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Tijuana 20/20: IRT Gives Better Vision to Tijuana’s Poorest

July 19, 2017

On Sunday, January 17, 2016, International Relief Teams teamed up with Tijuana-based nonprofit Corazon, to provide eyeglasses to residents of of Cumbres, Flores Magon, Canon Carretas, Nuevo Milenio and Pedregal, in Tijuana. Due to lack of access to eye care, many of our neighbors in Tijuana, especially the poorest, suffer unnecessarily from bad vision, making it impossible for them to read, to learn, and to provide for their families. 

San Diego-based International Relief Teams is bringing them much-needed care to improve their sight. On Sunday, IRT volunteers spent the day screening 90 people and providing 65 pairs of eyeglasses.

Eleven-year-old Daniel was one of 19 children who received a new pair of glasses. He says: “Now I can see better and recognize objects and people in the distance.”

IRT Director of Operations & Program Development, Rose Uranga, has led volunteer teams to more than 10 countries over the past 25 years.  About the Tijuana eyeglass mission, she says: “These eyeglasses are small miracles for the poor -- enabling school children to learn, and giving adults the ability to work and provide for their families.” 

IRT’s collaboration with Corazon reflects the high value IRT places on partnership. Says IRT founder, Barry LaForgia, “We believe we are stronger, more effective and efficient when we partner with organizations that have a strong presence in communities. IRT leverages these partnerships to ensure our support goes farther to help those in need.”

Corazon executive director, Manuel Huesca, also participated in the clinic. “It was a fulfilling and exciting day,” he said. “Being able to facilitate service to the communities and work with such an amazing group of people and volunteers, reminds me of how much and why I love my job.” 

IRT is committed to helping vulnerable and marginalized families in our neighboring region of Baja California have a chance at a successful future by providing eye glasses and other support. This year, we will continue our partnership with Corazon and continue to serve communities in Tijuana and Tecate.  

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