Giving Back: Dr. Steve Albright and Paula Cipolla in Guatemela
Dr. Steve Albright and his wife, Paula Cipolla have been making the trek to Guatemala to provide dentistry to the masses for the past 12 years — bringing school supplies, toiletries, children’s clothing and underwear to distribute in their take home goodie bags. When they’re in Raxruhá, Alta Verapaz, the area’s host church sells tickets for the equivalent of $1 each to see the physician or the dentist until the tickets run out.
This year, Albright and a team of 35 Americans and one Canadian (including dentists, physicians, translators and support staff) saw about 900 patients with the help of their Guatemalan counterparts during the week long “Hands of Love” event. Additionally, colleagues and the WSDA helped support their efforts by filling their coffers with supplies, and loaning the couple the massive choppers and toothbrushes used in oral health presentations by the Washington Oral Health Foundation.
Albright relates, “There was so much excitement in town and one of the highlights was our reception. About 200 people met us at the bus at the main junction into town. The pastor requested we walk the last few blocks to the church grounds. Lead by a wave of kids carrying welcome banners, along with men, women and young people in a marching band, we were ushered to the church where the children formed a line to sing to us. It was an incredible sight and an even more incredible feeling!”
Want to participate in a Hands of Love trip to Guatemala?
Contact Paula Cipolla at (206) 328-3002 for more information.