Pharmacist volunteering in Nicaragua; will dedicate school in memory of mother, sister

The trip, facilitated by charities will see a number of dentists and dental assistants providing care where it is greatly needed, free.

Sylvan Lake pharmacist Chantal Goyan will travel to Nicaragua Jan. 19 to help provide dental care to those in need. While there

Sylvan Lake pharmacist Chantal Goyan will travel to Nicaragua Jan. 19 to help provide dental care to those in need. While there

Sylvan Lake pharmacist Chantal Goyan will travel to Nicaragua Jan. 19 to help provide dental care to those in need. While there, she and her brother, a dentist, will dedicate a school in memory of their mother and sister.

In two days, Sylvan Lake pharmacist Chantal Goyan will board a plane bound for Managua, Nicaragua. She will later boat down the Río Coco, finally arriving in the remote northern region of Bosawás.

The trip, facilitated by Canadian charities Change for Children and Kindness in Action, will see a number of dentists and dental assistants providing care where it is greatly needed, free of charge.

Goyan will travel with her brother, a dentist, and will provide assistance by cleaning instruments and setting up the clinic. The group will also take medications, such as painkillers, vitamins, and antibiotics, which Goyan will help distribute.

It will be Goyan’s first time on a volunteer trip, and she feels nervous about how isolated she will be, in addition to the bugs she may encounter. She will sleep in a hammock while on the trip.

Goyan will join a team of about 12 volunteers, including four dentists and two dental assistants.

“I just realize how much stuff we have here and how fortunate we are to be born here,” said Goyan, who has been talking to her brother to learn what to expect. “I’m hoping I can help out, even if I’m only going for two weeks, because they’re very, very poor there.”

She added that hundreds of people wait in line to get their teeth pulled, and to receive relief from any pain they may be suffering.

Goyan and her brother will also officially dedicate a school, built two years ago, in memory of their mother and sister who both died from cancer in the last four years. Their family had previously raised funds for the school’s construction.

In addition to backpacking gear, Goyan is taking clothes and baseball equipment to distribute to children in the area, where baseball is popular.

She will spend two weeks in the country, returning Feb. 2.

“I hope I can really see how lucky we are and help a couple people out … Just give a little bit back to these people who are less fortunate than ourselves.”