AMIGOS' Spring Trip To Belize Provided Unique Clinic Experiences
This past spring break, a group of 13 AMIGOS traveled back to Belize to visit the communities of Corozal and San Narciso to provide eye care for those under-served areas. During our four clinic days, we saw 470 patients, spanning from 3- to 80-year-olds, non-verbal children, diabetics, motor-vehicle accident patients and many more.
We handed out 600 sunglasses to patients, and almost everyone left with a pair of glasses for full-time wear or just near work. There was one patient who even brought her needle and thread along because she wanted to make sure she'd be able to thread her needle with the new glasses she was given. A non-verbal boy actually lifted up his head and was looking around after receiving a pair of -6D glasses and was able to see for the first time!
We saw and referred a number of patients for cataract removal and diabetic retinopathy management. BCVI was the organization we worked with while there; they were so very helpful in organizing the clinic days/locations, our accommodations and our meals. They also have a great referral system that allows the patients we saw to properly go through the process of getting cataracts and pterygium removed, retinopathy managed and any other extensive care they require.
As students, we saw many things that we haven't seen before in clinic, and it was overall a great experience for all of us!
After our clinic days, we were able to walk to the Caribbean Sea from our hotel and swim in the water for a bit before getting ready for dinner. The food in Belize was amazing, diverse and very affordable. Fifty cents for tacos? I’ll take 26 please! We then headed to San Pedro, which is an island off of the East Coast of Belize, and stayed at a resort for a couple days to relax. A group went snorkeling with sharks and manta rays, some went paddle boarding and kayaking, and others just stuck around the resort to relax and swing in hammocks.