The opportunity that the Elena Barraquer Foundation has given me to travel to developing countries to help operate on people blinded by cataracts has been like a dream for me.
The experience is unique from beginning to end: it gives incredible value to teamwork, at the level of medical student, I have had the opportunity to see advanced cataracts or various pathologies that are not used to see in our environment, I have also learned what it is to set up an operating room with conditions far inferior to those here (lack of electricity, water, deep cleaning …) in addition to getting to know a new country, with its limitations, its resources so different from ours, its food, its people: its inhabitants always so generous and so grateful for our work. It is inexplicable what it feels like when you open someone’s eyes and give them back their sight, how happy the patients are every time we arrive at the hospital, how they hold your hand and thank you… the most sincere thanks I have ever received. This expedition has taught me so much on so many levels. I can only conclude that it has inspired me to come back as a doctor and help more people.
Natalia del Cabo
A huge motivation was our driving force: the desire to restore the vision of a group of Nigerians who were waiting for us with open arms and hearts.
Endless preparations, paperwork, visas, more vaccinations and permits, each concrete step brought us closer to this long-awaited trip.
We met, we introduced ourselves and that was all it took; we were already friends, the kind that share everything, from sleep and hunger to laughter and hugs of happiness. And above all, we shared a desire: to be part of the Elena Barraquer Foundation in its task of fighting against avoidable blindness caused by cataracts and to bring them out of marginalization. To offer them a safer life and open up future possibilities.
Twelve hours a day of work, interrupted only by a lunch that was as spicy as it was fleeting. And we were once again immersed in our tasks, each one of us happy in our souls to help those who needed us so much.