Over the years, Isla Mujeres has become a part of who I am. I have been traveling to the island since I was in high school. Each year brings different stories full of joy, laughter, hardship, and learning. Our trips have evolved from serving locals in anyway possible to a daily dental clinic that serves hundreds. Simultaneously, the trips have evolved me from a teenager with limited perspective to a young adult who sees value in diversity. I recently read an article in which a girl argued that, on most mission trips, a large amount of people are useless as they spend lots of money to travel and end up serving in ways at which they are not qualified while believing they are a “savior” of sorts. Mission trips too often result in half-built libraries and relationships that are forgotten. This could not be farther from the truth about our time in Isla. Each member of our team (and I mean team in every sense of the word) brings forth meaningful talent. Yeah, my awesome brother’s is the most important, but it wouldn’t work without all of us contributing. More importantly, our service is lasting. Instead of half-built libraries, we are “extracting” pain from those who otherwise would have never seen a dentist, leaving the people of Isla’s teeth healthier and continuing to give them care year after year, and strengthening relationships with friends who have become family.
– Cullen