Tzu Chi Teams Up With Local University Students to Provide Care to Portoviejo Residents

TIMA  |  January 24, 2019

The medical needs of the residents in Ecuador are great as many of the people are underprivileged and without the means to seek care on their own. Tzu Chi medical volunteers continue to provide aid traveling from one town to the next. After providing treatment in Canoa, volunteers were in Portoviejo to help residents there.

Medical volunteers offered care in the form of general medicine, acupuncture, Western medicine and odontology. For Tyrone Yu, a volunteer acupuncturist, it was his first time in Ecuador, but he had previously volunteered many times in Mexico.

We use acupuncture to solve their problems—to help them take the pain away.

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Local residents in need of pain relief included a disabled man who has problems walking and another man with severe back pain. Both men received acupuncture relief that helped with their pain issues.

Residents were so happy and appreciative to receive care, including Erodita Briones who was there with her mother. Both have hypertension and diabetes and were able to receive their medicine, and were grateful to volunteers.

Not only are resident patients grateful, so are Tzu Chi volunteers who practice medicine but compassion as well. Volunteers are happy that they are able to make the trip to Ecuador and provide their services in order to help those patients needing it most.

Tzu Chi has left an enormous legacy. When they help you, their help comes from the heart, and it came at our most difficult time. That’s something you'll never forget.

Tzu Chi Foundation also reached out to San Gregorio University in order to collaborate and provide humanitarian medical care for the local residents who are underprivileged. Since the cornerstone of Tzu Chi is humanitarian work, it fit perfectly with the university students as they enjoy collaborating in order to help the underprivileged.

The university sent dental students to provide much-needed oral care to the residents, many of whom came for simple cleanings but also were able to have cavities filled. The dental students and teachers were as happy to be there as were Tzu Chi volunteers.

We have a service where we provide a lot of love. We are like a family. Odontology is love.

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The university’s students, teachers and leaders understand Tzu Chi’s mission and compassion as they are on the same page and walk the same path to help those who are most in need, an important part of Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s own principles, which is to help relieve suffering directly.

From the start, when [Tzu Chi] arrives, they are learning. This contact they have with the most helpless communities of our country is meant to educate them in solidarity. It’s worthless to have a good dentist if they’re not a good human being.

By offering medical services in various countries to those most in need, Tzu Chi hopes that more local doctors in all those countries will offer their own services as well. By inspiring more students in the medical field to help, they can them become members of TIMA, the ultimate goal.

We were so happy about this meeting because they want their students to learn how to serve compassion. That’s just like Tzu Chi.

Portoviejo residents who received dental services are thankful to Tzu Chi and the university students not only for fixing their teeth but for bringing back their smiles. When a person can smile, they show their light to the world, just as Tzu Chi volunteers bring their services to the world.