Humanitarian Mission Trip to Guatemala, 2008


Two groups of professionals have volunteered to visit Guatemala and assist the natives. These trips took place from March 1st to April 6th.

Dr. Russell Grover went on his fifth mission with a team of six this year. Four dental students from the local university made themselves available as translators and assistants. This year was the grand opening of the new dental clinic in La Union. The mayor, the governor of Zacapa, and the Director of San Carlos University were some of those present when the clinic was presented to the community. A piece of the ribbon was given to everyone for a keepsake and in honor of Dr. Grover the clinic was named after him. (Dr. Russell Grover Clinica Dental) In four days they treated 361 patients, performed 600 abstractions, 127 cleanings, and ten restorations. Dr. Grover is continuing to develop a relationship with the Dean of the university and an agreement has been reached whereby his dental students will serve at the clinic for an eight-month period before they graduate.

Dr. Conners participated in her first mission this year. She conducted fetal ultrasounds on the women in Pena Blanca, Timushan, and Volcancito. This was the first time they had ever heard their babies' heartbeats and it brought huge smiles to their faces. Six months worth of multiple vitamins were provided to the clinic to treat anemia, an iron deficiency. Common illnesses such as colds, urinary tract infections, and bronchitis were treated as well. Dr. Conners plans to focus on future projects involving midwives and family planning education. This year, as part of the medical mission, assessments were conducted to get an idea of the villagers near and farsightedness. Those tested ranged in age from five to 64. Forty-two per cent had 20/20 vision. The results for nearsightedness were not as positive. Twenty-two per cent could not see clearly even with the highest strength glasses. Only seven per cent had clear vision without any aid. Forty-eight per cent needed glasses of 2.0 strength and above. CCAMRE provided 50 sample reading glasses ranging from 1.0 to 3.25 in strength. These were left in the community centres in each village for villagers to sign out for short-term use. On next year's mission CCAMRE is hoping to provide glasses for everyone, especially for children to improve their chances of being successful in participating and completing their education.