Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ensenada Dental Clinic a milestone.

by Ray Sanford

Our club celebrated it's 11th international dental clinic this weekend by helping the children of Escuela Primaria "La Esperanza" in a remote section of Ensenada. This very poor neighborhood is comprised mostly of immigrants from the southern regions of Mexico and Central America who have moved north looking for work.

Each clinic is at a different school and is picked by the Ensenada Calafia Rotary Club in conjunction with the Ensenada Department of Education to pick the school most in need. This clinic was attended by almost 50 children, each sporting a Rotary sticker. Altogether, over $36,000 of free dental services was delivered in one long day.

The clinic also marked Dr. Tozzer's and Dental Care for Children's 90th clinic in Baja California over the last 18 years. In a ceremony during the clinic, dignitaries from Ensenada and Baja California arrived to present him with a plaque noting his continued giving to the citizens of Ensenada. To date, the amount of free dental services the organization has provided to the Ensenada region tops $2.5 million.

Notable were the volunteers from around the world. Besides dentists and specialists from Southern California, others came from Peru, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Egypt and Armenia. Joining them were more students from the USC Dental School and a visiting Rotarian from London, England.

While our club members have helped by painting, building and furnishing school supplies in the past, this clinic marked a transition to having most of the work done by the children and families who were receiving treatment. This way, the clinic isn't a "hand-out" as each person gives back something to support the school. Entire families, as well as club members from both Irvine Spectrum and Ensenada Calafia clubs pitched in to plant trees and do much needed repainting.

Saturday evening, while the USC students were busy visiting the attractions in downtown Ensenada, the Rotarians were treated to a fabulous dinner at the home of Fabiola and Miguel Valdez. Fabiola is an Ensenada dentist and a member of the Ensenada Calafia Rotary club.

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