Tzu Chi Volunteers Bring First Medical Mission to Ecuador

TIMA  |  January 24, 2019

Tzu Chi first left its footprints in Ecuador in 2016 following the earthquake and flood there, establishing a strong bond with the South American country and its endearing people.

It was clear from the beginning that the people of Ecuador lacked the medical care they so desperately needed. It was important to set up a situation where they could get help, and so volunteers sprang into action with Tzu Chi’s first medical mission there in January 2019.

They needed medical help. So I started to coordinate with all the doctors and then made all the necessary arrangements—and here we are.

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Because being of service to others is at the heart of what Tzu Chi is about and comes from the vision of Dharma Master Cheng Yen, it was important to first establish the medical needs of the people in Ecuador, starting in Canoa, Portoviejo and Sant Ana.

The people in these areas are underprivileged and often go without many of the daily necessities to which those in the U.S. are accustomed. The rise in poverty in Ecuador is great and those affected have limited if any medical care.

They have no hospital, no doctors. People here have few resources.

Tzu Chi volunteers were able to be a part of helping the people with medical outreach services. That included a volunteer team of 13 doctors and nurses who would arrive along with dentists to provide services to the local people and helping them receive much-needed care.

It is the hope of these volunteers to establish what will be long-term program that is committed to tending to the great needs of the Ecuadorian people. By providing routine care, the local residents become more knowledgeable and their lives are enhanced as well.

When you take care of people who need it, holding their hand, you walk with them as they grow. You walk until they're able to put their feet back on the ground. That's what we're doing.