During the last two weeks in March, Marysville dentist Greg Gosch led a dental mission team to San Ramon, Nicaragua with Corner of Love Ministries, to provide much needed dental care to people in the surrounding villages. Joining him on mission were his wife Susan, a dental hygienist, staff members Cynthia Fox and Jolene Hollingsworth, both dental assistants, Dr. Bud Dubay and his wife Darlene who reside in Stanwood, patient and dental hygienist Carlos Valverde, and dental assistant Ramona Lujan.
Nicaragua, is a country of extremes; incredible beauty, a tropical climate, fertile soil that can grow almost anything, yet the majority of people live in tiny shacks, some made out of plastic sheets and branches, others of mud bricks.
After landing in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, Dr. Gosch and his team, along with the 60 medical team members, were bused for three hours along winding mountain roads to San Ramon. All team members are housed and fed at the ‘Quinta’, a beautiful facility completed in 2009. The next day, donated medical, dental, and clothing supplies brought in old suitcases by team members were unpacked, organized and added to the existing stock. Plastic bins were packed with pharmaceuticals, donated clothing items and shoes, donated personal items and dental supplies in anticipation of our first village work day.
Each morning two teams of 30 to 35 volunteers would depart the Quinta in brightly colored buses for a two or three hour ride into the mountains to small country villages. Every day brought a new adventure.
The dental team had three portable units that would allow fillings or extractions to be done. The medical team had doctors and nurses to diagnose and volunteers to dispense much need medications. Clothing and personal items were distributed to those in need. All together over 2000 patients were treated during the five mission days.
Nothing could have been more rewarding than taking a child out of pain, keeping a wage earner healthy and productive, knowing that each day lives were being changed and improved. The people were gracious and thankful for everything they were provided. Their smiles were contagious and in spite of their poverty, they are the most kind and caring people you could imagine.
Corner of Love.org is a Christian organization that serves impoverished people in North Nicaragua. Their work is focused in two areas: Clean Water and Healthcare. COL headquarters is in Maple Valley, Wash.