Ben Vander Plas

Ben Vander Plas

Medical Programs Coordinator- Chontapunta, Ecuador

Chontapunta, Ecuador

Ben completed a degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Calvin College in his home state of Michigan. However it didn’t take long to realize the traditional engineering career path wasn’t a great fit. After working on different development projects in Thailand and Ecuador, he joined the Peace Corps in Panama as an Environmental Health Specialist. There he worked in remote indigenous communities with projects focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure and education. Since then he has worked or volunteered in Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Senegal, and India. He considers himself well-rounded with a variety of jobs under his belt, including water resources engineer, international youth service trip leader, renewable energy researcher, home construction supervisor, African sculpture polisher, and Ultimate frisbee coach, among others.

Building on his experience improving environmental health with sustainable clean water initiatives, Ben is making the leap to healthcare access. Seeing communities transformed by empowered individuals is what motivates his efforts. He greatly values service to others, and this continues to guide him in his work. In the near future he hopes to pursue a master’s in global health.

Ben thoroughly enjoys awkward cross cultural moments, and has many such stories to share from the 25+ countries he’s visited. When he’s not working he loves being active outdoors – hiking, cycling, scuba diving, sailing, climbing trees, and just exploring. He also enjoys being completely immobile in a hammock. Ben is very happy to be part of the Timmy team!