Photo: Alejo Miranda/Shutterstock

Cinterandes: Innovating Mobile Medicine in Ecuador

Ecuador Wellness
by Julie Schwietert Apr 17, 2008
“The decisions that will change our country…will come from…working with the people”
–Medical Voluntourism with Cinterandes

Organization: Cinterandes

: Medical volunteering across rural Ecuador.

Organization Overview: Started as a health clinic on wheels by Dr. Edgar Rodas, Ecuador’s former minister of health, Cinterandes has served more than 50,000 of Ecuador’s poorest citizens since its inception in 1995.

Rodas, who was frustrated by the country’s lack of health care for marginalized people, decided to fix the problem himself by taking free care to the people instead of waiting for the people to come to the city for preventive and acute care.

Opportunity Overview: Although Cinterandes’ scope of service has extended far beyond the original goal of providing health care to those who formerly had little or no access to medical services, health care remains its central focus.

While many of the staff members are medical or nursing school students from abroad who gain academic credit while volunteering with Cinterandes, the organization does accept volunteers with medical, nursing, or family health care experience to provide direct care to Cinterandes service recipients.

Ideal Volunteer Profile:

-An individual who possesses a strong professional background in medicine, nursing, or family health care.


Expectations of Volunteers:

Volunteers who are able to commit to a period of service from two to six months are given preference. Volunteers should be prepared to work in limited resource settings in rural communities.

Learn More About Cinterandes:

-See Cinterandes in action in this documentary.

-Visit Cinterandes website.

Details: If you are interested in being considered for a volunteer position with Cinterandes, please send an e-mail expressing your interest to Dr. Roads at

Be sure to include your resume or a summary of your professional experience. If your resume suggests that your experience could be useful, a Cinterandes staff member will contact you.

Feel Good Story:

Articles about Cinterandes’s unique model of service and surgical successes have been published in a number of respected international medical journals, including The Lancet, World Journal of Surgery, and Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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