We took our first medical brigade to Honduras in 1999 with about 30 volunteers. In 2011 almost 70 volunteers went on the mission trip–doctors, dentists, nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, translators, clergy, and support personnel. The mission trip occurs in July and lasts seven days including travel days. When in Honduras, we split into teams; and four-five teams go to different villages each day, setting up clinics in whatever the villagers provide us–typically, the local school, a church, a community center, even outdoors. Over the course of the week, we will see on average 2000-3000 patients. In 2011 we treated a record 3,383 patients! Since we began, we have provided medical treatment for over 33,000 Hondurans. Our medical mission trip is unique in that we go to the villages of El Paraiso, most located in the mountains. We travel in rented four-wheel drive trucks on dirt roads badly eroded by rains and sometimes impassable. For the villagers in these communities, their mode of travel is by foot. There are no doctors in these villages. Therefore, they are cut off from access to medical treatment that is only available in the larger towns and cities. We are their only access to medical care.
Vitamins & Anti-Parasites
Through a grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, Honduras Good Works is now providing vitamins and anti-parasite medications to 1000 Honduran primary school children. This program is intended to improve the health of those most vulnerable, the children. Because the rural villages of El Paraiso do not have access to clean drinking water, most of the population suffers from water-borne parasites. Not only do these parasites rob the children of vital nutrients in the body, but children as a consequence are lethargic and more susceptible to diseases. This is not only a health problem for children from these communities, but this affects their performance in school as well. The vitamin and anti-parasite medication program is intended to improve the health of these children, and in so doing enhance their ability to learn in school.
Guardianes de la Salud
The Guardianes Training Program, under the Direction of Dr. Bobbi Hopkins, is consistent with our holistic view to empower Hondurans to help themselves. The Guardianes are lay, local healthcare workers. Working with another nonprofit organization, that provides the initial training. Dr. Hopkins and her team develop a curriculum of continuing education programs to teach villagers in the areas we serve to provide emergency first aid treatment for illnesses and injuries, treat sprains and set splints, and tomonitor chronically ill patients suffering from diseases like diabetes and hypertension. In addition, medical supplies are given to these guardianes so that they can dispense throughout the year, until we return the next July on another trip to Honduras. It is intended that, partnering with Dr. Louis Manz and his resources, the guardianes will be trained to conduct water quality testing in their villages as part of their healthcare focus.