Rotary Club of Long Grove, Kildeer and Hawthorn Woods: International Dental Mission in Nicaragua

  • Members of the 2014 Dental Mission arriving in Nicaragua.

    Members of the 2014 Dental Mission arriving in Nicaragua.

Jim Dopler
Updated 1/20/2015 7:07 AM

Last week, Club member, Robert Mintz, Long Grove, was the speaker at the regular weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Long Grove, Kildeer and Hawthorn Woods. He provided an excellent presentation on a Dental Mission to Nicaragua, recently co-sponsored by the Club. The meeting was held on Tuesday morning, at Smokin T's restaurant, Long Grove.

Late last year, Club member, Dr. Ed Vallely and his son, Sean, were given the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua to help the underprivileged with their dental needs. They served the Orphan Network of Casa Bernabe in Veracruz, which is a suburb of Managua. This mission was a combined effort between the Rotary Club of Long Grove, Kildeer and Hawthorn Woods and the Rotary Club of Denver. They set up a temporary clinic on the premises and treated 400-500 people in need of dental care over the course of four days. A team of six doctors, two hygienists and five supporting team members from the United States participated. In addition, the Local Rotary provided more volunteers to make this a true international mission. To learn more about the ORPHANetwork of Casa Bernabe, view photos, or read recent blog posts, please visit their website.


It was quite an adventure for all involved. Fourteen crates of equipment and disposables came along for the journey. The group endured 90 degree heat, humidity, and even some torrential rains. In addition to serving the children of the Orphanage, the group also provided services to two busloads of other local children per day, which were organized by local churches. Robert Mintz, one of the supporting team members, had the opportunity to get interviewed about the project by the local television station (in Spanish). In order to keep the children's interest, the group brought along Beanie Babies, donated by the Rotary International staff in Chicago. Several members of the team also provided face painting to keep the children entertained while awaiting their turn with the Dentists. This was the 21st Dental Mission the group has been involved in over the years. This is an ongoing sustainable project that is part of the international service that is provided by Rotary clubs in 34,000 communities in 200 countries and territories.