Medical Brigades

Brigade Dates: July 17-24, 2019
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We have been taking short-term primary care medical brigades to the El Paraiso region of Honduras since 1999. When in Honduras, our volunteers reflect the face of Christ in our work and relationships with the Hondurans. As a Christ-centered organization, we include an evangelical aspect to our medical ministry offering Christian teachings to any Honduran who chooses to participate.

TYPES OF VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

To provide medical care we do need doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, EMTs, dentists and pharmacists. We use any kind of medical training. We always need Spanish speaking interpreters, clergy to minister to those who come to our clinics, and non-medical personnel to help with logistics. You may be assigned to pack medication, work in the pharmacy, play with the children, do crowd control, or help with educational projects. We may also have some construction jobs if we are in the midst of building a church.  Non-healthcare workers need not worry about “not being needed.” All that is absolutely required is a willing heart.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Honduras Good Works team members have accepted the call to provide basic medical care for some of God’s children in the El Paraiso region of Honduras on a short medical mission trip. In Honduras these short term missions are called “Brigadas” or Brigades. Our Brigade goes to rural villages in the mountainous areas of El Paraiso. We work primarily in the areas close to the city of Yuscaran. In recent years our team has seen an average of about 2500 patients in 20 villages over the five days of clinics. In Honduras, we work with The Diocese of Honduras, specifically the Deanery of Yuscaran. Other Episcopal churches as well as churches of other denominations (Baptist, Lutheran, and Methodist) often work together with us. The people you serve in Honduras know you are coming as Christians and they will judge you on that basis. We go to Honduras as disciples of “Jesucristo” to proclaim the “Good News” of love and redemption, and we will show this in a physical way with the work that we do.

The areas our Brigade goes into will be, for the most part, where there is an established Episcopal Church. Volunteer workers from the local churches will assist us in each village where we hold clinic. In addition, we have administrative help from the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras, especially from the Dean of Yuscaran – MRP Dagoberto Chacon. We are well taken care of in Honduras and feel very safe in the rural areas where we hold clinics.

Our team uses all types of health care workers and many non-health care workers. You do not have to speak Spanish; translators are provided where needed. For non-healthcare workers there is always plenty to do, including packing medication, working in the pharmacy, playing with the kids, evangelism, or other tasks as assigned. Non-healthcare workers need not worry about “not being needed”; no one has ever complained they didn’t have enough to do!

Leadership

There is a team of leaders who oversee daily activities, and the point-person will rotate each day. This helps reduce the stress on leadership and provide a broader power structure to address challenges.

Knowing Your Role

We have job descriptions available so that you can be confident in what you’re doing. Never been an AOD before? We’ll step you through it and provide training. Don’t quite know where you fit? Find what matches your passion and we’ll try to support you in it.

Morning meetings

We start each day with a short devotional. Following the devotional individuals are assigned to different teams. Each team travels to a different village each day. Individual assignments are given so that everyone knows his/her role before leaving for the day.

Meals

Breakfast and supper are served at our hotel. Outside campus, only bottled water is safe. We provide ample quantities of bottled water in the field. The brigade team purchases and carries lunch daily for the team.

Clinics

Each day we break into four-five teams and go by bus and trucks to assigned rural villages for the day. Logistics are prearranged by local villagers who designate areas for our clinics and pharmacies and who register the patients we will see. You can expect to see as many as 200 patient families in a single day.

Stopping at the gas station

Our oasis at the end of the day is stopping at gas stations on the way home to load up with cold drinks, ice cream, and all kinds of snacks, including chocolate.

Evenings

  • Small Groups: There are nightly meetings where you can share stories, information, tips and problems you faced in the day. A great way to build fellowship, and for the mission to find improvement.
  • Happy Hour: Following small group, there will be an hour for spending time with your friends, taking in the scenery, and winding down with your beverage.
  • Evening Worship: A short, optional compline is available. This is designed to be a more personal time with God, where you can worship and praise with others without feeling forced.
  • Preparation Work: Every evening there will be sign-up sheets for where help is needed, such as packing food boxes or readying trucks.

The Final Day

There is a “Stay Team” which remains in country as the mission leaves so that no one feels like they are left without a leader.

A Brief Note on Legal Matters

Alcohol will remain stored in a central location (though we will be improving access and organization on this), and riding in the backs of trucks is prohibited to Americans. We will have enough trucks to accommodate passengers.

