Mission to Peru
The home “los niños del comedor” and communities of the parishes of Patapo and Pucala in the province of Chiclayo.
It is always a joy to return to Chiclayo Peru to serve and help so many people and to see old friends from the Pucala and Patapo communities.
This time I had the pleasure to work with a number of dentists in the area – Dr. Carlos Vidarte, Dr. Miriam Loayza Chaves, Dr. Itala Severino, and Dr. Sandy Velasquez Lucero. I was so happy to see them all, and we provided dental care to many people.
On the first day at Pucala people made lovely decorations to welcome us and we were all very happy and excited because we purchased and installed two (2) more portable dental chairs which helped provide better care at greater comfort for the people we serviced. Haircuts are also always in great demand, as well as reading glasses
We celebrated this event by getting together and watching two beautiful girls dance to Peruvian music in lovely local dress. I always enjoy their dancing and the music.
It was a busy and productive day. Dr Carlos Vidarte and my friend Laura who became his dental assistant worked together to take care of the restorations and extractions. This is the second time that Laura has helped. She has taken very well to dental care as a way of helping the community.
Dr. Itala, who is Father Alfonso’s niece, Dr. Sandy and I worked to give patients education in dental care and the importance of daily care and a healthy diet for general wellbeing. I was happy to see how many people had improved their care, and how much more comfortable children were with our services.
On the second day, we visited a school called “Pacherrez” located at Centro Pablado some 45 minutes away from Pucala. We received a huge welcome from children in the 1st – 6th grades, who were very excited. Together we sang the Peruvian National Anthem and prayed for peace before our day started.
It was a very busy day – the children loved their toothbrushes and their toys. I brought new small toys and the usual beanie babies. The beanie babies continue to be the most popular and are still the Number One on my missions.
On the third day we visited Patapo, where there was great demand for dental care and reading glasses. I was touched by a boy suffering from Downs Syndrome, whose mother brought him to us. He was very afraid at the beginning, but after I talked to him, little by little he let me clean his teeth. He loved the bubble gum flavor of the fluoride treatment. At the end he got his prize and a pair of sunglasses.
On the fourth day, we visited La Cria, a very poor town located about 30 minutes from Pucala. In this area many children are still without shoes. The flip-flops were a blessing here. Many children were very happy with their new “las zapatillas” as the Peruvians call them.
Besides the dental services, we went out to visit families after a long day in the dental chair. 25 families received a grocery basket between the Pucala and Patapo communities. There are so many families living in poor circumstances – single mothers, families with disabilities, families with no income … I met two mothers living by themselves without electricity and water.
I want to thank Father Alfonso Obando for the wonderful job he did in organizing the grocery baskets!
A tradition I hope to repeat many times, although I am sad that it is necessary at all.
It is always a moving experience for me to be here, and I realize every time how grateful I am to have my life, my job, health, friends, donors and family who together have reached out to let people know “we are here to help and love”…
Carmelita, who provided the haircuts, worked very hard this time. Thank you very much, dear Carmelita!
Thank you all for your support, prayers, and friendship. Thank you also to the Colgate company for their contributions. Blessings to you all, and I look forward to returning to Peru next year.
Susana Scarlet Sandoval