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Previous Missions

Panama, February 2020

Panama, February 2020. Contact Kirk Thomas or Dr. Erin Sinkoff

Gomez Palacio, Mexico. February 2020

Belize, October 26 – November 3, 2019

I am really excited for this trip! We will be coordinating with a group of dental/audiology/primary care through the Belize Mission Project. This mission was established in 1993. Because of the popularity of this mission, the mission is split into two – one week missions, each with approximately 50 volunteers. I spoke with the director of the Belize Mission Project recently (she is a neighbor and friend). Check out the Belize Mission Project website: Here are the preliminary plans for our mission (subject to changes): -Fly into San Pedro … Read More

El Salvador March 10-16, 2019

VOSH trip to El Salvador 2019 This was VOSH trip number 14 for Dale and me. VOSH has allowed us to be more than merely beach-sitting tourists. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a tourist and I occasionally sit on a beach for a few minutes. I love helping people too. VOSH has allowed me to combine travel and helping people. On this trip, I also was able to practice my Spanish language skills with some very patient people. In El Salvador we are hosted by FUDEM (Fundacion para … Read More

MN/SD VOSH mission to Jamaica 2019

The MN and SD VOSH chapters combined to go to Port Antonio, Jamaica from Feb. 24th to March 3rd , 2019. The mission was led by Dr. Larry Morrison, an optometrist from Detroit Lakes, MN. With the help of social media and the VOSH International website, the group was larger than usual with 29 people going. There were 5 optometrists and 4 optometric students from the Southern California College of Optometry. There were 5 optometric techs and opticians. Nine team members had been on previous VOSH missions and 20 new … Read More

Gomez Palacio, Mexico

This will be the 44th annual mission to Gomez Palacio, Mexico. The mission is lead by our friends from VOSH SD and hosted by the local Gomez Palacio Lions Club. Clinicians fly in on Saturday, set up on Sunday and see patients Monday-Friday. Meals are provided by the local Lions. Even activities are arranged each day. The last Saturday is spent sight-seeing and shopping. Clinicians fly home on Sunday. For further information, please contact Jenny Ness.

Port Antonio, Jamaica

This is a biannual visit to Port Antonio, Jamaica. If interested, please contact Dr. Larry Morrison.

El Salvador

This will be the third annual return mission for VOSH MN. We are hosted by FUDEM, a private nonprofit foundation that provides holistic services in Visual Health, in a way that is accessible to all Salvadorans, especially for those who are economically vulnerable. Clinic runs Monday- Friday with recreation time after the clinic week. If interested, please contact the group leader Julie Walsh.

El Salvador 2017

VOSH Minnesota and FUDEM February 20‐24, 2017 This VOSH Minnesota trip will be lead by Dr. Julie L Walsh and hosted by FUDEM in El Salvador. We need to bring a supply of reading glasses, FUDEM will supply the prescription glasses. FUDEM charges $600 per participant  which covers all meals, lodging, and transportation during the work week. They usually also include an afternoon at the beach. Dr. Walsh will look into other R&R options. Our total trip fee will include the cost of readers, use of an autorefractor, FUDEM fee, T‐shirts, and miscellaneous expenses.  Each participant must pay … Read More

Marangu, Tanzania

October 2017 was VOSH-Minnesota’s 5th trip to Tanzania, and our 2nd trip to Marangu, on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Our team consisted of 40 people, including 6 optometrists, 2 ophthalmologists, 11 VOSH rookies, and the rest we hard working VOSH veterans. Marangu is at an altitude of 5,000 feet, and the home of the Ngaruma Lutheran Parish, our hosts, and the Marungu Hospital, which is supported by the church. Tanzania requires visas of all travelers from the United States, and we always get tourist visas as they are less expensive … Read More

