MMI in Ecuador

Flouride Treatments for Children in Ecuador-Dental Page.JPG

MMI Ecuador has been one of the most popular destinations for our Medical Teams.  Led by longtime MMI Ecuador Project Director, Dr. Susana Logacho, who followed Sara Risser and Mesa Taveras, teams have worked with Ecuadorians in the Costal and Mountainous Regions.  We focus on Primary Care, Dental Care, Vision Care, and Surgical Care. We have even done Knee Replacements. In Milagros, a Health Center was opened in 2001 and continues to provide vision care services and surgery as well as other medical services. Abner Hernandez is the gifted Architect who designed and oversaw the construction of the Health Center and his wife Jone Hernandez has been involved leading projects in the coastal region.

                               Dr Susana Logacho - Project Director

                              Dr Susana Logacho - Project Director

                 Jone Hernandez - Project Director

                Jone Hernandez - Project Director

On March 2017, in Tena - Misahually, the team set up a mobile clinic in local schools and churches in partnership with the municipality, with a triage area, consultations rooms, a fluoride treatment area, a pharmacy room and a health education area.

We worked in different community each day (average 40-60 minutes away by bus on bad roads) usually from 8 am to 4 pm. They are poor agricultural based communities with little to no access to health care. Although remote, nearly all the villages we visited have electricity. The patients were very grateful for consultations and treatment.

Project Sites:

 

Ambato


Ambato is a city called the "land of fruits and flowers," because you can find a huge variety of fruits and flowers around the year. This city is also famous for the handicrafts and leather factories. The Tungurahua volcano is visible from this city. Ambato is 30 min from Baños-Tungurahua

San Pedro de Pelileo produces textiles and Salasaca woolen rugs and hangings. The surrounding area of Patate has a lush agricultural area producing avocados, tree tomatoes, grapes, mandarins, and limes.

* Project Description: The teams work at local schools and churches in partnership with the municipality. Each day the team sets up a clinic with a triage area, consultation rooms, fluoride treatment area, pharmacy, and health education area.

Elevation
2,500 m (8,202 ft.)

Climate
The weather is temperate-dry.
Average min and max temperatures in Ambato, Ecuador

Banos


Baños de Agua Santa, commonly referred to as Baños, is a city in eastern Tungurahua Province in central Ecuador. Baños is the second most populated city in Tungurahua (after Ambato, the capital) and is a major tourist center.

Tungurahua just 180 km from Quito (the Capital of Ecuador). Baños is located in a valley with waterfalls and hot springs near the Tungurahua volcano with a height of 5016 meters.

There is a population of 18,000 people and it is known as the gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Visits can be made to nearby forest reserves deeper into the jungle, which is full of monkeys, birds, and tropical plants.

* Project Description: The purpose of this project is to provide general medical consultations to the people of the villages surrounding Baños. We train leaders in different communities prior to the project so that they can be the leaders of the Integrated Health component of the project, and can be a part of the service that is provided to their own community. After the project, we have workshops about the sicknesses that were encountered and how to prevent future complications.

Elevation
1,826 m (5,991 ft.)

Climate
On average, the temperatures are always high.
It can be windy and cool.
Average min and max temperatures in Baños, Ecuador

Cotacachi


Cotacachi is small village, around 15 km north of Otavalo and 25 km south-west from Ibarra. It is a famous for its leather work.

Many of the patients you will see (Ethnic groups include Mestizo, Indigenous, and Afro-Ecuadorians) do not receive regular medical and dental care. For this reason, you are likely to see all sorts of health problems. Common complaints include gastritis, arthritis pain, lower back pain, skin problems, and dehydration. Spanish is a second language for some of the patients you will meet, otherwise they will usually speak an indigenous dialect or language. Interpreters will be available on this project.

* Project Description: The team will be busy and will work at local schools and churches in partnership with the municipality. Each day we will set up a clinic with a triage area, consultation rooms, fluoride treatment area, pharmacy, and health education area. We will work in a different community each day, providing health care to those who have little or no regular access to it. We expect to be traveling to a different village every day by bus.

Elevation
2,438 m (8,000 ft.)

Climate
Most rainfall is seen in February, March, April and October. These months make up the "rainy season."
Average min and max temperatures in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Galapagos


The Galapagos Islands are magical islands located in Ecuador. Several different attractions here captivate people’s hearts, including swimming with sharks, and seeing penguins and iguanas. But there is a well-kept secret, and it is that in the mist of all this beauty, there is quite extreme poverty.

