Minga is one of the most beautiful customs we have observed on our journey thus far. In the Quechua language of the indigenous people of Ecuador, minga means “the coming together of a community for the betterment of all.”
In our time here, we have seen the indigenous community come together to fill the potholes and clean the edges of a road and perform repairs on the local school and medical clinic. In the evenings, we have heard the music and celebration after this hard work, and it always makes me realize that something good has happened that day.
As we make our way around the world, we have decided to adopt this custom of “minga” with our friends, family, and readers (hey, if you’re a reader you are practically family).
Our first project is is the Mojandita Clinic in Otavalo, which is just a short distance from Casa Mojanda, our temporary home in Ecuador. Casa Mojanda already does a lot with the community here, which is why we are happy to partner with them on this project. Long after we leave Otavalo, they will be here taking donations, raising money, and participating in work projects for the local medical clinic.
This clinic is attached to the local school, and there is a part-time nurse there every day and a doctor one day per week. They have recently hired a nurse who speaks Quechua, which is the language of the indigenous people, as well as Spanish. Her efforts at education and prevention will make a big difference in this community that wasn’t possible before due to the language barrier.
What the clinic needs desperately is medicine. Their shelves are bare, and some of the donations they do receive are either inappropriate or expired. When we were there, we saw a gallon-sized plastic bag full of expired pills that were to be destroyed.
how you can participate in the virtual minga
What the clinic needs most are vitamins and anti-diarrheal medications, though there is a longer list of other medications they also need. We initially wanted to request that you purchase and send medications to them, but we’ve since found out that some packages are taxed upon arrival by weight and the clinic cannot afford to pay the fee.
So we’ve set up a Paypal button to take donations and we’ll go out and buy the medications here before we leave on November 15. Medicines here are inexpensive in comparison to the US and Europe, so even a donation of $5 will buy 5 boxes of anti-diarrheal medication. (click here if you do not see a Donate button below)
Your donations will buy:
Amoxicillin 500 mg adult tablets, elixir for children
Azithromycin 500 mg adult tablets
Erythromycin elixir for children
Cephalosporins for adults and children
Acetaminophen for adults and children
Ibuprofen for adults and children
Meloxicam for adults
Tramadol for adults
Oral Contraceptives, Injectable Contraceptives and Condoms
Multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, children’s vitamins
We are really excited about sharing our trip with all of you, and from the emails and comments we’ve received so far, we know that you want to help where you can in the areas we visit. It is a very balanced way to see the world – receiving a bounty of beauty and culture and giving help where possible – and we are happy to have you share in all of it with us.
Please contact us if you want to help long-term with this project. We’ll put you in touch with the right people.
Gracias por tu ayuda (thank you for your help).
*Many thanks to our very good friend and host in Ecuador, Mimi Welch, for getting the list translated and introducing us to the wonderful community of people at Casa Mojanda and the surrounding area.