Bolivia Volunteer Stories: The Artificial Limbs Center in La Paz is Life-changing
by Grace Deetjen
I came to Bolivia for two months immediately following my graduation with a bachelor's degree in bioengineering. It was an easy choice to delay beginning work so that I could gain experience in prosthetics, help low-income amputees, and travel in a gorgeous country. I didn't know anything about La Paz's extreme altitude or the beauty of the indigenous Bolivians before signing myself up, but I have absolutely no regrets.
As an aspiring prosthetist myself, I found the time at the clinic to be incredibly valuable. I primarily served in the role of workshop assistant, but additional help with the 3D-printer and administration were frequently needed. There is always something to help with at the clinic, and the people are incredibly kind.
I would recommend volunteering here to anyone with interests in medicine, biomechanics, prosthetics, or generally helping out at a life-changing clinic. The amount of life-change for Bolivians receiving high-functioning, cosmetic prosthetics is unbelievable.
Dates of Volunteer Experience: April, May, June 2016
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