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February dental team cares for kids in the colorful community of Cantarranas

Sisters Dianne and Pam from Nebraska plus Julianne from Sisters joined our Honduran dentists to provide dental education and treatment to elementary children. I would like to recognize the continued support of Pam and Dianne for their voluntary work with Heart for Hope. They have been to Honduras with numerous Heart for Hope teams. In fact, many of our volunteers are repeat travelers with us. The joy of working with the children and working with our wonderful Honduran dentists seems to create a positive experience for every group. In addition, we often have a small amount of time to see interesting sites near our locale in Honduras. That is certainly true with Cantarranas as the town has beautiful murals and interesting stone sculptures.

Josh and Julianne are viewing a wonderful mural and the singing frog. Hence the name of the village, Cantarranas, or singing frogs.

However, before the sightseeing on Sunday, the team first must assemble the dental clinic in the school so that all will be ready for 25 students come Monday morning. The NGO, Cadena de Amor, has a good supply of portable dental equipment that allows us to have from 3 to 5 dental chairs in operation depending on the number of volunteers on the trip. Heart for Hope has been able to procure much of this equipment for CDA.

First thing on Monday morning, Dra. Gloria provides a 30-minute dental education lesson for the first group of students. Twice a day, she enthusiastically delivers her message about good oral hygiene and proper diet to ensure better dental health. Dra. Gloria has a great love for the children of her country and cares deeply about the work of Cadena de Amor. In fact, the same can be said about her son, Dr. Gustavo, and Dr. Jose. Dr. Jose also is our construction coordinator.

Heart for Hope and Cadena de Amor are fortunate to also be able to sterilize all our instruments and equipment after each child. This area keeps a volunteer busy all day making sure there is the needed availability of instruments and supplies. It is quite an undertaking to make all this work smoothly, but 20 years of working in Honduras has allowed has us to have an efficient, effective program each trip.

Again, as was mentioned in the previous construction blog, the team has a great time working on a jigsaw puzzle. There is ample opportunity for volunteers to relax, read, and enjoy such activities. I might also add that we have our own cook, and the food is quite good. This particular hacienda has large bedrooms with bathrooms in addition to the large kitchen and dining area.

In the end, it is all about knowing you have helped a number of children to have a brighter, better future in the schools of Honduras. The improvement in the dental health of the children is evident to our teams as we revisit these villages every 2 years so as to provide continuous care.

I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers that participated in the February dental/construction team in Honduras. Hopefully, some of you who are reading this blog might decide to join us on a team in the near future. We travel there 3 or 4 times a year. Check on this website for possible opportunities and don't hesitate to email me through the website. No real specific talents are required, just the willingness to serve.

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