We had the pleasure to speak with our very own Dr Ken Spektor about his humanitarian work. Every year, Ken and his wife Yvonne travel to isolated, rural areas of developing countries to provide free dental treatment to those in need.
Tell us a little about where you do your charity work? This year, Yvonne and I went to Baja Verapaz Cubulco, Guatemala. It is a very small village, which takes an eight hour journey by truck through the mountains to reach. Although the village has grown in the past 10 years since we have been visiting, it still lacks many amenities including a dentist to treat the 60,000 people living in the villages and rural areas.
Who else is involved with your charity work? The practice funds our journey and up-keep while doing this outreach work. The tiny mission hospital in the village has two extremely basic dental surgeries that were donated by Bill Potts, an American dentist and close friend of mine who sadly passed away a few years ago. I keep it going in his memory and for Alpha Omega, a dental fraternity that I belong to that also does many charitable works around the world.
The artifacts that adorn the walls of the surgery have all been collected by Ken and Yvonne on their travels. Can you tell us a little about them? Did you pick up anything this year? The artifacts show the wonderful rich colour of the Central American culture especially in Guatemala where the village women still wear their traditional hand-woven weepeels. The folk art is rich in colour, and the masks make up a large part of the surgery collection along with some of their festive, celebratory costumes. This year, we managed to find another colourful mask and a hand-carved giraffe to add to the growing collection