new wave of volunteers, drilling and filling, and encouraging
the chavos in English
MEXICO - This was our last week here. We're spending it
finishing our presentation for Dr. Ballí and Paco,
the director of production and our constant companion at
IPODERAC. A former Jesuit priest, he spent nine years living
with various indigenous communities in rural Mexico before
joining the organization.
also gotten to spend more time with the volunteer staff.
IPODERAC depends on a constant stream of volunteers, who
generally stay six months, living with the chavos (the boys
at the orphanage) and learning Spanish. At the moment, there
are two from England, one from Canada, two from the United
States, and one from Mexico.
of the Canadian dentist-volunteers at work on a chavos
in the guesthouse.
several new short-term volunteers have joined IPODERAC in
the past few days. Two dentists from Canada will spend the
next three weeks "drilling and filling." An English teacher
from Denver has started teaching English classes that will
continue through the summer the chavos can now identify
animals at the orphanage by their English names. The
volunteers quickly acclimate to the daily portions of beans
and rice and washing their clothes by hand.
morning is a quiet time at the orphanage. The chavos have
long finished their morning chores and most are at the public
schools in Atlixco, 10 minutes away by bus. The volunteers
and staff enjoy the break from the usual rowdiness. They
can usually be found chatting at the picnic tables outside
Brown and Joost Krikhaar have agreed to answer your
questions, time permitting. Email Doug
during the midday lull, Brent and Doug decided to check
up on the Canadian dentists and see how their work progresses.
We were impressed with the thorough transformation of the
guesthouse into a fully operational dentist's office.
by one, the boys peek in nervously, climb into the big chair,
and have their teeth cleaned and filled. And of course,
they leave with a new toothbrush and floss.
we chatted with Mario the dentist, two young chavos made
friends with us. Darío and Diego are 10 and 12 years
old. Fresh from their morning English lesson, they tried
out "dog" and "cat" on us and asked if everyone really speaks
English in the U.S. Since we're in cahoots with their teacher,
we assured them that, yes, you have to speak English in