Eleven UIC Barcelona students take a smile of solidarity with them to Guatemala
For the fifth consecutive year, UIC Barcelona organised a summer camp to work in Quetzaltenango (Guatemala), during the summer holidays, from 22 July to 22 August. Eleven female students from the faculties of Education, Medicine and Dentistry participated, along with two Alumni members.
During their time there, the volunteers gave training courses to 210 health promoters from six rural communities on healthcare development, and organised workshops that focused on topics such as hygiene, nutrition, preventing alcoholism, oral and dental health and physiotherapy. These workshops were repeated in schools and other members of the communities attended to during this visit to Guatemala.
Berta Paulo, one of the people in charge of the summer camp, an Alumni member and currently an associate lecturer and doctoral student at the Faculty of Dentistry, said that for the first time this year, the group was able to provide dental treatment. “It was an incredible experience - she said- we met a lot of special people who are living a truly heroic life in silence”. This was echoed by Núria Mestres, a dentistry student, who said “my expectations were completely surpassed: we went there to help and they ended up stealing our hearts”.
On the other hand, education student Marina Pérez pointed out that in a summer camps like this one, everyone learns things. “From children all the way through to older people. Living together twenty-four hours a day for a whole month like that is priceless; and you realise this most of all when you come home”.
This summer camp was undertaken in cooperation with the Guatemalan NGO FUNDAP, a private foundation that promotes the development of lower income sectors in the Republic of Guatemala. There is a particular focus on inhabitants of the rural areas in regions of the central plateau, the north and the south western part of the country.