Three dental professionals from the Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center recently returned from a weeklong mission to Honduras. The Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (Tribe) funded their participation in the Rolling Hills Christian Church’s mission to support local medical/dental needs, assist with construction needs and work with a local orphanage in Tela, Honduras.
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Dental assistants Jessica Olvera and Victoria Gallegos, along with hygienist Marci Tait treated hundreds of patients.
Fortunately, they were able to communicate with patients by using local interpreters from an English language school in Tela.
They worked under the guidance of volunteer dentists to provide many services including fillings, cleanings and extractions in primitive but functional conditions. Lawn chairs and cardboard recliners provided treatment areas, and without suctions, many patients spit in cups, cans and trash cans.
All the patients were very appreciative of the services rendered.
“This was a life-changing experience. The people were incredibly appreciative. They have so little, yet they wanted to give to us. I’d like to go on another mission,” Olvera said.
“The tribe was proud to send dental team members on this mission. They work hard every day providing exceptional care to our patients. It was meaningful to give them the opportunity to help people with so few resources in a third-world country,” said Nicholas Fonseca, tribal chairman.