Saturday 13th August 2022

Chester County couple who left drug wars in Colombia find success in Exton dental business


EXTON–Juan Carlos and Adriana Mora are living proof that in America, anyone who works hard can achieve their dreams.

The Moras were born in Bogota, Colombia, and met at dental school in 1991, during the height of the drug wars. Pablo Escobar, a powerful and ruthless Colombian drug lord, ruled the region and there were killings just about every day.

After they married, they decided they would try to make a life in the United States, a task made a bit easier because Juan Carlos’ mother lived in New York. They spoke no English, but quickly learned by listening to others. The couple attended the University of Pennsylvania and received their degrees. It took a few years for them to pass dental school in the U.S., and soon found work as dental assistants and took other odd jobs.

“That’s the beauty of this country,” Juan Carlos, 58, said. “If you work hard, you can make it here.”

The couple worked as dental assistants before opening their own practice in 2007 in Malvern. Three months ago, they purchased a building at Exton Commons. Recently they have embraced technology into their dental and periodontal work, using 3-D imaging and laser technology.

“Not many dentists use (laser technology in dental work) because of the cost involved,” Juan Carlos said. “But the results of treatment are quite good, and even gum problems benefit from laser technology.

Adriana Mora examines dental scans at her office at Exton Commons. (FRAN MAYE – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

Said Adriana: “And healing is much, much better.”

The Moras know that many Latinx have a difficult time adapting when they come to this country. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month, which ends Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The Moras, who have two children, a son who is a dentist working in North Carolina, and a daughter who is a nurse at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, plan to continue working hard for their dreams. Juan Carlos wants to eventually buy a sailboat and retire. He said he is certain he can do it, because he believes as long as he works hard, dreams can be achieved.


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