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Review for The Tandana Foundation, Spring Valley, OH, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

A friend encouraged me to participate in the Tandana Health Care Volunteer Venture trip. With no medical background, I was a bit skeptical of my qualifications for such a program. I did some research about the Tandana Foundation and was impressed with their work in the Otavalo region of Ecuador and their “bottom up” process of discernment about activities to sponsor. They take direction from the communities and leaders in the area to determine what their mission and actions in the area should be.

I decided to take up the challenge from my friend and participate in the Health Care Volunteer Venture in the spring of 2019. The Health Care Venture involves helping at medical clinics in villages in the region of Otavalo. Each day, we travel to a different village, set up a very well organized mobile clinic in a village school or community building and serve individuals and families from the nearby area. Our team included health care providers, a pharmacist and people like me who helped with basic tasks and organization to make the program run smoothly each day. We had wonderful opportunities to interact with the residents as well as other Tandana volunteers from Ecuador and, of course, our team of volunteers for that particular week.

After our clinic work each morning, we returned to Otavalo and, most days, had an educational or social activity provided for us by the Tandana staff. So the volunteer week was one of service but also one of learning and experiencing another culture and bonding with new friends.

We were always well cared for in terms of food, lovely accommodations, travel and support from the staff. I am returning in the spring of 2020 and looking forward to more service and more experiences in this interesting and lovely area of Ecuador

Role:  Volunteer