Clinic Day #1
Chichicastenango Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
So our purpose in going to Guatemala was to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of the villagers there. The organization is called Health Talents International, and it is an amazing way to learn about other cultures ways of living. I was on the "dental" team and served as a dental assistant for the week. We did not give out free services as the purpose is not to encourage freebies throughout the villages. They did pay a small amount (very small) per tooth pulled, and per the services by the general doctor and physical therapists. If needed they were also prescribed medicines or antibiotics, which they also paid for. That is one thing about the Mayans, they want to be self-sufficient and to do things on their own. It was great to see the satisfaction and pride they had for themselves and each other.
I went with the group to Clinica Caris, which is one of the permanent clinics that Heath Talents has down there. I along with 3 dentists, 2 more assistants, 2 or so translators, 1 ready to pray with those after their appointments, and a few others were there for the day. When we arrived there was already about 20 individuals lined up ready for some teeth pulling! We set up make-shift offices and had our tools and equipment sterilized and laid out. There is one real dentist office, and that was Marcos'. The day went smoothly and better than expected. Kids were able to play with beach balls, sidewalk chalk, and were even given stuffed animals if they had their mouth worked on. It seemed to help them get through the pain. They were given shots to numb them up, but if you have a wisdom tooth yanked from your mouth, a shot doesn't always do the trick. Many patience has 2-3 pulled at one time, and some as many as 4.