At its height, the Incan Empire covered most of the western border of South America and was home to millions of people. The empire was excellently administered and a series of roads connected the Emperor in Cusco to all parts of his empire. Runners along these roads could even deliver fresh fish to the Emperor from the coast hundreds of miles away! Interspersed along the trails were places of rest for these runners called Tambos. And so we get the name of our mission in Peru-“Tambo De Gozo” which means Place of Joy. Five hundred years ago, a “tambo” was a place of rest and comfort for servants of the King of the Incans. For our friends in Peru and Charleston’s Dental Community Fellowship, “tambo” now means a place of refreshment and joy for the servants to our King, Jesus Christ.
Nestled in a lush green valley outside of Pisac lies Tambo De Gozo. At this school and mission, DCF lodged and set up a free dental clinic. Free dental care encouraged the people of the surrounding villages to come visit the Tambo where they heard about God’s love and the support and teaching Tambo could offer them even after our team left Peru.
On the dental side of our mission, we offered cleanings, fillings, and extractions to those in need. Most of our patients did not have access to regular dental care and some had never been to a dentist before. Their dental needs were clear and it was a pleasure to utilize my dental skills for people who were so grateful and deserving. A classmate of mine figured we spend about $300 a day to attend and learn at dental school in Charleston. Visiting Peru cost me about $250 a day, but I received about $10,000 worth of education! The practicing dentists on the trip were very encouraging, knowledgeable, and skilled. Under their supervision, I was able to build my confidence and expertise tenfold! I completed more fillings, extracted more teeth, and busted up more calculus bridges in my four long days of dental care in Peru than I had in months at home! Lying down at night sore from sitting in our make-shift dental chair all day, I have never been more tired in my life. I have also never felt more wonderful.
By: Melody Dawson CDM 2014
Tambo De Gozo. Pisac, Peru
# of times visited:
first trip in 2012
Average # of…
3rd years: On this trip, we were all third years.
Fillings, Extractions, Cleanings, Prayer
Activities other than clinic time:
The best food in South America, Visits to Pisac and market, small group discussions, walks around Tambo De Gozo grounds and watching the livestock including real Alpacas and baby goats! We also elected to pursue a day trip to Machu Picchu and an afternoon exploring Cusco.
Fly into South America in Lima, Peru and then connect to Cusco, Peru. From there an hour van ride takes you to the Andean village of Pisac. Tambo De Gozo is just outside of Pisac tucked in the lush green valley beside the river. Tambo De Gozo is where you will lodge, eat, and do dentistry. We did four days of dentistry and one day of traveling to Machu Picchu. On days we got done early at the clinic, we would walk or take a taxi ($1.50) to Pisac to enjoy the market and interacting with the people there. Many of them speak English but also gave us an opportunity to practice our Spanish!
Rise and shine at 7:00 am
Breakfast at 7:30am
Devotional at 8:00am
Clinic from 9:00-Noon-ish
Lunch from Noon-ish – 1:00-ish
Clinic from 1:00 to 4:00pm
Wash up/ journal/ free time from 6:00-6:30pm
Dinner at 6:30pm
Small group time from 7:30-8:00pm
Game time/ free time/ 8:30-9:00-ish
Hit the sack 9:00-ish to