Gratitude is the first word that comes to mind when I think of everything I experienced during the expedition in Mauritania. It was a project that I had been looking forward to for a long time and I ventured without thinking twice, suspecting that it would be a good experience of personal growth. And I was not wrong, because every minute and every experience has been a continuous learning from which I would highlight, beyond the tremendous pleasure of giving oneself to others, the great team of volunteers with whom I have had the pleasure of collaborating: a human group with the greatest commitment and sense of responsibility I have ever seen. In short, it has been a real pleasure and I feel truly privileged to have been able to be a part of this project that has forever touched my heart.
Laia Sirvent Añez
I only have words of gratitude to be able to live this wonderful experience that gave me the opportunity to open my head to new cultures, new languages and above all to put myself in the place of the other. Maybe you are not going to change their life, but your help means a great improvement of it. Besides, I am lucky to be able to do it with one of the things I love to do the most, which is my profession.
Not to mention that it also gave me the opportunity to meet wonderful people so different from each other, but we are united by the same goal of volunteering.
For me the expedition is learning, growth, love and happiness.
Mayra Natasha Garcia
The Elena Barraquer Foundation changes lives. Of the patients we operate on and our own. There were 10 of us in Mauritania where most of us did not know each other. We worked more than twelve hours every day with the sole motivation of helping a patient blinded by cataract, and from the first minute we could breathe in the air the empathy of the group for the desired objective. From the very first minute, the empathy of the group for the desired objective was evident. Seen from the outside, it is a group of crazy screamers who do not stop doing things. That’s what we are. Since 2017 I am part of the Elena Barraquer Foundation and with each new mission my heart gets a little happier. Teté Ferreiro is the one who manages everything along with Elena. Two wonderful beings that I was lucky to meet. Even if life doesn’t make us see each other as much, I will always thank them for the opportunity they gave me to be part of it.
Dr. Gerardo Valvecchia-Surgeon
If you ask me what the Elena Barraquer Foundation and the expedition to Mauritania mean to me… I would not be able to put it into words. But I think I could summarize it in “luck”. Because I was lucky to be part of this expedition, to be able to travel with a group of wonderful people and to do what I like the most, which is to operate waterfalls. But the most important thing is not that, but the impact that this small great action generated. 399 people whose lives we changed… but I’m not going to tell you about that because I’m sure you can already imagine it. Endless hours of flying, a thousand airports, so many hours of work per day… it sounds exhausting, but nevertheless I would do it again a thousand times more. Traveling to Mauritania changed the way I see life and of course the way I practice my profession. It is an injection of vocation and love for the profession that often brings frustrations. Thank you Elena Barraquer, Teté and Gerardo for inviting me to participate. I am proud to belong and I want you to know that you have my eternal support. I wish everyone had the same “luck”.
Thank you very much!
Dr. Mariano Martínez -Surgeon
I came back from Mauritania convinced that the silent work done by the Elena Barraquer Foundation is enriching in a double sense, firstly, by giving back the vision to people who have no other possibilities in their lives of being able to undergo cataract surgery, they await the arrival of the Foundation with Joy, Anxiety and Hope. These patients, who live in a distant place, place all their trust in the work done by the Foundation’s volunteers.
Secondly, there is the personal satisfaction of being allowed to be part of such a professional and warm group of people, who seek and provide solutions for the less fortunate. It was a dream for me to be able to be part of and represent the Elena Barraquer Foundation with my work, I was really happy to be able to participate, to attend the patients with love and respect, to meet this group of wonderful professionals and to have lived one of the most enriching experiences of my life.
Thank you very much!
Dr. Cecilia Taboada-Ophthalmologist