When we first met Debora and her family she was only three months old and her family was forced to leave the only home they knew in their small remote Mexican village because of Debora’s cleft lip.

You see, in developing countries, there is a common belief that children born with cleft lips are cursed and that their presence in the village will cause the livestock and crops to perish. Debora’s parents were forced to choose- leave Debora to die in a field or flee.

They left, finding a new home –a 10 x 10 dirt-floored room of a public bathhouse. They also found Smile Network, which provided Debora the gift of a new smile and a brilliant future.

Her parents told us they hold great hope that she go to school, grow into an independent woman and start her own business, a beauty parlor perhaps. Debora has a real chance at achieving these dreams because of the free life-altering surgery she received.

We had a special visit from Debora and her her mom this week at our Puebla mission and we are so happy to see she is a healthy, happy, thriving smiling two year old!

Debora before and after -updated