Bikes for the World

Thursday, February 28, 2013

How The Bike Is Helping People SEE Better In El Salvador

CESTA is a partner in El Salvador bringing more than just bikes

We told you back in September about some of the other unique items we have included in our bike shipments. Computers, crutches, braillers for the blind... Well last fall we were at it again.

Through BfW partner, Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology (CESTA) American groups doing similar work as BfW (helping change lives) were able to ship in supplies to carry out their missions in El Salvador. We are proud to be able to support these causes by slipping in boxes of supplies between our bikes, which actually helps hold our bike cargo in place and minimizes damage to wheels and derailleurs.
Courtesy: EyeCare International El Salvador

Last time it was water meters from Arlington County that were being installed to help bring water to villagers in Los Limones. In an update on our blog we brought you photos of the actual meters we shipped in place in the initial installation.

In late October of 2012, Bikes for the World shipped again to CESTA a container of bikes that came (in part) from long time supporter collections from Beth El Congregation and Knights of Columbus in Damascus.

Included in that shipment were supplies destined for the EyeCare International El Salvador. Program Coordinator Phil Loar is a long time supporter/volunteer of Bikes for the World and approached BfW to help with the delivery. BfW shipped over 57 boxes for the mission, which was just completed in Perquin.

EyeCare International worker examines patient
From their blog: EyeCare International provides vision care to the underserved population of El Salvador. It was founded by Dr. William Brinker in 1995 to bring ophthalmology, optometry, and optical services to areas of El Salvador outside of metropolitan centers. Typically, 5,000-7,000 patients travel to the annual two-week clinic to have their vision checked. They may receive eyeglasses or undergo surgery for cataracts or pterygium removal. Approximately 20 artificial eyes are fitted each year. Each patient is asked to donate one dollar (if they can afford it). However, there are no fees for eyeglasses, surgery, or medications.

Courtesy: EyeCare International El Salvador
From Phil Loar:
We were able to see more patients than we anticipated and still get to dinner on time. Our surgical team performed 92 operations and finished before dark every day except the first. But the real measure of success is the fact that our friends in Morazán can now see better to care for their families and to enjoy the lovely landscapes and beautiful people they encounter every day.
One pair of glasses may not change the whole world but it will change that person's world forever.

You can follow their progress on facebook.

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