August 2012
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I spent three months volunteering with Prescriptions for Peace this past winter. During the first two months, our main group of four volunteers gave oral hygiene presentations at a local elementary school, held weekly medical campaigns in communities near Cusco, and worked in La Farmacia Amistad. When two of the volunteers left at the end of July, our schedule shifted to focus more on helping a clinic in the community of Occopata, a small village located in the mountains above Cusco. Michael and I visited the clinic on a regular basis, assisting as needed and also going house to house with the doctor to distribute medication. Occasionally, we would travel to even smaller communities near Occopata in order to provide treatment for warts, scabies, or other medical issues.
I liked that I had the ability to be independent during this volunteer experience, as it allowed me to decide for the most part what I wanted to dedicate my time to. I particularly enjoyed working at the clinic in Occopata, and had the opportunity to help out there as much as I liked.
This summer was an incredibly eye-opening experience to the needs and problems of the people living in and around Cusco. I feel like my time spent here made a difference for numerous people, and I also gained a better understanding of a variety of health care issues in Peru.