Odontologos Sin Fronteras (OSF) once again put together an awesome dental campaign. President and Founder Hector Somocurcio and Vladimir Oblitas Cuba spent countless hours contacting remote communities that would be in need of their free dental services. This year's campaign was in and out of the jungle in northern Peru. When not in the jungle they were in the mountains .... so the dentists (numbering over 35) were constantly adjusting clothing from hot to cold. One thing that did not change was the care they gave to their patients. This campaing started and ended in Lima in some of the poorest barriors in Peru. Lima Congresista Ester Capuñay arranged for a news conference for the OSF volunteers. This event was televised all across Peru telling the people what OSF has done and is doing for the poor of Peru. Congresista Capuñay presented Desana Inc and Perfecting Faith Ministries International (major funding organizations) with an official Peruvian Cerficate of Appreciation for the work we are doing in Peru.
An hour and a half up the road from the desert city of Tacna, Peru sits the small highland town of Tarata. The change in scenery plays before you like a well crafted National Geographic documentary. There is no need for a narrator as the land itself tells its’ story.
Once away from the city where life forms are few, the unmasked hills begin to climb and roll. Small rocks and boulders have gathered at the bottom near the path left by some previous but long since forgotten rainfall. The few trees or maybe just large shrubs sit idly by the rocks and watch with patience as this barren desert waits for water. Water that will bring just enough life, just enough hope to endure the drought that is sure to follow.
The OSF (Odontologos Sin Fronteras) Campaign is only about half way finished but the Desana volunteers are heading to Cusco for other work. This year's dentists are an amazing group of young people. I can say that, I am 64 years old. These 'kids' are young..... some only early 20's. They are a combination of dental students and working dentists from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Spain. There are seven dentists that made the trip from Spain. Not only was it a long way to come to volunteer, it was very expensive to make the trip..... to give of yourself.... to volunteer to work long hours, get little sleep, set up, tear down, ride in over packed vans and busses, stay in old school buildings in a sleeping bag (the windows did not have glass and it was muy frio), almost no hot water (except for the night in the thermal springs)... but these young people working on this year's dental campaign really impressed me. They could be home playing on their time off but instead they chose to come to Peru to help provide quality dental care to many people who have never seen a dentist.
The 2011 Odontologos Sin Fronteras (OSF - Dentists Without Borders) campaign was held in Souther Peru. This group of dedicated dentists and dental students gathered in Tacna, Peru to provide dental treatment to thousands of Peruvian people that could not otherwise afford this care. OSF Peru is based out of Lima. Hector Somocurcio (President) and Vladi Oblitas Cuba have set up campaigns since 2003. Desana has been a part of these campaigns since 2010.
Desana volunteers joined the dentalvolunteers from Odontologists Sin Fronteras (Dentists Without Borders) in Tarata Peru. This group of international volunteers have been hard at work for over a week now. These dentists and dental students come from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Equador, Columbia, Bolivia, and Spain. They work long hours with little sleep to treat as many people as they can in the three week campaign. The campaign will spend 2 days in a small, poor community providing dental care for anyone who needs it. For many of these people, this is the first time they have seen a dentist. The people wait for hours, patiently waiting their turn. Desana volunteers spend time with the people waiting, playing with the children, handing out toys .... I am not sure who is getting more.... the people receiving treatment or the Desana volunteers and dentists who are working.