My San Juanico Experience

I was very lucky to travel to San Juanico, Mexico this past June with a group of students and providers from International Health Collective of UCSD. I was initially placed on an alternate list for the trip but was contacted just two weeks prior to the departure date after someone had canceled. I jumped on the opportunity to attend the trip and quickly shared the news with my family. I had never traveled out of the country for more than a short day trip to Tijuana, so I was very excited for what was to come.

As we arrived in San Juanico after two long days of driving, we were greeted by beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and a small town vibe. As we settled in, I kept wondering to myself how clinic would run with our increased capacity compared to our usual Tijuana clinic. In the days approaching clinic, we enjoyed great company, fish tacos, and incredible surfing. On the first day of clinic, we quickly set up in the town’s community center with several curtained rooms for patients and providers, a separate lab and EKG area, a vitals area, and a reception area. As we geared up for our first flow of patients, everything was running smoothly. For some of our patients, it was simply a quick check up. For other patients, we ran labs or did an EKG at the request of the provider and updated the patient’s medication as needed. I was initially worried my Spanish would not hold up when asking patients questions, but thankfully received helpful pointers from some of our great translators and had no issues. Overall, the first day was a success and this carried over into our second and final day of clinic.​

Along with the incredible experiences and interactions with patients on the days of clinic, I truly enjoyed spending time with everyone enjoying the delicious food, warm beaches, and good laughter. I had never before seen a mile-long stretch of white sand beach completely empty with perfect weather and waves you could surf all day. Coming home from this trip, I felt I learned a lot when it comes to patient-care and providing care in a completely different environment than what I am typically used to.

Nyle Connolly

Fundraising Chair, International Health Collective

I would do the trip again in a heartbeat, and I can say I will treasure the memory of this trip for a very long time.