Faculty-Led Program: Ecuador

This month, we are highlighting the Faculty-Led program that is going to Ecuador in January.

Dr. Eric Glendening from the Chemistry and Physics Department is working with the Indianapolis-based Timmy Global Health foundation and its chapter at ISU to take a group of 10 students to Ecuador from January 2-11. This trip is focused around working in makeshift medical clinics in Quito, Ecuador. The clinics usually serves about 100 people a day and often times they start at 8:30AM. But the trip isn’t just about working; it is also learning about the history and the culture of Ecuador. It is a combination of emphasis on work and learning.

Although the trip is working through Timmy Global Health, it is open to students who are not currently members of the school’s Timmy chapter. Since there are only 10 spots available on the trip, Dr. Glendening is working on an application as a way to screen students who want to go on the trip; this is a common practice on many of the Timmy Global Health trips around the country. Dr. Glendening is hoping to have a mix of upperclassmen and freshmen, as well as current and new Timmy Members.

The ISU Timmy chapter raised almost $7,000 last year, surpassing their goal of $5,000, to serve healthcare needs in Quito. The group is only three years old, and having raised such a large sum of money for their partner organization in Ecuador is a big deal. They have 3 or 4 fundraisers a year from working the concession stands at the Diesel Fest, to Winter Banquet, Glow Run, and Tasty Tuesdays where they sell baked goods in the Commons. Last year, the chapter won Most Improved Chapter out of all of the chapters in the United States.

This isn’t the first trip that Dr. Glendening is taking to Ecuador. Last year, he and four students from the ISU Timmy chapter joined two other chapters on the trip to Ecuador. Emma Eckrote was one of the students who got to go on the trip last year and she is very excited about this year’s trip as well.

My favorite part of the trip was just being able to work with people. I worked at a Doctor’s office this summer and got to work with Medical Assistants and just comparing that with my experience in Ecuador was so different. In the U.S., when patients are waiting longer than 10 minutes, they are going to complain about it. But in Ecuador, people were so grateful. Even if they had been standing in line for four hours, they were still usually so happy to just be seen by the doctors.

Trip Information

  • Application Deadline to Dr. Glendening is Sept. 15
  • 3-Credit Class (GH 301-Global Healthcare Challenges begins on Oct. 12
  • Trip takes place Jan. 2-11
  • GH 301 grades are assigned Feb. 1
  • For more information, contact Dr. Glendening in the Chemistry and Physics Dept.


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