The Story of Jesus

Jesus with Dr Jeff Astroth, DDS.

Jesus with Dr Jeff Astroth, DDS.

Jesus Tirado lives in Barron. His mother cleans hotel rooms and his dad picks up odd jobs in the fields. Jesus used to sell golf balls along the eastern fence and then was accepted into the “Ninos del Rio” golf training program initiated with a gift from EDM golfers. He turned out to be a talented golfer and formed a fast friendship with the son of EDM residents Graham & Lee Smith. He was able to visit the Smith’s at their home in Ojai, CA. This kid knew he was going to be somebody someday so he stuck around and kept trying when door after door of opportunity closed.

So when the FOB CANAM inaugural dental clinic needed volunteers, Jesus and his friend Uriel stepped up and put in five long days helping the dental health workers treat the entire primary school population. They ran errands, they did paperwork, they herded the kids to where they needed to be. We couldn’t have done it without them. But Jesus was able to help translate inside the clinic as well due to his English skills. He helped sooth frightened kids who were seeing a dentist for the first time. He helped explain dicey situations to concerned parents. And he showed up every day, all day, always with a smile. He caught the attention of the volunteer dentists and they encouraged him to study dentistry.

Jesus is now in his second year of dental school, aided by a modest scholarship managed by FOB CANAM and sponsored by Graham & Lee Smith and Dick & Kris McGuire. For about $250 a month, this kid can go to dental school if he also works a part-time job. He still volunteers at every dental clinic gaining valuable insights working side-by-side with the experienced American dentist and hygienist volunteers; how to hide the needle from view and administer a painless injection, how to clean the hard-to-reach molars, how to explain consequences.

The volunteer dentists identified Jesus as a winner and FOBs sponsors made it happen

Future dentists?

Future dentists?


Friends of Barron is proud to announce the receipt of a $5000 grant from the Pierre Fouchard Academy, an honorary dental service organization ( Credit must go to Dr Kurt Ferre DDS, one of our volunteer dentists and Academy Member, identified the Academy as a potential source of funding. Additional thanks must go to Jeremy Kennell, an EDM resident who gathered all this input and produced the written grant proposal submittal last July. Monies will be used to purchase a dedicated dental unit and dental supplies for our ongoing dental clinic, an event that occurs annually. Last June, the clinic treated 222 primary school kids and 46 kindergarteners. A group of volunteer dentists and hygienists assembled by Claire Silk, herself a volunteer hygienist and EDM resident, are determined to affect change in the dental health of Barron’s youth. We have already seen a reduction in the number of cavities according to the ongoing comparative study that runs concurrently with the clinic. The study will run for five years and at that time, significant results are expected. Our dental health workers know that they can make a difference but they need facts to bolster their quest for future grant monies. They fully intend to make a significant difference over in Barron and they are willing to donate not only their professional time but their airfare. Their efforts to raise money to support their vision speaks to their dedication to the cause. But, in Mexico, it’s doubly hard to realize a vision due to all the red tape. So that’s where FOB CANAM steps in: We handle the logistics. We also manage the remaining financial support in the form of cash, translators, facility management and lodging. It’s not hard. It just takes dedication and donated time…… and money!

Pilot Medical Clinic

FOB Canam is sponsoring a free medical clinic for the residents of Barron, March 17 through March 21, 2014. This pilot medical clinic program, much like the pilot dental clinic staged by FOB in September for the primary school will be free to Barron residents. Dr Bonnie McGuire, an Emergency Department physician from Connecticut has volunteered to organize and lead the clinic. Dr. McGuire has so far recruited two nurses and two Physician’s Assistants as volunteers. But, in order to serve the community more effectively, we need more volunteer doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. If you are a medical professional and are available during these dates to volunteer some of your time, please contact Dr McGuire ( oe Richard McGuire ( Volunteers who are not EDM residents will be offered free housing during the clinic at an EDM facility.

Dental Clinic Team Takes Shape

FOB CANAM is proud to introduce the team of dentists who will make the Barron Elementary School Dental Clinic possible. The Clinic will take place Sept 1 thru 6 in the computer classroom that FOB CANAM outfitted several years ago. This classroom will be transformed into a dentist office using the portable equipment supplied by Deb Astroth, Team Leader. Our goal is to examine, treat and educate all 250 kids, grades 1 thru 6. This is the first of many clinics envisioned by FOB CANAM.

The following is a letter written by Deb Astroth to the team:

Greetings to you all!
We now have a complete team of eight individuals! I thank all of you for your commitment to the project and I know that Claire, our visionary, as well as the “Friends of Barron” also do.

I thought I should send out an email that introduces all of you to each other and provides each of you with a bit of contact info so that while my husband Jeff and I are out of the country you could all communicate with each other.

Claire Silk, RDH: This mission is Claire’s vision. She has had her own dental hygiene practice in Winter Park, CO beginning in the late 80’s. She and her husband spend part of their time in Estrella del Mar near Barron and she asked Jeff and I if we would help establish this mission.

Kurt Ferre, DDS (Kurt #1): Jeff’s long time friend from dental student days at Northwestern. Director of the dental clinic for Kaiser in Portland, now with a non profit clinic. Kurt #1 has done Mexico missions with us in the past.

Kurt Bazilus, DDS (Kurt #2); Former University of Colorado dental student who went with us on several missions to Mexico (with Kurt #1 ), now practicing in his home state of AZ. Has continued his passion for mission trips to other areas. We are thrilled he is coming, especially since his wife is expecting their first child the end of September.

Nina Hunington: RDH: Deb has worked with Nina through the Central Regional Dental Testing Service. Nina is from Owatonna, MN and has been coming to the Mazatlan area with her family for many years so was excited to come back to this area to serve. Deb is thrilled to have such an accomplished dental hygienist on the team.

Marjan Mohajer: a CU dental student who was scheduled to go with Deb and Jeff to Mexico a few years ago but the political administration had changed so we did not go. She is willing and able and ready to go, and we are glad that she has been able to get clearance from the school administration to join us!

Farielle Houran: a dental student at Oregon Health Sciences University. As a result of Kurt Ferre’s network of contacts, Farielle responded. She is fluent in Spanish and has a lot of experience in outreach. We look forward to meeting and working with you!

Jeff and I will be leaving the US on July 30 for South Africa for the International Federation of Dental Hygiene Meeting and a photographic safari. We will be back in the US on August 19th. We will fly to the area where we used to do a mission on the 29th of August to pick up our equipment (hand instruments, a portable dental unit, curing light, some paper products, etc). We are hoping everything will be in working order, however you never know. We will spend two days checking the equipment and spending time with our contacts there and then fly to Mazatlan on the 31st.

Claire has a good handle on obtaining donations and supplies, however please check in with her to see if you can assist with any gaps.

It appears that many of us will be on that same flight from Mazatlan to LA on the 7th. As you get your flights let Claire know as she will be arranging pick up times in Mazatlan.

Thank you and look forward to this experience with all of you!!
Deb Astroth