Four members of Siena's Pre-Dental Club spent a week in Guatemala with the Open Wide Foundation
For about 16 quetzal, the equivalent of two American bucks, anyone in the town of San Pedro Sacatepequez could walk into a local clinic the second week of May and get any dental treatment they needed courtesy of the Open Wide Foundation. The humanitarian dental outreach program was founded to positively impact oral health in communities with the greatest need. The foundation relies on skilled volunteers, and the residents of San Pedro Sacatepequez were fortunate to be sent Saints.
The Siena students (Alexandria Sullivan '20, Gregory Sileo '20, Reilly Boule '20, and Maryam Arshad '20) assisted with suction, a curling light, supply set up, and sanitization. An oral surgeon and two Albany dentists were also part of the group and managed the more difficult cases.
The Saints also spent time in Peronia, Guatemala and visited an elementary school for part of the day. The Saints saw kids ages 5-12 and applied fluoride treatments to the kids' teeth.
"Going on this trip opened my eyes to how healthcare functions in impoverished areas," said Alexandria Sullivan '20. "It's definitely a different experience than what we're used to in the United States. While there, the children we saw were so excited to get their teeth cleaned and show off their smiles. It was adorable. The other Siena students and I loved being able to help the San Pedro community, even if only for a week. This opportunity was one I will never forget."