Story & Photos by Patricia McCormick
A wonderful and celebrated occasion took place in April 2010 in Cotacachi, a small town of about 6,000 indigenous people high in the Andes. People of all ages came to the tents housing Dr. Ashish Sanon, a renowned surgeon and ophthalmologist, from Beverly Hills, Florida. Assisting were his young son Nikhil, Nurse Josie Hardin from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and several local interpreters and helpers.
None of these people were receiving any salary; they happily gave their time and attention to people who would otherwise not receive the help they needed.
All of this badly needed service was arranged by Micky Enright of Naples, Florida. Micky spends as much time as she can in this little hamlet, helping school children and Dr. Vaca with needed school and medical supplies. She inspired these professionals to give freely of their time and energy to bring help to the warm and appreciative folks who live in Cotacachi and the surrounding area.
The mayor and his wife, Alberto and Mercedes Andrango, were on hand for the opening ceremonies, where they spoke of the appreciation of the people. Dr. Sanon and Micky were invited to speak, with an interpreter at hand. Food was served, music was played, and toasts were made.
Then Dr. Sanon, his son, and Josie went into the tents and, with the assistance of interpreters and aids, they proceeded to work for three long days, examining more than 160 people. Sometimes the sun shone; at other times the rains came and the tents were flooded, but they ignored their wet feet and carried on.
On the last day, the Mayor and his wife invited everyone connected with the eye examinations, including many local people who gave of their time and efforts, to a wonderful celebration party in the evening. As is the custom, drinks were shared and local musicians provided incentive for everyone to dance.
There were also talented, energetic dancers who put on a lively and entertaining show. Colorful shawls and skirts whirled to the music as everyone clapped with appreciation.
Finally, food was served, and the hospitality and good times made indelible memories for everyone who shared the work and the fun. Everyone participated in the food and dance; cultural and language differences disappeared as everyone felt a strong connection and appreciation for each other.
Soon, spectacles will be provided for everyone who needed them. No doubt, other medical personnel will be inspired to return to this appreciative village, offering their professionalism and love. – Patricia McCormick
As always, you’re welcome to join us on our next adventure to Ecuador. This caring team made a difference in the lives of these lovely people in Cotacachi. And you can too. REMEMBER…
ONE person can make a difference… Choose to get involved now! We are currently accepting Donations of Products or Funds to help meet our 2010 goals.
Simply make contributions by CHECKS made payable to: Ecuador Project Hope, 2316 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, Florida 34109 USA
OR easier still… hit the quick, safe and efficient “Donate Button” to complete your transaction with PayPal or Credit Card.
If you prefer to donate products, please contact Micky at: MickyEnright@gmail.com