My mom and I went to Honduras, and things went really, really well.
The main goal of the trip was to meet the new Medical Director of Cristo Salva, Hillary Hadden, and make best friends with her. We kind of wanted to maintain access to the warehouse and thus most importantly the vitamins because otherwise it would have been a disaster. The first full day spent a bit of time reading and sleeping on a bench waiting to catch minutes with Hillary. We gathered they needed blood glucose testing strips so we shared. Nathanael from USAID came by and got nebulizers. Over dinner we explained that we felt it important enough to come and meet in person to be supportive and continue cooperation. That worked pretty well, and it turned out there were shelves and shelves of children’s vitamins that needed to get out. There is a special feeling when it is mission green light; help kids under 5.
The next day we went to the USAID office for a meeting. They surprised us with awards from the municipalities of Proteccion and Azacualpa, Secretary of Health and MAVAQUI for helping 2,979 pregnant and lactating women, and 4,906 children under 5. For me it’s a great symbol that cooperation works and should continue, and I’ve needed a way to say thank you to Pat Havener. USAID received 2,832 bottles of 180tabs children’s vitamins, 10,000 doses of albendazole and 100lbs of various medicines, supplements and supplies.
We drove to MAMA Project (www.mamaproject.org/) where they were very excited to incorporate micronutrients for kids under 5. We gave them 986 bottles 180tabs vitaminas para los ninos, and 50lbs of other supplies. They gave us 40,000 doses of albendazole, and they would have given us 100,000 but I didn’t think there was enough time to distribute that much, but maybe in January. They said we can stay at their mission house whenever we’re in the country, and gave us chaya trees. I think I might offer to give them our sources of medicine if they give us theirs’ because I might have a plan.
We dropped off 7,000 doses of albendazole at the clinic, loaded the car with vitamins, prenatals and school first aid supplies and drove to Copan Ruinas. We visited Ellen whose program has matured a lot, and she is thinking about changing the name of her organization from Project School Supplies to something that describes what she does now. She has a greater focus on health, and we gave her 720 bottles of kids vitamins, 360 bottles of prenatals, 11,000 albendazole, and 100lbs of other supplies. She might build a clinic in the community of San Jose which is a Maya Chorti village on the other side of the border in Guatemala. Ellen would provide the materials estimated to cost ~19,000USD and construction oversight, the community would provide the labor, the government would provide a doctor and nurse, we would provide the supplies, and it would provide services for a population of 4,000 people.
Randomly a nun met us who works with one of our partners, the Nutrition Center run by the Diocese in El Progreso, and we gave her 168 bottles of vitamins and 2,000 albendazole. Her name is Sr. Teresita and I guess she is pretty famous around Honduras for helping people so it was quite an honor to meet her.
We visited the centro de salud in Copan Ruinas and met the doctors and nurses. They have prenatal health education classes whose attendance has increased about five-fold since we’ve started providing them with prenatals, and other things that they use as an incentive for women to come to check-ups. We visited a new children’s home that is in the approval process to become an orphanage, and we visited Delsy’s orphanage where we saw little Maria who was abandoned as an infant and barely survived her first year but is now four (see attached photo.)
During the last two days we took 360 bottles of prenatals to the maternal clinic in San Marcos, visited the feeding program in Tejeras which is adjacent to the Quimistan dump, and gave Maynor Castillo of the Agape Foundation and left 384 bottles of vitamins and a box of prednisone. We spent the remainders of the day hanging out with the family, playing soccer with kids, and roasting coffee. We brought back about 60lbs of coffee that I’m trying to sell for $10/lb if anyone needs coffee. Our friend Julito who we are supporting through university with a $300 a month scholarship is thriving. The morning before we flew out we visited the artisan market, and bought art, crafts, machetes, and cigars for the auction at the next fundraiser.
Julito traveled to Tegucigalpa and delivered 7,500 albendazole to Catholic Relief Services who do deworming on a community-based approach so besides treating helminth infections empowering CRS is good because it allows people to see a doctor if they have any other problems.
If you are still reading this then THANK YOU! I think this is one of my most boring updates ever. We’ll have helped over 40,000 people in a week so good job team. In a week and a half we are going to the Navajo Nation. Patty returns from Africa tomorrow, and we will have our Honduran Dinner Dec. 8–it will be really great! Thank you for everything!
Long live charity,
Blessings and peace,
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