In Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, the average daily wage is a mere $5.00 USD. The region’s economy was once heavily reliant on the oil industry until the market crashed, creating widespread financial challenges for many residents. Now, one of the only remaining industries is fishing. With a recovering economy and low average incomes, gaining access to vision care can be expensive and out of reach for many. A pair of glasses can cost anywhere from 1,000 – 7,000 pesos. In a continued effort to #HelpMexicoSee and work towards a world with access to vision care for all, OneSight returned to Mexico to serve the Ciudad del Carmen region for the first time.
From May 12 – 17, OneSight partnered with Devlyn Foundation and DIF for The State of Campeche (DIF) to bring free vision care to the region. In just 5 days, we were able to serve 3,624 patients in need with the help of 55 team members from 6 different countries. Most of these patients are from the communities of Escarcega, Candelaria, and Calakmu and are fisherman, farmers, city workers and children.
The clinic had the capacity to manufacture 2,007 pairs of prescription glasses on-site, dispense 480 pairs of reading glasses, and through the support of the Devlyn Foundation provide lenses for an additional 234 pairs of glasses. Among those identified as needing corrective glasses, there were 423 that were also referred for further ophthalmic evaluation thanks to our partners at DIF.
In order to effectively reach as many patients as possible, we needed a hardworking team of global and local volunteers to bring our clinic to life . Each day we had at least 40 volunteers on the ground, local students to translate and teachers to help facilitate their classrooms. Thanks to our partners at the Devlyn Foundation we were also able to source local equipment to fuel clinic needs.
The ability to see clearly is a key to unlocking potential—especially in the classroom. That’s why our clinic focused on screening a higher number of school children, which made up 40% of clinic patients. In addition, our partners at DIF and local schools committed to doing dual screenings for all kids we saw at our clinic from ages 5 – 21.
Providing patients with glasses isn’t the only way we aim to empower students. At our Mexico Clinic, we enlisted the help of fourteen 3rd and 4th year optometry students from all over the US and Canada to give them a chance to further enhance their skills in a setting that’s different from what they are used to. Throughout the week students were paired with our volunteer optometrists, which helped guide them through serving patients. In just one week, the students were exposed to more than they normally would be in an entire year of clinicals. By the end of the clinic, the students emerged with enhanced technical clinic skills as well as an increased confidence in their abilities as a future optometrist.
A pair of glasses has the power to dramatically change a student’s performance in the classroom. Donate $10 to provide a free pair of glasses to a student in need.