The joint Lions/FACES trip to Lambayeque, Peru, started with a bang! The team stepped off the plane after a 24-hour journey and were met by a pack of Lions from six clubs around the Lambayeque/Chiclayo region. The Portland Lions, who have been working closely with the Lambayeque Lions to plan this trip for months, finally were able to meet in person.
After a quick rest in Lambayeque, the team headed into Chiclayo to meet the Cafe Femenino group, where they were holding their annual Women Coffee Producer’s Meeting. Twenty women from remote coffee-producing villages remained in Chiclayo for the afternoon. Dr. Tom Albert, of FACES conducted a brief health-promoter training session with the women, during which he discussed eye care. The Portland Lions (Dennis Tichenor, Warren Heathman and Merry Meek) then conducted vision screening for all the Cafe Femenino women, their children and their families.
The Lions ended up screening 80+ people for vision problems, both on an acuity test and with a visual refractor. Almost every single Cafe Femenino woman walked away that evening with a new pair of prescription glasses or readers, and every person received a new pair of sunglasses from the Lions.
Magda, a woman from a small coffee-producing village in the north of the region, had never had an eye screening in her life. After her vision testing, the Lions discovered that she had very poor vision (20/80) and needed glasses. She was immediately fit for a pair, and as the perfect pair was placed on her face, her eyes lit up. For the first time in years, perhaps decades, she could see.
The Portland Lions, who brought over 1,000 pairs of glasses to Peru, will continue to conduct vision and hearing screenings during the rest of the week and weekend.