Grover Dental Care’s Most Involved Charitable Cause is in support of The Children of Guatemala
~ Statement from Dr. Russell Grover
In 2003, my wife, and I joined Canadian Central American Relief Effort (CCAMRE) for our first of seven charitable dental missions to the Merendon Mountains of Guatemala to care for the local Mayan Chorti Natives. In the early years we did not have a facility to provide dental care. It was an amazing trip and emotionally heartbreaking at the same time.
Our days in the mountains would begin with packing up our dental instruments, anaesthetic and pain medication, and jumping into the back of a pickup truck for the drive even further up the mountain. It would take us up winding rough gravel roads through the most breathtaking parts of the Guatemalan Mountains. Along the way the scenic views were incredible, however the poverty was equally profound.
The first three years were difficult because we spent our time exclusively pulling out a minimum of four to six rotten teeth from each of the mouths of children no older than six years of age. The adults’ conditions were equally disturbing. Many of these people went to bed every night with severe toothaches and with no pain medication. When we would take a break and look outside all we would see is people waiting for basic dental care. This convinced me that the need of improved service was at an epidemic level. We had to change what we were doing.
In 2006 things began to change. We brought our first dental team with us. Two of our hygienists, my personal assistant, and Dr. Ana Maria Gonzales joined us. We also had the help of the local Dentist of LaUnion (the nearest town) and a few Rotarian Dentists from surrounding cities. We were starting to make a difference in three villages in which we worked. Then CCAMRE approached us and said that there were many other villages asking for help too!
So, along with CCAMRE, we approached the University of San Carlos Dental School to see if there was away they could help. That was when things really began to change. Since that meeting we have had many more missions that have included the help of dental students in their final year of University. They work with us when we have our missions and further provide a student for our dental clinic for eight months out of the year.
CCAMRE and Grover Dental Care have since opened a free care dental clinic in the town of LaUnion. It exclusively helps the Native Chorti Indians in ALL of the surrounding mountain villages. Every year we have a dental team that goes to provide care in the clinic and also still treks into the mountains in the back of a pickup truck to spend time in the villages. Moreover, we now have generators and portable dental operatories thanks to the support of so many of you.
Through the unified efforts and commitment of our supporters, we will further our vision to improve the dental health of the Mayan Chorti Indians of Guatemala. In the process, our lives, too, will be enriched with the cultural and spiritual growth gained through the joy of giving. The appreciation of our own blessings and the experience that comes from getting to know the gentle, loving, and compassionate people in Guatemala is truly worth the investment in time, money, and energy. I convey truly heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the communities in the Merendon Mountains of Guatemala.
If you are interested in learning more about the Children of Guatemala or to make a donations please contact: