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Abra grande, MExico

Local dentist visits four villages in Mexico to provide dental care

Receiving dental care while spread across a table or plastic chair wasn't an usual occurrence during a group of Schenectady based dentists' trip to Mexican villages.

Local dentists Dr. Barry Loffredo and Dr. Donald DeLuke for the third consecutive year left their Schenectady practices to travel to the State of Guerrero, Mexico to provide dental services for residents in four different villages. Other members of the group were Dr. Anthony Maiello, Cynthia Coletti, Meagan Orologio, John Manning, and Rasonia Squire. St. Helen's Church and Lady of Fatima Church sponsored the trip, which are in a sister parish relationship with the Church of San Agustin.

The communities the group visited were much different than the modern conveniences found locally, which can leave you being thankful for the things you normally enjoy without much thought.

I come home and instead of wishing I had a BMW and my kids went to Harvard, I come back just saying, 'Thank you lord, life is great here,' said Loffredo. "I couldn't wait to come home and my favorite when I take a hot shower I am grateful for that. It is something the rest of us just take for granted."

The theme for Loffredo this year on the trip was enrichment through breaking barriers and how much someone can gain from taking a step outside their normal routine or cultural surroundings.

"I can't help but think your life is enriched when you break barriers," said Loffredo. "When you go down and you are working on people with a whole different cultural background and helping them, you are breaking a cultural barrier. I come back so refreshed and invigorated from going I can't help but think that is enrichment."

The group arrived in Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 29, and then spent the following four days providing dental services before departing on Thursday, Feb. 3 at Acapulco's airport. A total of 131 people were seen for tooth extractions and 96 people received teeth cleanings. Dental Hygienist Meagan Orologio also met with over 700 school children and their mothers to provide information on appropriate oral hygiene and toothbrushes were passed out to help promote dental care.

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