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The MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic was back in Cusco last week, and in addition to providing medical care to rural communities, volunteers all lent a hand to a community development project there. This week, that meant continuing the work of a previous MEDLIFE group, which had built the foundation for a brand new auditorium at the San Judas Chico girls' home.
The enthusiastic volunteers made up a diverse group of students and grads, including a large group from the UC Davis MEDLIFE chapter. They worked hard all week, digging, mixing and pouring cement to finish the five columns that the structure needed. They also created a small vegetable garden nearby, and planted the first seeds.
When they weren't busy working, the volunteers got to know the girls who live at the orphanage. With the girls practicing their braiding techniques, the volunteers arrived at the hotel each day with a new hairstyle. The young residents of the home, big fans of K-pop, were especially excited to find out that one volunteer, Justin, was Korean, and insisted on getting his autograph and photos.
At the end of the week, it was time to celebrate the completion of their hard work. Volunteers broke a bottle of champagne, and the girls got together to show their thanks with a special singing performance. Then it was time to say an emotional goodbye, with the girls asking when we would be back to see them.
The next Cusco clinic group, in August, will be helping to construct a roof for the auditorium.
For more photos, check out the Facebook album.
The summer Mobile Clinic trip season is officially underway, with simultaneous clinics and development projects happening this week in Lima, Peru and Tena, Ecuador. Check out some photo highlights from the past few days in Lima:
Photos and interviews by Rachel Hoffman
Silvia Huafatoca came to a MEDLIFE Mobile Clinic in Tena, Ecuador last December with her 2-year old daughter, Janice. The clinic took place in a schoolhouse just down the street from the small house she shares with her husband, daughter, parents, and three siblings. Having never heard of MEDLIFE before, Silvia approached the clinic cautiously, and was relieved to find out that doctors and medications would be provided free of charge.
"My daughter has a cough right now," she told us. "I'm glad the doctors came here, close to my house, because sometimes we can't get to the clinic." She said the cost of transportation (40 cents each way for a two-hour bus ride) and time spent waiting at the closest health clinic often prevent her from going. When Janice was just one year old, Silvia took her there for a bad cough, and she was diagnosed with pneumonia and given antibiotics. Between the ride and the wait times, going to the doctor took a full day, and sometimes Silvia didn't have time or money for treatment. "This was a better experience, it's a lot closer," she said of the Mobile Clinic. "You just go to the doctor here, and the pharmacy's right over there!"
Last week, students from universities all over the United States traveled to Tena, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, to participate in a Mobile Clinic! Check out some photo highlights below:
Photos by Luis Herrera
The Spring 2013 Mobile Clinic season kicked off yesterday with a Mobile Clinic in Villa El Salvador, Lima, Peru, staffed by enthusiastic volunteers from schools including University of Michigan, University of Florida, and Dominican University. Check out some photo highlights below, and stay tuned for more updates from the clinics happening this week in Lima and Esmeraldas, Ecuador!
We just received these photos from Ccaccaccollo, a community outside Cusco, Peru, where we constructed new bathroom facilities starting in August. The community has been putting the finishing touches on the project, and school director Maria Teresa Flores tells us, "The bathrooms look great, and the kids and I are very grateful to MEDLIFE for completing this project."
Our three Ecuador Summer Interns have recently arrived in country and are starting off their first week with a Mobile Clinic in Tena, Ecuador. Below, a photo update from one of our interns, Jennie Tian, reflecting her view of the first few days of our July 2012 Mobile Clinic in Tena:
Check out our photo update from this week's mobile clinic in Lima, Peru! We're half way through the week, and looking forward to seeing more patients in different communities tomorrow and Friday:
MEDLIFE has been working in Pamplona Alta since March 2010. The majority of Mobile Clinics and MEDLIFE Fund projects in Peru serve the communities of Pamplona Alta. Zenobia Gonsalves, our media intern in Lima, captured the shots below.
Located in the hills surrounding Lima, Pamplona Alta is a shantytown, or pueblo joven, characterized by conditions of extreme poverty and a lack of infrastructural development. Now housing more than 20,000 residents, it was first populated in the 1990's when massive numbers of Peruvians immigrated to Lima from the rural countryside -- either displaced by the Shining Path terrorism that marked this decade, or looking for better opportunity in Peru's capital city.
Dirt paths crisscross the valley walls, reaching the families who reside at the top -- a long climb from the main avenue below. Can you spot the three MEDLIFE staircases?