Meet Three of Our Dental Health Volunteers

Meet Awamaki’s Volunteers:

Names: Ellis, Daniel, and Joshua

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Positions: Health Volunteers (Dental Fluoridation Campaign)

A: What does a typical day look like at your volunteer placement?

D: The beauty of this program is that there is rarely a “typical day.” In the health program, we were doing anything from organizing medicine to helping patients at mobile health clinics.

J: The three of us were in charge of a dental fluoridation program, since there’s no fluoride in the water here. We go to schools and give them a gel fluoride and a toothbrush, then show them how to brush their teeth.

E: And for all of them it’s probably the first time they’ve brushed with fluoride in their lives. We found that almost all of the kids have really advanced cavities.

A: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

D: The most rewarding aspect for me was the freedom that Ayni Wasi allowed us to have. We were responsible for designing this dental fluoridation campaign from the ground up, and it was so cool to be able to design and organize this program just how we wanted.

A: What did you like about living with a host family?

E: My favorite part was how they truly thought of us as a part of their family. For instance, Josh was sick with some altitude sickness earlier; they were really sympathetic and brought him tea.

A: What do you do in your free time?

J: We throw around a football or a Frisbee, or play soccer.

E: Inevitably ten or so Peruvians will join in and dominate us in soccer.

A: What are some of your best traveling memories?

J: We all three took a nap on one of the terraces of Machu Picchu

E: Also, we were kayaking in the amazon in a one-person kayak

J: We rotated two in the boat and one swimming behind

E: and then we saw an Amazonian crocodile…

A: What are you going to miss the most about Ollanta?

J: The three of us have never been on a trip together and it made us really close. Everyday was an adventure.

About Awamaki

Awamaki is a nonprofit fair trade social enterprise dedicated to connecting Andean artisan weavers with global markets. We collaborate with women artisans to support their efforts towards educational and financial independence by co-creating beautifully handcrafted knit and woven accessories using hertiage techniques.