Blog > Medical Supporter Appreciation > Supporter Appreciation: Elevating Dental Care with Mayan GAP!

Monday, June 27, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Elevating Dental Care with Mayan GAP!
Med Coordinator

Written by Rosie Mazzarella, Medical Program Coordinator

This June, we were thrilled to welcome back our biggest team of visiting dentists: Mayan GAP! Mayan Families had been working with Steve and Cara Hewett of the Guatemala Dental Awareness Project (Mayan GAP) for several years in an effort to bring much-needed dental care to clients in need. This was the team’s first trip of 2016, with two more to come in July and December!

Photo by: Rodrigo Saravia

Within the span of a week, Mayan GAP’s team of three dentists had treated over 200 patients from five different communities around Lake Atitlán for problems ranging from minor fillings and extractions to root canals.

With already limited access to health care services, access to dental care, especially quality care, is even harder to come by. The Medical Program at Mayan Families strives to provide sponsored students and their families with access to world-class health care services, and this is exactly what Mayan GAP provides, year after year.

In Guatemala, dental procedures often only consist of extractions, even if the tooth can be treated, due to a lack of resources and cost barriers. This can have devastating effects on young children’s ability to properly absorb nutrients, and can lead to gum disease and diabetes complications, among other health problems, within adults.

Through recruitment of quality dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, and donations of dental equipment, Mayan GAP provides desperately needed dental services to Mayan Families clients several times a year through week-long clinics.

This year, Dr. Steve Hewett and Dr. Stephen Swallow were joined by a new visiting dentist Ladan Vatani, and treated patients for a variety of dental problems that otherwise may have received no medical attention.

Photo by: Rodrigo Saravia

We are so grateful for the support of visiting medical groups such as Mayan GAP. To support our efforts to connect our clients to world-class specialist services such as Mayan GAP’s dental care, please consider donating to the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic today!

If you would like more information about Mayan Families' dental clinics, contact us at

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