Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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ETTA PROJECTS DENTAL/VISION CLINICS

Etta Projects was able to host a group of 16 volunteers in Bolivia this year. We were scheduled to have 5 dental and vision clinics but were able to only do four days due to weather conditions and local protests. The clinics served the communities of Huaytu’, Santa Rosita, Villa Amboró, Guadalupe Palemetilla, and Villa Diego. Vision clinics were also able to serve one extra community, that of Santa Barbara. During these four days, 536 pair of glasses were fitted to improve the vision of each recipient.

The dental Clinic assessed over 200 patients, with 184 patients totals 84 extractions and 100 restorations. Life-changing work was accomplished in those four days. While those clinics were underway, each day, several volunteers worked to help build a school ecological composting latrine for a school of 30 students. Another group helped build an ecological composting latrine for an older community member who needed a little help. Finally, one day was spent by a few volunteers in a medicinal plant workshop and an organic gardening tutorial.

Without a doubt, it was one of the most adventurous trips we have had with our every other-year clinics due to the difficulties that the national census protest created. The volunteers were flexible and up for the constant challenges presented.

The volunteers were not only able to improve the lives of hundreds in just four days, but the impact of their experience working and being in Bolivia surely brought a new level of understanding for the work that Etta Projects’ staff deals with daily. And as well, as the complications that Bolivians must work around and how poverty and lack of resources make each obstacle even more complex.

We are grateful and proud of the work these 16 volunteers accomplished in such a short time. We are also very grateful to Lions Eyeglasses Recycling Center in Olympia, Washington, for providing us with over 400 pair of glasses and to the South Kitsap Rotary Club and District 5020 for financing the dental clinics for this project.

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