Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners

by Smiles Forever
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Train Aracely: Give Dental Care to Bolivian Miners
Aracely in bright pink scrubs
Aracely in bright pink scrubs

Aracely and her team of fellow dental hygienists have been busy all year helping to root out cavities in Bolivia.  She and the other students have been serving to help screen indigenous children at a community of miners outside Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Aracely has also been doing her internship with a woman dentist.

Soon Aracely will be back at the Smiles Forever school for dental hygienists to complete her exams and become accredited to work full time with a dentist.  She has had a remarkable story.  Aracely was virtually abandoned by her family when her parents died, and she lived in an orphanage.  Smiles Forever discovered this bright and personable student, and it has been our pleasure to see Aracely grow over two years time.  We noticed how she has an affinity for working with the poorest of the poor.  She has loved her special assignments to primitive jungle villages to help gauge early enamel wear.  The people she has become friends with are some of the oldest societies on the planet.

Smiles Forever considers Aracely to be a shining star and also a guiding star for the newer students doing the dental hygiene program.

"Aracely jumps into everything with both feet.  She really is fearless, and I wish you could all see her jump in and out of a canoe to travel the waterways in the villages of the Bolivian jungle.  She is returning to these people who compare her to a lively monkey with the fondest of nicknames."  Sandy Kemper, Founder of Smiles Forever

Aracely responds, "I am so excited to be returning to the villages this summer.  I will be reunited with my friends and I know I will make many more friends when I travel to more little communities.  I like seeing the critters who come right up into their courtyards and houses.  I love making the people, especially the children, feel better and avoid pain by helping check for cavities and telling them about dental care."

Introducing Smiles Forever New Board Member Virginia

Virginia has been behind the scene helping Smiles Forever both plan and execute the funding campaigns for GlobalGiving Bonus days.  Virginia and Aracely have something in common:  they both have had up-close experiences with possums!  Virginia has had a connection with the Shoreline Community College for over 20 years, and thus she became familiar with the trips the college made to Bolivia to help join the Smiles Forever school in operating clinics and for doing field clinics.  Virginia says, "I admire how the students find such meaningful education, and how this dental hygienist training gives back by helping so many in the indigenous community.  I became closely acquainted with Sandy and all the Smiles Forever family, and I am so impressed with the way each year the program builds.  How could I say no when Sandy asked me to serve on the board?"

 Join Virginia on June 15th beginning at 6:00 a.m. Seattle time to donate on 50% Matching Bonus Day!

Bolivian jungle possum
Bolivian jungle possum
Bolivian girl in pink with pigtails
Bolivian girl in pink with pigtails
Aracely polling the river in Bolivian Amazon
Aracely polling the river in Bolivian Amazon
Virginia's possum posing for close-up
Virginia's possum posing for close-up
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Aracely smiling in her bright dental uniform
Aracely smiling in her bright dental uniform

The world loves Aracely, our fiercely independent student.  The world can identify with her harsh unforgiving beginnings and can appreciate how Aracely has come back even stronger from each struggle and set-back.

Smiles Forever has been bringing you the story of Aracely, first through two Youthspark mini-projects, and now through her own story of her internship with a clinic serving Bolivian miners families.  You from the around the world have responded warmly.  Aracely may never set foot outside her country, but ambassadors from the U.S. in the dental care field or researchers have come and met her.  Everyone is inspired by how Aracely has listened and learned by example.

Aracely's Story: Aracely spent 10 years of her life being raised in a shelter.  Recently, she decided to share a spartan room with another student, instead of taking a free room at the Smiles Forever house.  She has been able to escape an abusive boyfriend, but she continues to have struggles with a sister in a neighboring city.  Aracely's only sister is trying to pull her away from achieving the dream of an education and career.  The sister is pressuring Aracely to abandon the dental hygiene program to come help her with her children and with a difficult pregnancy.

Helping understand the familial and societal dynamics is one of the most challenging aspects of our program.  There have been heart-breaking times when we have been powerless to stop students from walking away from all their hard academic work.  In those cases, all we can do is leave the door open, awaiting their return. Fortunately, we are making headway with Aracely and offering counseling along with her dental training.  In American schools, we would call this building life skills.

Sometime this year we will be able to hand Aracely her diploma, and say, "We love you, and the world does, too, since they have backed your schooling to achieve your dental hygienist certificate."

JOIN 'WE BELIEVE IN GIRLS' BRITISH GLOBALGIVING CAMPAIGN TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY THE 13TH.

DONATE A MINIMUM 8 POUNDS ( $11+) TO TRAIN ARACELY: GIVE DENTAL CARE TO BOLIVIAN MINERS

http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/train-aracely-give-dental-care-to-bolivian-miners/

Each of your gifts is so important in a crowdfunding contest like the one Global Giving UK is hosting.  Also our British friends have honored Smiles Forever by selecting us to be featured in an article which will be released Friday.  Thank you everyone!

Aracely with wild piglet
Aracely with wild piglet
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Aracely helping with class
Aracely helping with class

Smiles Forever Helps Rectify the Sad State of Dental Care Available to Miners' Families

In Bolivia where 85 per cent of the population is indigenous or of Spanish origin, often the gap between the classes seems too large to surmount.  Smiles Forever has courageously tried to bridge this gap in the indigenous population of Morochata, Bolivia where many are retired silver miners who receive limited health care benefits from the country.  Their families suffer from dental diseases and need both urgent and preventative care.  Currently, Smiles Forever takes a dental clinic out on the road to serve this desperate population.  One of the interns, Aracely, has been working for weeks with a local dentist.  She has a wonderful heart for these people, and Aracely is building upon her skills.  She will still need to return to the Cochabamba school for further training and preparation for being part of a dental practice.  At that time, she may have an opportunity to continue to live in this community of former miners.

Geovanna's Life Journey: from surviving under a bridge with her siblings and alcoholic mother---to full time Smiles Forever hygienist trainer, supporting her children and forgiving her mother

Another student from our school, Geovanna, has gone far in her training.  Please watch the short video attached which shares the story of Geovanna whose mother was an alcoholic and lived with her children under a bridge.  Geovanna found a home in a shelter, Madre de Dios, which is now closed.  This orphanage/shelter was established by a nun from Philadelphia who really was like a Mother Theresa for Cochabamba.  Unfortunately, Geovanna was also abused sexually and she found herself homeless with her baby.  She returned to the shelter and found a new life by accepting a scholarship from Smiles Forever.  Now Geovanna works full time as a practical dental hygienist instructor.  Geovanna lives in a single room with her two children and rehabilitated mother.  Geovanna, as part of her training and work, has given of her talents to help the Morochata community.

Welcome Holiday Giftcard Recipients -- Please Redeem your Cards with Smiles Forever Projects

This is a wonderful time of year to share with our fellow passengers on planet earth.  Bolivia is basked in sunshine as the country is south of the equator.  Some of the warmest temperatures are right now during the holiday season, topping 100 degrees.  Our hygienist school will be back in session soon.  We actually only have a single fan--no air conditioning.  Perhaps with your generosity, we can splurge for a second fan.  Of course, the care of our patients and the instruction of our students continues even in hot weather.  We'd like to wish you all the best of Holiday Seasons and send out a hello to all of you who are enjoying the snow of a White Christmas.

Geovanna
Geovanna

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Organization Information

Smiles Forever

Location: Renton, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Sandy Kemper
Renton, WA United States

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