Dental/Optometry team travels to Guatemala
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Getting down low

in Guatemala's highlands. 

In the remote, rural communities outside Comitancillo, the dental and optometry brigade team stands together with community members. It becomes clear that in order to stand together, one need not always stand up tall. Sometimes, standing together means getting down low.  Being eye to eye helps us all see more clearly in the Guatemala highlands. 

We see Gratitude

it is everywhere. 

We learn much from those who continue to smile in the face of adversity; from those who open their hearts to, and trust in, the kindness of strangers; from those whose gratitude for life shines through in even the most brief of encounters and despite daily challenges most certainly beyond our comprehension. 

And for this, it is we who are truly indebted. 

We learn what it means to feel connected. To people we've only just met. To experience global community. 
We learn to open our eyes. To really see. 
We visit families participating in the Nutrition Project and we see its impact. We see family gardens growing green and meet mothers whose participation in women's agriculture co-ops is feeding families. We see (and giggle with) children who are learning from these strong women. We see healthier futures. 

We learn the value of basic healthcare. And access to it. 
We treat emergent dental needs. We alleviate pain. We dispense and prescribe eyeglasses. We refer cataract surgeries for upcoming brigades. Although our temporary clinics are located in the heart of a different remote community each day, access can still be a journey. For most, it is by foot. For some, it is in the care of older siblings. For one 92-year old man, it is on the back of his son, across the miles and over the hills. For many, it is their first opportunity. 
We learn to do more. With less.  
In school classrooms – with chairs and desks and tarps, with plastic bins and pressure pots and sterile tools, with ziploc bags and sharpies and prescription pads, with letter-less eye charts and with an abundance of heart – we see almost 1,000 patients.

We learn to slow down. Because what's the rush. 
We travel great distances to attend to communities in great need.
This is why we have come. There is always time for one more warm community reception. One more speech. One more song. One more dance. One more bowl of soup. One more patient. One more eye exam. One more translation. One more story. One more handshake; one more high five; one more hug. One more smile. And all too soon, one more one last goodbye. 
Be humble. Be teachable. Always keep learning. 

With Great Privilege

comes Great Responsibility. 

Upon return from brigade travel what is truly important in life is abundantly clear. What can be a struggle to make sense of, however, is our clear abundance. Bearing witness to the projects that have seen Change for Children's support, having stood beside the women whose small family gardens are nourishing communities, and having treated many children suffering the pain of infection and the challenge of poor sight, it can be hard to make sense of it all. To wrap one's head around the inequality in the world. 

But, we are all connected. And with great privilege comes great responsibility. To speak. To act. To share. To make a positive impact in whatever way we can.
This is how we ripple.
Special thanks to those who supported the brigade team's fundraising efforts to support school construction in Comitancillo. It is exciting to be able to offer services to reduce the suffering of individuals while we are in Guatemala and to also band together on a school project - because without education, there can be no change for children - that will impact the greater community at large after we have left. Thank you all for rippling on! 
"Before starting our first clinic day, our group visited a school built with funding from Change for Children - very similar to the one that will be built in part with our brigade team's collective fundraising effort. The students and teachers were so grateful to have a place to learn and to teach - expressing how happy they were that Canadians hadn't forgotten about them even though their own government had.
Thanks to all of those who donated! Know that your contribution is greatly appreciated and touching lives in a way that can be difficult for us to imagine. These kids waved until our bus was out of sight...
-Jason, Brigade Team Member
Let kindness ripple on. 

Travel with Purpose in 2019

Please stay tuned to this space for information regarding 2019 brigade travel as it becomes available. If you'd like to experience a little magic of your own, we hope you'll travel with us in 2018.

Thank you for Your Support
Click here to donate

Book Launch March 27th

Please join us at the book launch for Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World. Through the launch, author Trina Moyles is raising awareness and funds for Change for Children projects in Guatemala.

Click for Event Details.
Please share the Facebook Event

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