A group of University of Texas Rio Grande Valley biomedical science students traveled to Haiti during Spring Break to help families in need.

It was a trip they never believed they could make, but after sponsors and donors came forward, the students were able to provide medical care to those in need.

“First we had a triage, administered blood pressure screenings, took their temperature, height and weight,” said UTRGV student Kelsey Medina.

The students participated in Project Smile where they worked one-on-one with Haitians as part of a medical mission trip.

“We worked with nurse practitioners and spoke to them afterward, and also worked with the pharmacy and got experience with medicine,” said UTRGV student Alejandra Torres.

The students were certain they had found their calling as they assisted people in need.

“I enjoyed getting out there and helping people that really do need medical care, but also interact with other people,” said Medina.

After the students spent several days watching, learning and taking part in the medical care of people who very seldom get help, the group came back to Brownsville with a new ambition to make a difference in Rio Grande Valley communities.

“Now we have a better idea of how we can help our community here,” said Project Organizer and UTRGV student Anitta Saju. “We can set up our own medical missions in certain areas.”

“There’s need here, too, in our own communities,” Medina said. “I’ve seen it, and we’ve all seen it. The experience going into Haiti helps us bring it back to help out our people here.”

The students plan to go back to Haiti next year, but before they graduate and head off to medical school, their goal is to take a medical mission trip to India.