Riding down this bumpy, narrow, and unpaved pathway towards the comforts found back at home, I can’t even begin to decide how I am suppose to convey an experience that has come to be an indescribable addition to my life, and the life of my peers. Personally speaking, I have always been somewhat naive when it comes to the deficits that accompany a developing country and it’s natives. To come to a place where we are told NOT to drink the water because of the lack of treatment facilities is eye-opening enough by itself.. But then you begin to dive deeper into a world that is completely foreign to you and other seemingly impossible conditions begin to surface. With all that said, however, the touching and emotional experience that my group members and I felt today had strong roots within the positive affect and fun-loving demeanor that is found within almost every Guatemalan person… Despite the situation they find themselves in every single day.
Today, we had the pleasure of traveling to Pacoj Tres Cruces, where we volunteered in a non-profit clinic open on a monthly basis. Helping wherever needed, we found ourselves diving into head-to-toe assessments in some cases.. And in depth, focused assessments, in others.. One of my peers Chelsea said it best when she said these assessments were like “unearthing a stone” with the diversity that lies within each case.. I can be sure of one thing.. There were a ton of active, critically thinking brains today in Guatemala. Awesome!
We also were tasked with educating the children of this community about dental hygiene. To our surprise, the kids enjoyed our sub-par Spanish speaking skills and had a good time learning about brushing in circles.. avoiding sweets.. and being sure to cover all the nooks and crannies that each mouth presents.. Luckily, Anna was a part of our dental hygiene discussion; her fluency in Spanish speaking is an ability I only dream about. One aspect that spruced up our teaching session was the fact that we had a tooth costume! haha! Unfortunately, the girls unanimously decided (without my input) that I would be the one sporting the new attire. I did have a good time with it, however, and I think the kids did too!
With the day coming to an end, we decided that our clinical endeavors weren’t satisfying enough.. and thought that it might be a good idea to plant some trees.. So, we did! I am hopeful that we left our mark and in the subsequent years to come we will find that our trees have grown beautifully.
Take a look at these pictures and you’ll get a glimpse of our day!
What a wonderful gift it was to be able to experience and care for the people of pacoj tres cruces. I do feel a little bit guilty, however, because what I was able to give them had a few monetary aspects to it, but what they were able to give me was completely priceless in origin.
I’d like to end with a simple request. Be thankful and grateful for every little thing you have as there is always someone out there who doesn’t have as much as you do.