David Baulesh helped co-found the HOLA Foundation in 2008. He is originally from Conifer, CO, and is currently in his 4th year of medical school at Rocky Vista University. Prior to taking on his current role as Vice Chairman, he also served as Executive Director. According to Baulesh, “HOLA takes a unique multi tiered approached to global health, addressing many different factors that affect the overall health of the members within the communities we serve.” Baulesh was chosen as the Blog's first interviewee because of his dedication and commitment to our foundation.
Why did you join HOLA?
"After coming back from the first trip, it was such an eye opening and life changing experience. What really sticks with me is how little these people have compared to what we have, yet how happy and welcoming they are. They are so appreciative of the little things in life. If they have good health and access to the simple things they need, they are happy. Every time we work with someone, they always invite us into their home and are very hospitable people. Before this experience, I didn’t have a lot of interest in global health; but after, I wanted to dedicate a significant part of my career to it."
Where are you now? What do you do?
"I am wrapping up med school in my fourth year. I am currently applying to residency in emergency medicine."
Do you think HOLA influenced your career path at all?
"I have been a part of global health in medical school. I want to use this knowledge to help improve the work in Nicaragua. I want to travel the world, volunteer and help out where I can."
What is your favorite memory during your experience with HOLA?
"One thing that stands out to me was during my first trip to Agua Fria. We had just heard about this town and talked to the doctor there who said he would bring us up there. The town is at the base of a volcano, and the first year we drove in a rental truck. It was a crazy experience, the truck almost rolled over several times. Once we arrived, we got out of the truck and looked out on a field. All of the people from the town were playing baseball and having such a great time. We ended up sitting and watching them play for awhile, and then went and talked to them. They were so happy that we were there. That memory and image really stands out to me."
Do you have any advice for the current members in HOLA?
"In regards to the trip itself, the members get to be involved in it all. HOLA is very unique because there are so many things going on (clinic, vet, etc.) and I would encourage members to take the time to experience all there is to experience with HOLA. And moving forward, stay involved. We give the members lots of freedom and resources to help change things. Take advantage of all HOLA has to offer."