Honduras Service Trip
Dr. Julie was first introduced to international service through the Burlington Rotary, where she got connected with Hands to Honduras. She traveled with them, providing dental services, and eventually joined the board.
“They asked me to come do a dental clinic. I brought along toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and oral hygiene instructions in Spanish so we could teach the children how to brush their teeth.” She discovered that the rural Hondurans also needed to learn about diet and nutrition to improve their oral health. “We found in Honduras that it’s cheaper to buy Coca-Cola than a bottle of water, and that tap water was unsafe to drink. Even babies carry Coke around.” The sugary soft drink contributes to severe tooth decay in an area where dentists are a rarity.”
Through Summerwood Dental Brigades (SDB), Dr. Julie and her team provide dental cleanings, dental X-rays, and dental extractions to the most remote Honduran communities — sometimes even visiting home-bound patients in their homes. These areas struggle to get life’s most basic necessity — clean water. Never mind fluoridated water. So there is much greater incidence of tooth decay in this area.
The lack of water combined with extreme poverty in Honduras has given rise to one of the most crime-ridden countries in the world. However, the area that SDB serves is far removed from the densely populated, gang-ridden city center and is completely safe. The volunteer brigade is accompanied by native Hondurans, Isa and Giovanni Bardales, at all times. The Bardales’ own the local hotel and restaurant in Tela, Honduras, Hotel y Restaurante Cesar Mariscos, and have built deep ties with Dr. Julie over many years. Together they support each other in providing service to the most under-served communities in the region. It’s this strong relationship that makes SDB so successful in Honduras.
The Future is Bright
Eventually, Dr. Julie plans to open a brick-and-mortar community center in Honduras. With the support of Isa and Giovanni, there is access to land. The infrastructure is there, but there are additional considerations to bring the center to life.
What we need:
- Equipment and supplies: Dental chairs, dental instruments, lights, solar panels, etc.
- Corporate Matching: Corporations match employee donations to certified, non-profit organizations and humanitarian causes.
- Medical Professionals: Medical staffing teams take one-week shifts in the spirit of “voluntourism.”
Contact us to learn how you contribute to the new community center in Honduras, contribute equipment or supplies, or get involved and volunteer.