Dental Mission Statistics
The table below gives you a glimpse of the group's accomplishments, starting with the first mission back in 1995. There is information regarding the number of patients seen each year, the mission location, the number of dentists that year and the number of procedures completed.
Here is a list of projects and organizations that DFA has been involved with over since the beginning. Working closely with these organizations providing dental care has proved to be very productive in other areas as well.
United States Peace Corps
Aprovecho Stove Projects - several years ago, Dan Rabkin, the Peace Corps. volunteer for Comitancillo initiated a stove-building project that was funded by some of our volunteers. Brick stoves were built for selected individuals (there are criteria for who is chosen to receive them) which vastly improve the villagers ability to cook food because of higher, sustained heat, use less wood, vent smoke out of their homes, and cook standing rather than leaning or sitting, improving their posture and preventing chronic injuries. More info on these and other similar stove projects.
Latrine Project - 26 latrines were paid for by volunteers from DFA, to be built for needy families in the community of San Lorenzo, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The project requires the families to apply for the funding for the materials for the latrines, to attend classes on the hygienic value of using them, and finally to provide the labour to assemble the latrines, under supervision of community members trained to build them properly.
Project Ix-Canaan, in El Remate, Guatemala, is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the villagers living there - their project has built a medical clinic, a school and library, a park for the children to play safely in, and they provide vocational training and support for the community in many ways. Over the years, Dentistry For All has collected and donated medications and medical supplies, provided funds for the purchase of vaccines, and recently formed a relationship with several local crafts groups (wood carvers & alabaster stone carvers) who will provide items for our volunteers to re-sell for them at various events and on our charity store website. Project Ix-Canaan's website address is: www.ixcanaan.com
AMMID (Maya-Mam de Investigacion y Desarrollo)
AMMID (Maya-Mam de Investigacion y Desarrollo) is a local NGO in Comitancillo, whom we partner with on many projects. Through our relationship with AMMID over the last 15 years, we have provided medications and medical supplies for local clinics, donated laptop computers for AMMIDs workers to use for their projects in neighboring villages, and several years ago when Hurricane Stan destroyed the entire area's crops, it was through AAMID that we were able to provide funds to buy food for the families affected most by their enormous loss.
Taltimiche Women's Weaving Centre (Dolce y Hugar)
Our most successful non-dental project in Guatemala, this organization was formed by a group of women wanting to supplement their family income in order to buy food for their families- the women put to use their traditional weaving and crocheting skills, and create beautiful loom-woven materials used in the production of various products that are re-sold by our volunteer at fundraising events, as well as through our new charity store website built by Shopster E-Commerce. When DFA volunteers got involved, there were 30 women working in the centre. The funds we raised for them allowed them to build a new building, purchase a new loom, hire and train more people and now there are over 135 women involved in the project. The money they earn from weaving and crocheting during their own time, often surpass what their husbands earn working in the fields all day, which averages $5 per day. Many of these women are the main source of income for their families, as there are many whose husbands have left the village for work and do not always return. The main products sold by DFA volunteers from Taltimiche are wine gifts bags, yarmulkes, purses and tote bags, yoga mat bags, and various smaller products such as coin purses, pencil cases, etc. All these products are available on our charity store site, linked through this site.
Guatemala City elementary school
- Hurricane Stan created tremendous damage to inner city schools, and Guatemala City government had no funding for repairs. DFA volunteers raised enough money to repair the roof, walls, and windows in one inner-city school, as well as upgrade their electricity so that all rooms had power outlets and appropriate lighting.
DFA volunteers collect school supplies and sporting goods during the year, and we distribute them to schools in Guatemala City, as well as in Comitancillo and its surrounding communities. We also collect donations to purchase Spanish/English word books, which have been donated to several schools and libraries in the towns in which we work.
San Pedro disaster assistance
Following Hurricane Stan's destruction, an entire village near Panajachel was buried by mudslides. During the rescue operations, several physicians from Guatemala City travelled to the area to provide medical assistance - DFA volunteer provided the funds to purchase the medical supplies they required to provide the needed care.
Guatemala City free clinic
A 'physician for the poor' in Guatemala City, who schedules our work while we are in the city, also stores the majority of our equipment during the year. Each year, we collect and purchase medications and medical supplies which are then donated to the free-care clinic. The care provided there is done so without any funding from the government, and most of the patients cannot afford to pay a fee. The physician essentially donates his time, and the medications supplied are a huge asset to his service.
Several DFA volunteers have sponsored students from the Comitancillo area to attend agricultural school in the nearest city, San Marcos. The students must apply for the scholarship through AMMID, in Comitancillo, and are carefully selected based on criteria that includes the requirement to share the knowledge through AMMID's network and their community farm, which is used to teach local farmers the science behind farming, as well as dietary guidance on which crops are more essential based on nutritional values. Recently, an architecture student in Guatemala City was provided with a scholarship to attend an international conference in Brazil in which he was to present at. His family could not afford the cost of travel outside of Guatemala, so DFA volunteers provided funds for his airfare and hotel.