Over 4,000 People Helped in Nicaragua

SVOSH-CT volunteersEarlier this month, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences School of Optometry Student VOSH Chapter traveled to Nicaragua in conjunction with the VOSH-Connecticut Chapter and helped over 4,000 people.

The Chapter’s President, Joyce Rached, along with 75 volunteers, provided eye care to those in-need and assisted patients with a variety of other health complications in the city of San Juan del Sur. Over the course of a week, the group distributed 4,000 glasses, 8,000 sunglasses, and medications to deal with ocular diseases to over 2,000 people!

We were able to support this Student VOSH mission trip to Nicaragua by providing 300 glasses and 100 sunglasses through our partnership with Restoring Vision. We also support Student VOSH chapters through monetary donations.

Bringing Eye Care to Nicaragua

2017 marks the 16th year that the VOSH-Connecticut chapter has traveled to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Over the past 15 years, the group has seen a total of 42,346 patients!

Children in NicaraguaTestimonial

Several patients were put on a surgery list for cataract removal, others were added to the list to treat uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension. Patients came from all over Nicaragua – miles and miles away. One bus that brought children from an orphanage on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 came to the clinic from approximately 5 hours away. They arrived at the clinic at 8am, and I had never met anyone as cheerful as this group of kids.

– Joyce Rached, SVOSH President at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences School of Optometry

More About Nicaragua

Map of Nicaragua

Image Credit: US Dept of State

Nicaragua is a Central American country situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is known for its dramatic terrain of lakes, volcanoes, and beaches. The capital city of Managua is the country’s largest city and the third-largest city in Central America.

Nicaragua is among the poorest countries in the Americas with about 48% of the population living below the poverty line. It is primarily an agricultural country. Nicaragua’s population of six million includes indigenous peoples, Europeans, Africans, and Asians, with Spanish being the main language.

Eye problems are common in Nicaragua and are due in great part to a lack of resources. There is an overwhelming amount of blindness and suffering directly related to preventable diseases of the eye. Furthermore, with no kind of government funded disability programs in Nicaragua, blindness is not only emotionally devastating, but leads to poverty as it drastically impacts an individual’s way of life and ability to work.

More Pictures from Nicaragua



Jessica Altamirano

Jessica Altamirano

Communications Specialist at National Vision, Inc.
Jessica Altamirano is a proud Veteran spouse who has worked for NVI since 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. Jessica is passionate about corporate-nonprofit partnerships, philanthropic efforts in developing countries, Veteran recruitment, and creating a culture of health and wellness in the workplace.
Jessica Altamirano