Angus Pinsky & Jed McIntyre – Our Medical Elective in Quisuar, Peru

In summer 2023, Dundee medics Angus, Jed, Lee and Jack spent 4 weeks at the health post LED supports in Quisuar, in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. Here are the write ups from Angus and Jed (including PDF originals), together with some of their photos. Thank you all for all your hard work in Quisuar and surrounding villages. It sounds like you had a great time!

Rural Medicine in the Cordillera Blanca Mountains, Peru – Angus Pinsky


We spent four weeks volunteering in the north of Peru, in a health post in the Cordillera Blanca mountains, and in the town of Acopampa, in the northern province of Carhuaz.

The health post is run by the small charity Light Education Development, located in the village of Quisuar. It is staffed by a single nurse, and we were also accompanied by a friendly guide/translator, called Juan. Here we ran clinics for the local people, who visited from the surrounding villages. We could take histories, perform physical examinations, and prescribe from the post’s small medication store (to which we contributed some donated medicines). The local people speak Quechua, and so we had to translate throughout each consultation. Each day we would see up to 25 patients, although the number of patients who visited the post would vary greatly, and they would arrive anytime between 7am and 10pm.

The ailments we witnessed most often were common conditions, such as UTIs, URTIs and GORD, as well as chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. There was a distinct lack of public health knowledge, meaning our primary role was often educating patients on concepts such as curative vs symptomatic treatment, eating healthily, and drinking adequate quantities of water.

Alongside our general consultations, we also provided basic vision assessments and free reading or distance glasses for those who needed them.

In Acopampa we performed basic vision assessments on all the pupils at a local school, as well as some parents and teachers. Here we also provided free glasses, that had been donated to the charity.


Peru is a high-middle income country, located on the west coast of South America. It has a population of 33.72 million, and the capital is Lima.

Healthcare in Peru is provided by a mix of government and private organisations, with an insurance-based model. A majority of citizens receive some form of government coverage. However, there are many barriers to accessing healthcare, especially for those in poverty and those who live rurally. We witnessed this during our time in Quisuar, where the villagers who visited us would have otherwise had to travel a long distance to reach the nearest government- run health post, and even further for any specialist care. There are also difficulties for Quechua-speaking communities, as consultations are generally conducted in Spanish.


In order to organise our elective, we got in touch with Light Education Development through the contact form on their website, which can be found here:

We were then contacted by Val, the charity’s founder, who was our supervisor.


  • Exposure to health practice radically different to that found in the UK
  • Good immersion into the lifestyle and culture of local people
  • People were always friendly, welcoming, and immensely grateful
  • Program established based on a thorough understanding of local needs and issues
  • Health post based in a strikingly beautiful mountainous region of Peru, well off the tourist track
  • Opportunity to take on a lot of personal responsibility vs a more conventional placement
  • Opportunity to travel in Peru, see Machu Picchu, and lots of other amazing sights
  • Cost of living is very cheap compared to the UK


  • Language barrier if you don’t have pre-existing Spanish knowledge
  • Only basic amenities at the post, which could be challenging for those not prepared for a pared-back lifestyle akin to camping
  • Could be lonely without a group
  • Have to go through around a week of adjustment to altitude to avoid altitude sickness, as the post is located at around 3000m elevation


  • Learn some Spanish!
  • Take a four-season sleeping bag, comfy mat, and a water-filter
  • Speak to someone who has been before about practicalities (I have a packing list I can pass on)
  • Follow all the advice of the local guide
  • If you’re interested in trekking, let your guide know

Quisuar Health Post Report – Jed McIntyre

Volunteering in the Quisuar health post was something truly special. Better than just visiting Peru, working rurally in the mountains made us a part of the community for our time spent there and our welcome couldn’t have been warmer. Our days were kept busy and entertaining running clinics as a team, which consisted of ourselves (5th year students), Juan who acted as our translator/guide and the health post nurse. As students, the exposure and opportunities on this trip was invaluable and helped develop confidence in leading consultations as well as general medicine. From initial presentation to examination and management it was all student-led, great to get a taste for responsibility and we never felt too far out of our comfort zone. We saw a wide range of conditions from many specialities including arthritis, viral coughs, angina, UTIs and vision problems. This healthcare was a huge benefit to patients and with the community being so small, being able to see the impact felt great, from clearing up diseases to providing glasses – this was huge for quality of life as being able to see well enough to thread a needle is very important to the families.

We ran clinics from Quisuar offering our services to the locals who really appreciated our time. It always felt useful contributing our medical management as well as just information which meant a lot to patients who had worries or questions. We also took a couple visits to the neighbouring localities of Seccha and Pochgoj where we were put up in accommodation and held clinics for a slightly larger population of people. This was also where we were able to stock up on biscuits! These journeys gave us opportunities to see more patients and work as a more mobile unit of healthcare. Although our stay here had wifi it couldn’t match the beauty of our surroundings in Quisuar, at ≈2900m elevation the mountain landscape was breathtaking and so isolated.

We also loved the opportunity to get involved in the community by teaching English and running activities with the local kids some afternoons as well as joining in sport festivals who were always keen for some extra numbers to play football or volleyball. Along with my memories of our exciting clinical work and the beautiful location, I’ll never forget Jack’s flying volley from the halfway line to raucous applause from the crowd. My hero.

Our time in Quisuar offered a unique chance to visit the beautiful country Peru, to learn and develop our knowledge and skills in a new environment. And to contribute to and belong in a community on the other side of the world. To experience their hospitality, stories and culture was a treat!


If you’re a medical student interested in spending your medical elective at the Quisuar Healthpost, check out our How you can help page for more details.

LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023 – Thank you!

A quick update with a few pics from our 2023 fundraiser last Saturday, from Portinscale in the Lake District up, round and down the Newlands Valley.

A huge thanks to all who came along and supported us, and to the local businesses and LED supporters who provided raffle prizes.

We’ll update soon on the total amount the event raised but a great time was had by all on a hot, humid but fun day and evening.

LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023
LED’s Annual Fundraising Walk 2023

Donations to support LED’s work in Nepal and Peru are much appreciated at any time via our JustGiving page –

Sign up for LED’s Annual Charity Walk – Saturday 09 September 2023

Join Val and friends for a day in the hills raising money for our work in Nepal and Peru.

Our annual LED charity walk will be held on Saturday 9th September 2023 and we’ll be based in the village of Portinscale, near Keswick in the Lake District.

We plan to head off from the village hall at Portinscale which is just behind the Farmers Arms (grid reference: NY249237, What3words: watching.coasting.typed, Post code: CA12 5RW, Google maps) at 9.30am and ask you to all be there by 9.00am for a safety and update briefing.

We will then all then walk to the foot of Cat Bells with the hope we can all get to the top for a group picture (NY244199). After that there will be choice of 3 “guided” walk options (distance, ascent & timings all advisory!) which are as follows

  1. Short route: Descend to Hause Gate (NY244191) and drop down towards Derwent water and walk back along path above the road (D: 11km, A: 550m, T: 4 hours)
  2. Medium route: Go over Maiden Moor and High Spy and after dropping to the saddle (NY231153) with Dale Head, follow the footpath back into the Newlands Valley (D: 20Km, A:900m, T: 6/7 hours)
  3. Long route: From the saddle climb up to Dale Head (NY222153), follow the ridge north west, then north round to Hindscarth (NY216165)and drop back into Newlands Valley from its north east ridge (D: 22km, A: 1200m, T: 7/8 hours)

You are of course free to choose any other variant of the above!

We will then all enjoy tea and biscuits at Portinscale Village hall before commencing the evening dinner around 7.30pm.

As many of you know, Portinscale is a charming Lakes village just a short walk from Keswick. Whilst there is lots of accommodation available in Portinscale, Keswick or Braithwaite, this is the Lakes so we would advise you to book early!

We’d love to see as many of you that can make it come along and so we can plan the logistics and catering we would be grateful if you would complete the registration form by clicking on this link:

If you have any further questions now or beforehand please do not hesitate to email us. We look forward to seeing you all on 9th September!

Val & the LED Trustees

LED Projects: Looking back at 2022 and ahead to 2023

The LED Board of Trustees and Val met in December on Val’s return from Nepal and discussed projects completed in 2022 and to plan for 2023.

For the past couple of years, during the COVID pandemic, we’ve focused funds into very necessary ad-hoc projects – in particular food distribution – in the remote communities in Nepal and Peru that we support.

In 2022 Val was at last able to get back to Peru and Nepal, and we have been able to refocus the charity back onto core projects – solar light distribution, education and health development.

2022 Projects


  • Thanks to another generous round of funding from The Derek Moore Foundation, Val was able to distribute LED solar lights to remote communities in the Cordillera Blanca in July.
  • LED continues to fund the nurse and medical supplies at Quishuar Health Post and in August Leeds medics James Peaty and George Thomas spent their medical elective volunteering there. As well as providing healthcare from the health post in Quishuar and undertaking home visits for local elderly people who weren’t able to get to the healthpost, James and George also ran a mobile eye clinic in Pingspampa to distribute reading and distance glasses and provided English lessons for local children in Quishuar.  Read more in their reports:


  • Val led two treks in Nepal in October – December 2022, distributing solar lights and eye glasses and running eye clinics in Manaslu, Nar Phu and Solu Khumbu. LED would like to thank Tsering Tarke and Mingmi Sherpa for their assistance in Manaslu and Tenzi and Dr Kami for theirs in Khumbu. 
  • In Khumbu Pat Booth led eye clinics and carried out eye assessments to identify people who would benefit from a mobile cataract clinic due to be held in April. You can read Pat’s write up in “Helping with Glasses”: Eye Clinics in Khumbu
  • Thame school and community held a reception to thank LED for supporting the teacher and providing school supplies, and for providing food and financial aid during COVID.
  • Val and Mary met Ang Rita Sherpa of The Partners Nepal in Kathmandu and he provided an update on the 1 Day 1 Tree project LED had funded in Langtang and in supporting the running costs of the Elderly Care Center old people’s home in Bung.
  • The Nepalese Government has taken over provision of medical supplies to the Rasuwa Health Post following LED’s initial funding of construction and supplies.

2023 Projects

Confirmed projects – there will be others:


  • Quishuar Health Post: We’ll continue to fund the nurse and medical supplies.
  • Quishuar Health Post Volunteers: Two medics from Dundee Medical School are already confirmed for summer 2023 and Val is talking to two more medics from Leeds about them spending their elective at the health post too.


  • Bung Old People’s Home & Solar Lights for Langtang: LED is partnering with The Partners Nepal to continue to support the running costs of Bung old people’s home and to provide solar lights for Langtang, which TPN will distribute. Langtang has still not recovered from the 2015 earthquake.
  • Thame school: LED will continue support the teacher and provide school supplies for another year.
  • Solar lights: One of the remote communities Val will be distributing lights to are the yak herders in the Thame valley to provide protection against increasing numbers of wolves and wolf attacks.

As ever, we’ll be providing ongoing updates via Facebook (Facebook/LEDCharity) and donations are always welcome using our JustGiving page.