In August 2019, 10 volunteers worked a five day clinic in Costa Rica. The lead doctor was Sarit Catchatoorian from Charlotte, NC. Assisting the clinic team was student doctor Jivan Hovsepyan from Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton, CA. The eight technicians were from
California, Nevada, and El Salvador.
The clinic was held in La Cruz, population 11,063, located in the upper west corner of the country. La Cruz is close to the Nicaraguan border and about a 15 minute drive from the Pacific Ocean. The mountainous area where the clinic team stayed overlooked the sea to the west and had a clear view north into Nicaragua.
The clinic team served 1,320 patients of all ages. Some patients traveled from Nicaragua to receive an exam. All were gracious and a pleasure to serve. The patients’ eye conditions were fairly standard, with a few cases of dermoid cysts and bacterial conjunctivitis which were treated medically.
The host Lions were very welcoming. They organized the clinic at a conference center adjacent to the team’s hotel. Everyone appreciated the convenience of the arrangement. Air conditioning and hot water were in short supply at the hotel, but the team handled it well. The local food was enjoyed by all. The clinic team took some time to visit the natural areas of Nicoya and La Fortuna/Arenal each a 2-3 hour drive southeast of La Cruz.