We had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Taylor Surles, who was an AMIGOS participant in Mexico. Curious about the impact his experience had, we asked if he always knew he wanted to be a doctor.
“I had an inkling that I wanted to something medical. Really I wanted to do something with science. It wasn’t until I did AMIGOS that I decided that I wanted to be a doctor. I was sent to the town of Mexiquito in the region of San Fransisco del Rincón in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. It was a town of about 500 people or about 125 families. My town was rather well off. There was a paved main road, and most houses had running water and electricity.
Our main objective was to teach the children about health and hygiene. They also had a small clinic right off the main road. It was no more than two rooms (one for medicine storage one for an examination table). There was a doctor from Guanajuato that would come around once a week and have a free clinic. The way that she interacted with the patients, and what she did for them was what inspired me to become a doctor. Once I am done with my medical training, I am going to do Doctors Without Borders. That has been my driving desire to practice medicine ever since I met her.
I definitely learned leadership, a healthy wanderlust, and how to adapt to new situations. I work in the ER and I definitely need to respond quickly to situations that come in. Mainly what I learned was Spanish. I still say that experience is what made me fluent. Before, I could speak well, but after I considered myself fluent because I started thinking in Spanish. I speak Spanish almost daily to my patients. It is very helpful, and my patients love it.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in AMIGOS. I think it was invaluable and very formative in creating who I am today. I would love to be able to encourage others to share in my same experience.”
AMIGOS offers immersive, independent programs for students age 13 – 25. We believe in the power of young people to change the world and work to offer authentic opportunities that inspire and build young leadership through collaborative community development and immersion in cross-cultural experiences. Check out our programs for 2018!
We now have an AMIGOS family of over 28,000 alumni, and it is always great to have the opportunity to reconnect and see how their experience has impacted their life.