This past February my daughter, Taylor, and I went to Guatemala with Kindness in Action, an Alberta based non-profit organization.
After flying into Guatemala City we took a small plane and a three-hour bus ride to the town of Chisec, in the north eastern part of the country. From Chisec we would make day trips to remote villages where we would provide dental care. We had the equipment to do some fillings as well as cleanings, but most of our work was extractions.
The team took all our own instruments as well as clean water, a generator, and an air compressor. The villages we visited had no running water and some had no electricity. We would usually set up a clinic in the school or town hall. The tables and desks were covered in plastic and the patients would lie on the tables and spit into garbage bags. In some of the poorer communities where the need was overwhelming, we would limit our treatment to children.
Taylor, who was on her university break, helped clean instruments in our portable sterilizers which were heated by propane tanks.
There were four dentists and several dental students, we also had hygienists and assistants. All together we saw hundreds of patients and pulled well over a thousand teeth. Even though we helped a lot of people there were thousands more that couldn’t be seen. Needless to say I came home tired but satisfied that the team, I had the privilege of working with, had provided a service to a group of people who had no access to basic medical or dental care.
For more information about the trip email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kindnessinaction.ca.