It’s been ten years since the first Open Wide clinic opened its doors to patients in Peronia, Guatemala. On January 21, 2011, several hundred community members and officials showed up for the new clinic inauguration with lines of people around the building waiting to get a look inside. This fanfare and curiosity was surprising to the American volunteers attending that day. But for the long disregarded and impoverished town of Peronia, the day was remarkable. View the album here.
Never before had this community received such recognition; a new dental clinic with American made, state-of-the -art equipment (thanks to Adec donations) stood at the ready to bring dental care to people where few options had existed before. Learn more about our early parts of our journey here.
Ten years later the story of the Peronia clinic continues to unfold. Independent now and self-sustaining, the clinic has grown to become an integrated health center where community members can not only access dental services but medical and pharmacy service as well. What greater testament to the Open Wide vision of sustainability than to see the incorporation of oral health integrated into full health services!
Taking with us all we’ve learned in the past decade, it’s time for Open Wide to turn its gaze to the next ten years. Although the pandemic has closed borders to travel, we continue to plan for the future. Open Wide is still working behind the scenes on plans to launch a new clinic in cooperation with a new community outside of beautiful Antigua, the home base of our volunteers while in Guatemala. Once again, our volunteers will help train and inspire new dentists. Once again dental care will become available to a community that had little access to good dentistry before.
We have a long list of volunteers ready to go when borders open up. But until then there’s much to do to get ready. We invite you to join us in this exciting new chapter for Open Wide.
Sending you and your family well wishes!
All of us at Open Wide