The Open Wide model clinic.
The locale is situated one hour southwest of Guatemala City in the higher elevation foothills of the Guatemalan interior in the City of Peronia, Municipality of Villa Nueva. Before we arrived, there were no credentialed dentists, few supplies and virtually no equipment. Preventive oral health care was unheard of…that’s why we are there. More on the Peronia Community
Open Wide is not giving a handout; it’s offering a hand up.
Open Wide remote clinics
One of the biggest hurdles to starting a dental clinic in impoverished communities is the cost of equipment. Community leaders experience frustration with the fact that the need for dental care is great and potential clinic buildings are accessible but they stand empty simply because they are too expensive to equip.
In response, Open Wide Foundation has established what we call Remote Clinics where we source donated dental equipment from the U.S. and match it to local municipalities who have the ability to staff and stock the clinic but no ability to overcome the initial cost of equipping them. Our plan makes it possible for communities for which access to dental care was only a dream to having a local functioning clinic in a very short period of time. Invitations are offered to the dentists and staff from these new clinics to receive mentoring and training at our Peronia Clinic.
Engaging a community can be as simple as asking.
Through a collaborative effort between Open Wide, the Association for a Better Guatemala, and the Mayor of Villa Nueva Peronia, land, materials and equipment were donated by individuals and members of the Guatemalan business community. The local Peronians dug in and helped to construct the building, which went from foundation to completion in just 21 days.
While the local Guatemalan’s were hard at work, the Open Wide Founders reached out to Dental Industry leaders like: A-dec, Patterson Dental and Sirona (see our Corporate Sponsors), who generously outfitted the clinic with five (5) state-of-the-art dental operatories, a sterilization station, x-ray units, software & dental supplies.
The story of local community involvement in building our first Open Wide Clinic – from the planning stages through construction – is a profound testament to Open Hearts.
It is a story of a community’s willingness to believe in and participate in the dream of building a better community for themselves; and a municipality willing to engage and invest in its population.