The common people living in the islands face financial distress and lack of services. It’s for this reason that the Municipality of Santa Cruz and the Hospital have invited us to provide assistance to the region.

* Project Description: Surgery has become the greatest medical need in the islands as there is not enough surgeons to supply the high demand. On the projects, surgical teams work every day at the hospital performing several different kinds of procedures.

Elevation
1,707 m (5,600 ft.)

Climate
On average, the temperatures are always high.
A lot of rain occurs in the months of January, February, March and April; the rainy season.
Has dry periods in July, August, September, October and November; the dry season. Average min and max temperatures in Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

Latacunga


Latacunga is located around the Cotopaxi volcano with a beautiful view of the volcano, trees, and mountains. We have an amazing lake called Quilotoa. 70% of population are Indigenous (Sunbahuas and Tiguas).

Spanish is a second language for some of the patients you will meet. Some may just speak an indigenous dialect or language. Interpreters will be available on this project.

* Project Description: We will work in a different community each day. These communities will average 25-45 minutes distance by bus on rough roads, and we will work from 8am to 4pm in poor communities with an agricultures population. Although remote, nearly all the villages we visit have electricity. Our clinics will be set up in schools or churches in each village. The patients are very grateful for consultations and treatment that you will be helping to provide, and I guarantee that your heart will be touched by working with these fine patients.

Elevation
2,760 ft (9,055 m)

Climate
The weather is dry and cold.
Most rainfall (rainy season) is seen in February, March, April and October.
Average min and max temperatures in Latacunga, Ecuador

Libertad, Santa Elena


Libertad is a city located in western Santa Elena, Ecuador, by the sea. Santa Elena is a very dry area with very little economic activities. The resources are mainly concentrated in the city of Salinas and Libertad. The main productive activities are fishing and some agriculture.

The Libertad Project is intended to provide Primary/Dental/ Surgical care to those with zero or limited access to these services in the county. Basic medical and dental care are often available, but very limited due to high cost or other reasons.

Additionally, dentistry (which is a very expensive service in any country), is a much-needed project component because according to the studies done by the Direction of Health of the Municipality, many people experience a total loss of their teeth between ages 40 and 50. Surgery is another service in which the people of Santa Elena have a great need, due to the low number of surgeons in the area.

* Project Description: This project is intended to provide medical, surgical, and dental work in rural areas of the county where access is very limited. Surgeries will be done at the Liborio Panchana Sotomayor Hospital, which is a very nice and new facility with two ORs available.

Elevation
36 ft (117 m)

Climate
Libertad has dry periods in July, August, September, October and November.
Average min and max temperatures in Salinas, Ecuador

Milagro, Guayas


Milagro is very well-known for the sugar cane industry and its world-famous pineapples. These activities only benefit a small percent of the population working directly or indirectly for it, as resources are mainly concentrated in the hands of a few families. Poverty is very present and many people living in rural and sub-urban areas are in great need.

* Project Description: This project, in coordination with the Missionary Alliance Church, is intended to provide medical, dental, and preventive care in rural areas of the county where access is very limited.
Some communities in Milagros still present very low access to medical services. Where there is acccess, many people still struggle to afford the medications and procedures. In a few locations, essential medications are free under the health insurance program that the government has in place.
Additionally, dentistry (which is a very expensive service in any country), is a much-needed project component because according to the studies done by the Direction of Health of the Municipality, many people experience a total loss of their teeth between ages 40 and 50. Working in Prevention through IHE&C is key to this project because it is part of our Umbrella Program for the area. Obesity, Diabetes, and Oral Health are a growing problem, as well as HIV/STDs.

Elevation
12 m (39 ft)

Climate
A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the months: January, February, March and April.
Average min and max temperatures in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Sangolquí-Pintag


Sangolquí is located in the Chillos Valley, just south of the equator and 35 km east of Quito. Travel to the center of Quito takes about 1 hour.

Sangolquí was founded by the Spanish on the site of a pre-Columbian settlement. It was named after a prominent indigenous leader and developed as a centre for agricultural and textile production. Agriculture remains an important activity in the Valley and producers sell vegetables, grain, and other local products. The city is surrounded by many poor villages without much access to healthcare. They don´t have access to safe water.

