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Sonrisa Immaculata – Dentistry for Good
Every year The Driftwood Surfer runs an incredible project called Sonrisa Immaculata (Immaculate Smile). We have the pleasure of hosting excellent international dentists who have flown in, voluntarily to educate the local community of El Paredon on dental hygiene. They also provide teeth cleaning, fillings, and other dental procedures for the town at no extra charge.
The hostel provides free accommodation and meals for the dentists for the duration of the project. Additionally, we work closely with a local NGO, La Choza Chula, in order to coordinate bringing students from the town’s schools and other groups in the area to participate in the program and receive a cleaning.
Last year was an amazing effort and we were able to complete over $10,000 worth of treatments for the community- completely free of charge. The dentists were able to attend to 746 patients and around 500 of them were children. They placed over 1500 fillings, extracted more than 220 teeth, and sealed countless more teeth. On top of all of that, they were able to instruct more than 1000 people in dental hygiene and cavity prevention – all in just 4 and a half days!
We are always looking for volunteers to assist with translation, interacting with the children, and other aspects of the program. Sadly, we were unable to organize the trip this year due to COVID-19; however, we plan to continue the project next year and make it our biggest and best yet. Make sure to keep an eye out on our social media accounts if you think you’d be interested in volunteering when we start back up again!