RRC students launch fundraising efforts for dental mission to Guatemala

Dental Assisting students from Red River College’s Winkler and Winnipeg campuses are again gearing up for a dental and medical mission to Guatemala, where they’ll provide free clinical care for residents of remote villages.

As part of their trip to the region, six RRC students — in partnership with Dr. John Baird, North Dakota State Medical Officer — will provide free dental care to up to 1,700 Guatemalans — many of them children and residents displaced from their homes by an earthquake.

“Past team members have personally gained a lot from their experiences, and feel fortunate to have worked with the people they encountered,” says Dental Assisting instructor Athena Wilford. “In spite of poverty and meagre living conditions, the people we met were very gracious.”

This year’s team will spend time working with children at the Shadow of His Wings orphanage in Monjas, as well as an encampment near San Marcos, where hundreds of residents affected by the earthquake are still living in tents. They’ll also provide care to up to 100 residents of a women’s prison in Xela.

The trip takes place July 9 to 20; students have already begun fundraising efforts to offset their travel costs.

Last year, graduates travelled to six different sites, where they worked alongside medical and pharmaceutical teams from Minnesota and North Dakota.

This year’s team will be comprised of Dental Assisting students Madison Smith, Carissa Lariviere, Lauren Martin, Jessica Friesen, Christopher Hiebert and Robyn Knight.

To contribute to this year’s fundraising efforts, please contact Wilford at cawilford@rrc.ca or 204.632.2589.