CSUN Guatemala Project: Bringing Nutrition & Oral Hygiene to Women and Children along the Rio Dulce

CSUN Guatemala Project: Bringing Nutrition & Oral Hygiene to Women and Children along the Rio Dulce


♫ TERRI: The trip to Guatemala, especially with bringing the students from CSUN, showed me that education is beyond, the hallowed walls of a building. ♫ (Guatemala: Nutrition & Oral Hygiene Project) HISSA: They chose Guatemala because the Rio Dulce and the villages nearby, didn’t have access to dental hygiene and care. Not a lot of people have access to, you know, common education. The children there the highest grade level is basically up until middle school so you can only imagine how restricted the services that they have and the opportunities. So us going to these villages they would expand the healthcare
and the knowledge that they don’t typically get. TERRI: Originally when, when the team of dentists were going out there, the children were mostly in pain from dental infection. And so the work that was being done with the children,
was to put them on antibiotics take out the infected teeth and basically that was it. But my role as a dietitian is more about prevention, and so when I went and I said no, no, no, no, no! We can’t just do the teeth. We have to talk to them about how to prevent cavities,
how to eat healthfully, and how to grow a healthy body with these children. HISSA: The tasks that were included on this trip was to provide nutrition education, oral hygiene education and prenatal care education. JOCCELINE: We actually went into the villages and kind of delivered this information that we had, and also tied into starting at infancy the importance of oral hygiene care. So we targeted, you know, specifically to mothers who had, you know, babies and to the importance of taking care of their gums at an early age. We applied fluoride varnish to the children. That was challenging at times, but it is rewarding that we made a difference. What we did is we identified basically junk food that they would get there locally, in order for them to kind of, you know, when we go into these classes and tell them you know, who eats one of these, you know, chips and most of them would raise their hand. And we always gave an alternative to maybe a local fruit or vegetable that was there, to kind of just not just deliver all this information, but at the same time, relate it to what they know locally there as well. Looking at students working together to change the lives of children throughout the world, shows us that education and the effect education goes way beyond any university, any building, and any single family. It’s all about working together.

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