What a year it’s been! All of us at Open Wide are thinking of all of you, our loyal volunteers and donors who have, in one way or another, supported the foundation this year – even while we can’t be in Guatemala due to the pandemic.
The pandemic has effected Guatemala deeply. The tourist industry was greatly impacted, as well as other parts of its fragile economy. Although closed borders keep us apart for now, Open Wide has still been able to provide support to our clinics and staff and the greater community. At the beginning of the closure we donated our stockpiled PPE to healthcare facilities throughout Villa Nueva and Sacatepéquez. We provided guidance to the local Peronia clinic staff to develop new phased, post pandemic protocols to be followed when clinics can open again. Many of these protocols will be used to help ensure safe re-openings of medical and dental clinics throughout the municipality of Villa Nueva. We’re also beginning to coordinate with two other municipalities close to Antigua to explore the openings of new clinics there.
On January 21st, Open Wide will celebrate its ten-year anniversary. So here at home, the founders and staff are taking this pause, while we can’t be in Guatemala, to look back over the past ten years in celebration of all we’ve learned and accomplished and look forward to what we envision for the next ten years.
By perusing thousands of photos and re-reading many blogs and emails shared by our founders and volunteers over the past ten years we are more clear than ever that the work of Open Wide is bigger than doing good dentistry.
It’s about the memories of smiles and hugs. Of grateful people. Of a country of color and surprises. Of friendships across borders and life changing experiences that keeps us all coming back.
The OWF Photo books are Hardcover bound 24 pages that feature photos taken over our 1200+ volunteer trips that capture the spirit of our work over the last decade. Prints are available to ship to your office or home.
And we will be back. We can’t wait to be there again. It is because of all of you who support Open Wide in so many ways that we can continue to fulfill the mission to bring better oral health to those who need it most.
During this holiday season, our hearts go out to all of you who we know have had your own struggles making it through this unprecedented time. We wish you health and hope. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your loyal commitment to Open Wide. We can’t wait to see the next ten years unfold with you on our team.