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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Goal: 1,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste for kids in 4 small villages

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Los Mayas Eternos is addressing an often overlooked problem in the villages of Yucatán: Dental health. Photo: Los Mayas Eternos

Pedro Tec and the Yucatán nonprofit foundation Los Mayas Eternos AC are working on a new oral health campaign for children from four small towns.

The goal is to bring 1,000 toothbrushes and containers of toothpaste to kids in Toó, Kantoyna, San Isidro, and Ixil.

Dentist Aaron Coba will be teaching the parents and children how to correctly brush their teeth. This is not a dental exam and no mouths will be touched.

Mayas Eternos is asking for financial donations or packaged toothbrushes and toothpaste. The latter can be dropped off at these Centro locations in Mérida:

Between the Lines Mérida, Calle 62 and 53, Centro, Wed. to Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Justo Bread Studio, Paseo Montejo near the monument, Tuesday through Sunday 8:30 a.m – 3 p.m.

Hennessy’s Irish Pub, Paseo Montejo between Calle 41 and 43, noon to 10 p.m. daily

Or knock on the door at Calle 48 #533 between 73 and 73a and ask for Chelsea.

Los Mayas Eternos is also accepting cash donations via PayPal: Send funds to peterajaw@yahoo.com.

Pedro Tec is an acclaimed artist who became heavily involved in organizing projects to help his community in Ixil. He founded Los Mayas Eternos, a registered nonprofit that has brought a steady stream of support — largely pantry items — to some of Yucatán’s neediest residents.

So impressed have elected officials been with the young photographer’s accomplishments, they named the Cultural Center in Ixil for Pedro Tec.

Tec turned his attention to oral health when he noticed the poor condition of the children’s teeth, which appeared neglected.

“When we visited the houses we noticed that the children had old toothbrushes,” Tec said. It was also common for young kids to have broken teeth and cavities.

While most charitable drives concentrate on nutrition, housing and clothing, Tec realized this element of the villagers’ wellbeing was being overlooked.

“Campaigns were run a long time ago, but they haven’t been done for many years,” Tec said.

Dental health can be key to one’s overall longevity because bacteria in the mouth can eventually be connected to heart disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes. The Mayo Clinic reports that periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Certain bacteria can also be pulled from the mouth into the lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

Volunteers for the oral health drive are also welcome. Contact Pedro by email or on WhatsApp, 999-997-2774.

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