Nonprofit organization extends gratitude over seas


Tom Wall

Hope Dominique performs an eye exam in Ecuador on March 5, 2023.

Riley Gomez, Staff Writer

After reviewing poor conditions within Ecuador, the Methodist Student Network Organization located in South Carolina traveled thousands of miles to help restore needed health care. 

Regardless of the low expense of healthcare, impoverished Ecuadorians still cannot afford to pay. Approximately 8.7% of the Ecuadorian population lives on less than $3.20 per day according to 

On the week of March 3, 2023, Ecuadorians were greeted by physicians, optometrists and pediatric oncologists.

Ocean Lakes assistant track coach and optometrist, Jennifer Bowers was one of the many doctors and volunteers that arrived in Ecuador. She assisted with eye care that consisted of treatments that ranged from dilation, perception tests, examinations and auto refractions. Bowers and others enjoyed the expressed appreciation from the Ecudorians of all ages. 

“The overwhelming gratefulness that patients share with you when you help heal and ease discomfort with medicine was truly astounding,” said Bowers. “We traveled thousands of miles to restore vision through donated eyeglasses.”

The organization gave out other health care and hygiene kits with an array of products such as vitamins, antibiotics, shampoo, toothbrushes, lotions and more.

Pre-med student, Ashley Loomis, described the community of the villages as alive and full of love. She added that even though they may not live in the best conditions, they still make do with what they have and don’t let it stop them from sharing joy. 

“Being in Ecuador further opened my eyes to how people there and many people in our country often have to choose between saving money and getting necessary medical treatment,” said Loomis. 

According to medical student Grant Morgan, he sees health care as a right rather than a privilege and recognizes the importance of having a business-forward mindset when it comes to improving health care policies.

“Even the best, most universal, accessible, affordable coverage will lack quality if there aren’t funds to sustain it,” said Morgan.