDLIFE'S U.S.-based office at 207-433-0780. However, specific questions about the deductibility of contributions should be directed to a donor's qualified tax advisor.