We stay at the CFP Montana Clara Maria. This is a retreat center run by Carmelite Nuns. If you would like to know more about the nuns you can visit Wikipedia here for some background or you may check out the center’s Facebook page here. The center is surrounded by a stone/brick wall with gate for security.

Rooms:

Rooms are simple usually with two bunk beds but clean and comfortable. Each room has a bathroom with shower. Bed linens and towels are provided but you may wish to bring a more substantive towel. Rooms are not air-conditioned, but the temperature this time of the year is quite pleasant. However, you may want to bring a small (travel size) fan for sleeping.

Meals:

Breakfast and supper will be provided at the center. The food is Honduran style—lots of rice, beans, plantain and tortillas—and the quality is good. There is also coffee and hot water for tea. We provide bottled “Aqua Pura” while at the center, we recommend only drinking the bottled “Aqua Pura” throughout your stay in Honduras.

Lunch and beverages are packed each day and sent with each team into the field—along with lots of bottled drinking water.

Communication:

Cell service is sporadic and international charges may apply. Recently the nuns acquired internet access for our use.

DEPARTURE FROM HOUSTON

  • We fly from Houston, Texas to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • Transportation to and from Houston is at your expense.
  • Our flight usually leaves around 9:30AM. Please be at group check-in by 6:30AM.
  • We will reserve a block of rooms at a hotel in Houston the night before departure. If you wish to have a room specify in the appropriate field on the application form. Hotel rooms in Houston are NOT included, they are at your expense.
  • There maybe additional costs if you leave your car parked at the hotel while in Honduras. Any expense incurred is your responsibility.
  • We will have carpool lists available at our packing parties, if you would like to share a ride to Houston.

PASSPORTS

  • We need a copy of everyone’s passport. If you have a picture or scanned copy you may upload it during the application process.
  • If your passport expires before January 31 of the next year, less than 6 months left, they will not let you on the plane so you must renew.
  • If you need to renew your passport you may still apply with your current passport but you MUST renew your passport before departure. PLEASE EXPEDITE!

CANCELLATIONS / FEES

  • Cancelling before April 1 we will refund all payments made.
  • Cancelling after April 1 you will lose your $200 deposit.
  • Cancelling after June 1 you will lose your $200 deposit plus a $75 travel agent fee.
    1. IF WE ARE ABLE to re-use your ticket we will refund your balance minus the cancellation fees.
    2. IF WE ARE UNABLE to re-use the ticket then we will give you the ticket so you can negotiate with United for its re-use. We will refund your balance minus our cost of the ticket and cancellation fees.

SIDE TRIPS

  • If you take the side trip to Roatan there will be an additional charge of $112 for your return ticket. Plus you must cover the flight cost from Tegucigalpa to Roatan.
  • Some notes if you take the side trip to Copan. You will be responsible for:
    1. The bus ride to Copan (about 8 hours in a mini-van).
    2. The bus ride from Copan to San Pedro Sula (about 4 hours).
    3. Any extra airfare cost from San Pedro Sula to Houston over our currently held rate
  • While in Roatan or Copan hotels, meals, etc. will be at your expense.
  • Further information on side trips will be provided to those interested.

Mission Trip Refund Policy

Since money paid towards the mission trip is a donation for a specific purpose (the mission trip) it is considered a temporarily restricted gift. It is temporarily restricted until Honduras Good Works uses it for its intended purpose. If, for any reason, the money is not spent for that purpose , the following options are available, as per the donor’s wishes:

  • The donor advises HGW to keep it in temporarily restricted funds until the restrictions are met (a future mission trip)
  • The donor “unrestricts” the gift or restricts it for a different purpose.
  • The donor requests a refund.

Therefore the following policy regarding requests for refunds for unused mission trip donations is adopted:

  1. Persons wishing to go on the mission trip must pay a deposit equal to the airline penalty fee for late ticket cancellation, by the date determined by the Brigadier committee.
  2. Persons who cancel their trip before this date, can be refunded whatever they have paid
  3. Persons who cancel their trip after this date, but before airline tickets have been purchased, will be refunded whatever they have paid towards the trip, minus the non-refundable deposit, if so requested.
  4. Persons who cancel their trip after airline tickets have been purchased will be refunded whatever they have paid towards their trip minus the cost of the airline ticket and the travel agent’s fee, if so requested.
  5. Only the person whose name is on the ticket can use the ticket but the ticket belongs to them, and can be used as they choose, per airline restrictions and fees.

Adopted March 7 , 2018

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