* Project Description: The team will be busy and will work at local schools and churches in partership with the municipality. Each day we will set up a clinic with a triage area, consultation rooms, fluoride treatment area, pharmacy, and health education area.
Many of the patients you will see do not receive regular medical and dental care. For this reason, you will see a variety of health problems. Common complaints include gastritis, arthritis pain, lower back pain, skin problems, and dehydration. Spanish is a second language for some of the patients you will meet, otherwise they will speak an indigenous dialect or language. Interpreters will be available on this project. We will set up a mobile clinic with triage area, consultations rooms, fluoride treatment area, pharmacy room, and health education area.
We will work in a different community each day. These communities will average 25-45 minutes distance by bus on rough roads, and we will work from 8am to 4pm in poor communities with an agricultures population. Although remote, nearly all the villages we visit have electricity. Our clinics will be set up in schools or churches in each village. The patients are very grateful for consultations and treatment that you will be helping to provide, and I guarantee that your heart will be touched by working with these fine patients.

Elevation
2,896 ft (9,500 m)

Climate
Most rainfall (rainy season) is seen in February, March, April and October.
The temperature during the day is between 60 degrees F and 80 degrees F. At night it may dip down into the 40 s and 50 s Average min and max temperatures in Latacunga, Ecuador

Tena/Misahually


Tena, the capital of the Napo Province, is a city in the Amazon rainforest. Known as the “cinnamon capital" of Ecuador and founded by missionary explorers, Tena has emerged as a major commercial center of Ecuador.

Where the Tena and Pano rivers meet, in the center of town lies a popular pedestrian bridge, "el puente peatonal". The rivers merge to become the Tena River, which soon joins with the Misahualli and eventually flows into the Napo River. The Napo winds its way south into Peru, and is in effect the 9th largest tributary to the Amazon River. Tena is surrounded by forested hills and is located at the edge of the Andes, which are visible to the west. Tena is a popular launching point for jungle, kayaking, and rafting tours.

Misahuallí is a bustling and somewhat remote port at the juncture of the rivers Napo and Misahuallí. The village was the original Ecuadorian jungle tourist outpost, and after dozens of years and despite the entrance of Tena and other jungle towns into the tourism market, is still a popular starting point for jungle tours and canoe trips.

* Project Description: We will work in a different community each day. These communities will average 25-45 minutes distance by bus on rough roads, and we will work from 8am to 4pm in poor communities with an agricultures population. Although remote, nearly all the villages we visit have electricity. Our clinics will be set up in schools or churches in each village. The patients are very grateful for consultations and treatment that you will be helping to provide, and I guarantee that your heart will be touched by working with these fine patients.

Elevation
598 m (1,962 ft)

Climate
The average March temperature ranges from a high of 16oC (61oF) to a low of 13oC (55oF). It is a rain forest so we can count on rain at some point each day, and often it rains at night. The roads to the small villages are rough and they will be muddy because of the rain. It can also be cold and windy at times. There is rainfall year-round, with an annual average of 171.65 inches (4,359.91 mm). The heaviest rains come in April, May, and June. Average min and max temperatures in Tena, Ecuador

Travelling on a Project

Entry & Exit Requirements


Travelers must present a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure. Travel Visa is not required. Tourists must also provide evidence of return or onward travel. There is a $45.00 USD departure tax, the payment of which may or may not be included in your ticket. If not, payment can be made at the ticket counter.

• Americans: Must present a passport, which is valid at time of entry. For more information see the US State Department website:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/ecuador.html

• Canadians: Please check the following website for the most current entry/exit requirements:
http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/ecuador

• International: Please contact MMI office or Raptim Humanitarian Travel for visa requirement if needed.

Application Requirements


Please email ALL CREDENTIALS upon application, as these must go to the Project Director in the country to be translated and then taken to the Ministry of Health to get temporary licenses prior to your arrival.

• For everyone, we need:
- Colour Scan / Photocopy of Passport (photo page)
- Colour photo for your name badge (any good photo, we can adjust size)
- Travel Itinerary
- Supply Lists

• Medical Professionals, we also need your:
- Current License (through time of project)
- Diploma (Techs, Nursing, Dental, MD and Board Certifications)
- Curriculum Vitae or Resume (this also will help the Project Director know your skills & experience to assign you a task on the project, especially for 1st time participants)

• Health Care Students: Letter of Good Standing from your school (including year of study and graduation date).

