Recently, Dr. Ho spent a few weeks in Guatemala where she volunteered her time and services to help those who need dental treatment, but don’t have the means to afford it.
Dr. Ho started participating in volunteer work when she was in dental school. In fact, her very first volunteer mission was actually in Guatemala. After 2 other missions in Ecuador, she found herself back in Guatemala for a fourth mission. Dr. Ho and her team worked out of two different locations serving the indigenous Mayan population that were in need of medical and dental services in the area. Her team consisted of 4 dentists and one assistant with two auxiliary help in translation and sterilization.
The first location she visited was at Corpus Christi Hospital in Patzun. There they worked tirelessly for 3 days which ran from 6:30am to 8pm treating over a hundred patients! The hospital was run by nuns whom were dedicated to the community and the people were thankful and joyous to see Dr. Ho and her team there. They did mostly operative procedures to restore dentition and many surgical procedures to extract hopeless teeth. They packed up on the third day after seeing our last patient and headed to their new location, a coffee farm in San Francisco de Zapotitlan. There they saw 93 patients in one day!
Dr. Ho described it as wild but rewarding. Patients gave them hugs and appreciated the work they were doing for their oral health, even after some difficult procedures. Dr. Ho’s favorite part about volunteering is seeing the difference she makes in her patients lives! The collaboration amongst the group was exceptional even though most of them didn’t know each other prior to the mission. Everyone worked together and the energy was amazing.
Dr. Ho says she can’t wait to do this again, and is hoping to plan another mission trip in the near future!