Global Community Impact Award
Paul R. Martel
Centro Medico Integral “Dulce Refugio”
YHB Investment Advisors, Inc.
Charles Schwab & Co. and Pershing Advisor Solutions
Why does Paul Martel focus so much of his volunteer energy on needy children in a foreign country?
“I’ve seen poverty in the U.S., but not the same level of suffering – malnutrition, violence, abandoned children, parents watching their children die because they don’t have medical resources,” he said.
Mr. Martel of YHB Investment Advisors Inc. of West Hartford, Conn. (primary custodians, Schwab and Pershing Advisor Solutions), is the founder of the Centro Medico Integral “Dulce Refugio” in Riobamba, Ecuador, high in the Andes.
His international humanitarian involvement began 15 years ago when he and his wife fostered several Latin American children receiving lifesaving operations in area hospitals.
In 1997, Mr. Martel was invited to lead a medical mission to Colombia – an experience he repeated another 11 times to countries such as Guatemala, Paraguay, and Ecuador.
By 2007, he was moved to open his own clinic in Riobamba, which provides free medical care to thousands of children in the city and its environs. Mr. Martel personally funds nearly all operating expenses.
The work is daunting but inspiring. “Being surrounded by poverty is not easy,” he said. “You can become overcome with the grief of the suffering, but if you focus on one person at a time, you can do a lot.”