Have you ever been without your toothbrush and toothpaste? If you have, how many days went by without brushing? Imaging living in Honduras and never owning a toothbrush. That is what a week is like working with the children in the Choluteca Department of Honduras.
Back row L-R: Laura Huff, Katie Groff, Pat Donnlley, Marel (translator), Leeann Easley, Diane Crème, Amanda Gutshall, Mae High, Marc Lamontagne, Dr. Neha Patel, and Fernando (Honduran dentist) Front row L-R: Carol Martin, Sharon Lomontange, Fran Eppley, Heather Steich, and Shelly Brown.The middle of February, a team of 14, known as "Team Martin," traveled to Honduras with Central American Relief Efforts (C.A.R.E) to provide much needed dental care to children in remote communities. Before we arrived in Honduras, C.A.R.E. administrators, in collaboration with the Mayors of each community, selected a different school for us to work with the students. The requirement for each school was need for dental care, and a site big enough to accommodate 500 children.
Little girl wait for fluoride varnish application.Once a school site was secured, the mayor from the hosting community contacted three or four surrounding schools to inform them that a dental clinic was to be held on a specific day. It was not unusual for children to walk up to three hours to get to the designated site! One school contacted us to make us aware they would not attend due to malnutrition of the children, and the extreme heat. Another little boy, with a toothache, walked 2 1/2 hours with his grandfather to receive dental care.