Eye Care International in an organization that has been coming to El Salvador for the last 15 years. Their primary goal is to provide free eye care to the people to determine if they need glasses or if they need to have eye surgery for cataracts or Pterygia (Film covering the eye do to intense sun exposure). Each year they pick a different town to go to for a two week period in February. During that two week time frame they see as many as 5000 people from the surrounding area of that town. It is hard to believe that there is such a need.
In February 2014 this organization came to a town named La Libertad it is about 45 minutes west of San Salvador the capitol right on the ocean.
Through my contacts in the US I was able to connect this group with Padre Fuentes. He knew of the need in his country and wanted to help where possible. The first thing we did was ask this organization if we could bring some people from Agua Caliente to have their eyes checks. Agua Caliente, where the colegio is located, is about 3 hours away from La Libertad and their outreach usually does not go that far. However with the help of Padre Fuentes, this organization allowed us to bring up to 20 people that may need eye surgery and 50 people from Agua Caliente that may need glasses.
There was great interest in the project and so we first contacted all of the parents of the children at the colegio and found which ones needed eye care.
We then went out into the larger community and quickly pit our list together. We are happy to report that all assigned people made the trip and many received eye glasses and 5 needed surgeries.
The clinic in located in Chalatenango. There is a need for this service there. They had never been to this much larger town than Aqua Caliente.
Padre suggested to the director of this organization if they were interested in coming next year to this town. They were interested and so we took the director and others to visit the facilities there. They were impressed and thought that the area could accommodate the 60 volunteers that come down each year to help and the 5000 Salvadorians that will visit. There is also a hospital there where the eye surgeries can take place.
So with the encouragement from Padre Fuentes they have now decided to come to Chalatenango in February 2015. All details are being worked out now.
It will be a great chance for the people to receive eye care that many had never had before. Padre Fuentes is very happy for the opportunity to help make this possible for this great organization.
For more information go the their website. www.eyecareint.org.
Pictures of students and people from Agua Caliente who went to La Libertad in 2014.