Mission to Macas, Ecuador
October 22-26, 2018
This was my third trip to Macas, Ecuador. It was very far and involved three flights from Washington plus five more hours driving.
Ecuador is a beautiful country. I am always happy to go back and visit my friend Dr. Lenin Zea.
We got to know each other 10 years ago in my country Guatemala on a dental mission to serve
the El Carmen community. I met his wife Dra Lisbeth Zea from Cuba, who now lives in Macas.
Dra Lisbeth helped me during my visit. They both provided me with a place to stay. We visited different schools located in Macas. The first school was the “Escuela Facunda Valles” located at Calsa.
Haircuts became so popular at this place. Lots of children benefited from them. The local barber
Jiovany did an excellent job.
Dr. Lenin Zea and I provided dental care in a classroom offered to us by the school. We set up
our small equipment and worked with the children using schoolroom furniture.
Haircuts, toothbrushes, cleanings and fluoride treatments.
Thanks to the Colgate Company for providing the toothpaste and toothbrushes for the mission
Goals for 2019
We would like to purchase and install a mobile dental unit and a mobile dental chair, as we have done in other parts of Central America.
"Reading glasses can change lives."
On our second day, we provided reading glasses to a community called “Pro Año”. These are seniors abandoned by their families and low-income people. They get together once a week to have a meal and learn some decorative crafts.
So much fellowship among young and old!
It is also amazing how much reading glasses can change lives. Glasses help some to see the world and their families and friends more clearly and help others to better perform their jobs. I love to see their smiles and joy when they see things better and read things that can really help them in life.
Dr. Lisbeth Zea, our helper Kathy and I had great fun and a busy day distributing 80 reading glasses.
The chart, of course, helped me to gauge the right strength for each person’s needs. What can you see? Everything! Look at me look at you! It is all much clearer now! We also had a meal with the seniors at this place.
Jiovany and his wife Carmencita provided transportation and helped hugely during the week. I was touched because they both have busy jobs and a large family of 5 children.
They gave their time and dedication, sharing love and kindness with others, within their limited means.
Visit to "La Purisima" chapel in Macas
I had the opportunity to visit a very popular place at Macas, a lovely small chapel “La Purisima”. Jiovany and his wife took me there. At Macas, many people like to have a drink in the morning called “guarapo” – a fresh sugar cane juice. So one day we stopped at a farm and I had a chance to see how the juice is processed from cutting the plant to the preparation of the drink. Delicious and refreshing!
The third day we visited another school, “Escuela Domono”, a long distance from Macas. The children were waiting for us. We prayed in gratitude for all of us being together and for all the donors who helped make this mission such a success.
Gracias a todos! Gracias a Dios!
The children were very happy to have their teeth cleaned. We worked in a classroom with a large table for the children to lie down for dental work.
Dra Lisbeth Zea did a terrific job even with all our limitations.
On the fourth day, we visited a community called Guadalupe, located about 45 minutes from Macas. The people here are very poor and seem never to have had any type of service before.
Again this was a place where haircuts were seriously in demand.
We worked with children from first through sixth grade. Many of them don’t have a toothbrush. Some of the young children were afraid at the beginning to have their teeth worked on, but we took time to teach them how to brush their teeth. They learned how important it is to take care of their mouth.
It was so much fun brushing my teeth again and again with the children. They became more confident over time and allowed me to give them a fluoride treatment.
Thank you so much to the Colgate Company for providing the toothpaste and tooth brushes we used and distributed to the children on this mission. It was a mission with a happy ending and many broad smiles.