• All MINORS travelling with only one parent, or without their parents, will need a letter from BOTH parents stating that it is OK for the child to travel with one parent or an appointed guardian. The letter should be signed and notarized. MMI needs a copy of this letter, and the parent or guardian should carry the orignial letter while travelling.

Travel


Once you have been accepted on the project, you can contact our designated travel agency to arrange your travel and coordinate your arrival the team.

Raptim Humanitarian Travel: www.raptim.org

• US Applicants: Travel costs are arranged directly with the travel agent and are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “Serve Team 2”: ServeTeam2.us@raptim.org
Direct Toll Free: 1-844-882-3233 and ask for the agents by name or extension.
Lead Agents – Claudia (ext. 13302), or Michael (ext. 15004).

• Canadian Applicants: Donations to MMI for travel are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “We Partner” team: wepartner.na@raptim.org
905-465-4300 or Toll Free: 1-844-442-6978 & ask for the agents by name.
Lead Agents - Anca (ext. 32327), or Connie (ext. 31771).

• International Applicants: Travel arrangement can be procured locally or following the Canadian instructions above.

Immunizations


We strongly recommend that you consult a travel clinic, as they are aware of outbreaks and can suggest preventative immunizations. All routine immunizations should be up-to-date. Please check the following website for the most current information.

• Americans: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador

• Canadians: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/countries-pays/country-pays-eng.php?id=353

Accommodations and Meals


MMI will arrange local accommodations for the team.
• Laundry Service: usually available for additional fee
• AC: dependent on location
• Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider, roaming is very expensive
• Wifi/Internet: dependent on locations
• Voltage: 110V.
• Meals: MMI will provide meals for the team. Dietary restrictions can be indicated on your application and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling. Purified water is supplied. If you would like to bring snacks to have throughout the day, please bring items such as peanut butter, granola bars, trail mix or pretzels and crackers in sealable containers (like Ziploc bags).

Culture

• Language: Spanish (Castilian), Quechua and indigenous languages
• Religion:
- Roman Catholic: 74%
- Evangelical: 10.4%
- Jehovah's Witnesses: 1.2%
- Others: 6.4%
• Government: Presidential Republic

Currency


The money in Ecuador is the United States dollar (USD). Small bills ($5’s,10´s and 20´s) are recommended. All major credit cards are accepted - Visa and MasterCard the most widely accepted (make sure to call your credit card company and let them know that you’ll be traveling internationally). Traveler’s cheques are not easily cashed. You must bring US dollars in good condition. Torn, stamped or old bills will not be exchanged. $100 bills older than 2006 are also not accepted.

Hospital Cristiano de Especialidades, FUNDAMISC-MMI

MMI began serving those in need in Ecuador over 35 years ago. In the 1980’s, the Vision Program developed under the local leadership of Sara Risser, Mesa Taveras and Francis Perez. The eye hospital was built with generous MMI supporters and opened in 2001. Today, Hospital Cristiano de Especialidades, FUNDAMISC-MMI, is located in Milagros, Ecuador about 40 minutes from Guayaquil. Jone Hernandez, MMI’s Project Director, currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.

In February 2017, Leanne Ferris and Barbara Skinner met with the Board of Directors and staff of Hospital Cristiano de Especialidades. A new formal memo of understanding is in place to better facilitate the delivery of health care services in Ecuador.

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About Ecuador

COUNTRY BACKGRound

What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty – New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito – gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the “Republic of the Equator.” Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period was marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador’s last four democratically elected Presidents. In late 2008, voters approved a new constitution, Ecuador’s 20th since gaining independence. General elections were held in February 2013, and voters re-elected President Rafael CORREA.

GEOGRAPHY

LOCATION:

Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES:

2 00 S, 77 30 W

MAP REFERENCES:

South America

 

LAND BOUNDARIES:

TOTAL:

2,237 km

BORDER COUNTRIES:

Colombia 708 km
Peru 1,529 km

COASTLINE:

2,237 km

MARITIME CLAIMS:

200 nautical miles

CLIMATE:

Tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

TERRAIN:

Coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)

ELEVATION EXTREMES:

LOWEST POINT:

Pacific Ocean - 0 m

HIGHEST POINT:

Chimborazo - 6,267 m

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