Maddie Peloso is a sophomore at Lauralton Hall in Milford, CT. She joined 24 classmates in Guatemala in February.
This picture shows one of my favorite parts of my trip to Guatemala. About a month before my trip, I sent a letter to my dentist asking him to donate toothbrushes. He was more than generous, so I packed about 3 dozen toothbrushes in my suitcase before I left. On our last day in El Durazno, the school was complete, so we were free to just spend time with the kids. We stopped playing and for about a half an hour, and all of the girls in my group and I taught the children how to brush their teeth. I had to stand up and talk to them about it in Spanish, which was really difficult. But, I was really passionate about what I was talking to them about, so it was fine. We showed each little boy and girl how to brush their teeth, then spit and rinse their mouths. Some of their gums started to bleed. It was painful to see, but it just proved how much they need these. After we finished a bunch of people came up to me saying what a great idea I had. It was nice to hear that, but I was more interested in seeing all of the children use their toothbrushes. I feel so happy knowing that I left something useful for them. Even though I had to return home, the toothbrushes that I gave them are helping them every day towards better hygiene.