La Sonrisa Naranja is a medical center in El Barrio Horizontes del Fortin, an impoverished neighborhood in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Our goal is to provide medical care to people that normally would not be able to afford it. Starting point is that every patient receives the care he or she needs and pays according to financial capacity, as judged by our doctor. Els van der Linden and Gonzalo Bonilla are the doctors running the center. Els graduated at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and specialized in tropical medicine in Antwerp. Gonzalo graduated at the University of Guayaquil and completed an additional master’s in healthcare management in 2017.
In 2007, we founded Foundation La Sonrisa Naranja in the Netherlands to support the work of Els and Gonzalo in Ecuador. With the help of the Dutch foundation, La Sonrisa Naranja in Ecuador evolved into a full equipped medical center with a general practitioner, dentist, gynecologist, small pharmacy and medical lab. In addition, we are bit-by-bit more able to also work on prevention. We organize open days on which people get free medical exams and presentations on themes like drugs, HIV and diseases like Dengue. Finally, we have a small gym in which we organize activities that focus on personal development and increasing self-esteem of kids and teenagers.