Panama 2016

  February 13-21, 2016 We worked 2 days in San Felix and one in Boquete, Panama.   The Rotary helped us out in Boquete and some workers from the Jesuit mission where we worked in San Felix assisted us there.  Our resort was a half hour drive from our work site in San Felix. The area was called Las Lajas. R and R was a tour of the canal but on our last day we went up a mountain outside of Boquete and some went on the zip line, while others went bird watching, tree … Read More

Papua New Guinea Sept. 2015

Papua New Guinea, Sept. 7-10, 2015 Participants for this mission were Julie L Walsh, OD, PhD and Dale Simmons in collaboration with PNG Eyecare.  Joycelyn Kali, Refractionist, represented PNG Eyecare. We were joined by local ophthalmologist Waime Wahamu, MD and nurse Judith Dupi. The clinic took place at the Madan Community Center Clinic at the Madan Coffee and Tea Plantation. Clinic Adminstrator, Maureen Yalde assisted with organizing and translating. Eyewear was provided by PNG Eyecare. We saw a total of 80 patients. The most common causes of decreased vision that … Read More

Portoviejo, Ecuador 2015

This mission was led by Bob Boeding and hosted by Club Rotario Portoviejo Reales Tamarindos. Lodging was in private homes of Rotary members. The mission team included 8 students from the University of Waterloo. Five traveled to the Galapagos Islands for three days following the clinic days. Read More

Port Antonio, Jamaica 2015

2014 Busuanga Island, Philippines

My First VOSH Mission I felt both elated and terrified when I first sent the email to Minnesota VOSH to confirm my participation in the 2014 VOSH Mission to the Philippines. I had so many questions! Will I be safe traveling as a solo female? What vaccinations will I need? What do I pack?…and the list goes on. But as the plans for the trip fell into place I soon realized that I would not be left high and dry with my list of unanswered questions. There were 25 people … Read More

2013 Marangu, Tanzania

Mission Report 34 volunteers from 8 different states left Oct. 11 for Marangu, Tanzania. We were hosted by the Ngaruma Lutheran Church of Marangu and we worked at the Marangu Lutheran Hospital. Marangu is on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 5,000 feet, so it was a very comfortable working area and had great views of the mountain. The hospital gave us a wonderful area in which to work and the church provided great interpreters, great food, and great hospitality. We worked for four days and had planned to see … Read More

2013 Port Antonio, Jamaica

Dr. Larry Morrison of Detroit Lakes, MN led a mission in conjunction with both MN and SD VOSH to Port Antonio, Jamaica. A team of twenty which included six optometrists, several opticians, and other volunteers saw 1,100 patients and dispensed over 2,000 pairs of glasses including several hundred plano sunglasses to the needy people of Port Antonio. The mission was a huge success and the weather was perfect! Approximately 60 new glaucoma cases were diagnosed as well as several visually significant cataracts. The mission was assisted by the Port Antonio … Read More

2012 Cusco, Peru

Mission Report The mission began with a flight to Lima, Peru where our group spent the night in order to wait for our next flight the following day to Cusco. We arrived and settled in to either our hotel or hostel. Coca tea was given to us in order to help fight off altitude sickness. It was quite good and is made from cocaine leaves. We spent an entire day setting up our work location in the municipal building as well as sorting and organizing glasses that the students and … Read More

2011 Teacapan, Mexico

First Time VOSH’er When the opportunity arose to join a VOSH trip to Mexico this past January, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t done any optometric volunteer work before and didn’t know many of the other people going on the trip. However, getting out of Minnesota in January was very tempting and I had heard great things about a coworker’s VOSH experience. I decided I was up for a little adventure and signed up. The town we worked in, Teacapan, is located on the … Read More

2011 Busuanga Island, Philippines

Mission Report Our trip this year was VOSH-MN’s third trip to the Philippines, and it was another good one! Fourteen volunteers headed out on a 17+ hour airplane odyssey that ended in Manila, where we all overnighted. Then it was off to the island of Busuanga, in the province of Palawan, another one hour flight. We worked first in the small village of San Jose, a remote farming area with no access to eye care. We had worked there 2 years ago, and saw some of the same people we … Read More

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