Ollie Travels to Honduras with CARE
It’s hard to imagine a group of kids excited about brushing their teeth, but what if it was the first time they got to brush with their very own toothbrush? What if it was the first time they got to brush at all?
Every year, a group of volunteers from the Central American Relief Efforts travel to Honduras to find hundreds of children and families — some who have walked for hours on end — waiting in line to receive health care for the very first time.
CARE volunteers journey from Lancaster, PA to southern Honduras to offer humanitarian aid in the areas of health and education, targeting villages where resources are scarcest. In a whirlwind trip spanning 4 days, CARE holds medical clinics, constructs and paints schools and community health centers, establishes self-sustaining pharmacies in areas with little-to-no access to medicine, provides supplies to hospitals and schools, and partners with other US-based nonprofits to provide additional needed services.
In 2014 alone, CARE treated over 14,000 kids and extracted around 450 teeth. No access to dental care coupled with the low cost of sugar in that particular area, leads to severe decay in almost all of the children.
With a little help from StarSmilez and A LOT of help from a group of wonderful volunteers, these kids leave with healthier smiles and a better understanding of oral hygiene care at home. Despite the blazing heat, long lines, and sometimes not-so-fun tooth extractions, the eagerness of each child when learning how to brush their teeth and the smiles after they received their very own toothbrush were more than enough to make it all worth it.
Check out this awesome video about Central American Relief Efforts’ mission trips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oePOexsqM3I
And for a plethora of pictures of these sweet children, visit Carol’s blog. Carol is a hygienist who just returned from her 6th trip with CARE: www.CarolMartin2014.wordpress.com