Updated: May 15
Five Heart for Hope volunteers traveled to Honduras in October. This team found itself at the hacienda in El Naranjal to participate in a dental clinic in the village of Guadalajara and a construction project for a woman in San Juancito. (More about the house project in the blog on building.)
Volunteers Trish and Jan joined our Honduran dentists, Dr. Jose, Dra. Gloria, and Dr. Gustavo in the village school of Guadalajara. Trish and two experienced young women from San Juancito assisted while Jan handled the important task of instrument sterilization. During this week the team treated nearly 250 children. The program also included the standard component of dental hygiene education.
It is important to note that several young women from San Juancito are a regular part of most of our teams. When there are no international volunteers, they join the Honduran dentists to support our program. Thus they often work one week a month for our Honduran NGO Cadena de Amor. Without their assistance, the dentists would not be able to care for nearly as many children. We are thankful that they are available on a regular basis to support our program.
In March, more volunteers returned to Honduras. This time we were able to staff two separate clinics. The first one was in the mountain village of Guinope; two weeks later, a team traveled to the village of La Villa San Francisco in the sugar cane growing valley along the Choluteca River.
For the first clinic, Dr. Chera and his friend Keith of California joined Oregonians Kathy, Lynne, and John along with our friends from The Netherlands, Ben and Karin. Kathy, Ben, and John composed a construction team, while Dr. Chera, Lynne, Keith, and Karin worked in the local grade school. With the three Honduran dentists and Dr. Chera, the dental team provided dental education and treatment for about 350 children. It is so gratifying that Heart for Hope teams can reach out to help so many young children.
In the week after the Guinope clinic, Kathy, Lynne, and John traveled to Antigua, Guatemala, for Spanish-language school while the Honduran dentists prepared for the next clinic in La Villa San Francisco. For this effort, Dr. Sauer, who practices in Texas, and Jonna, a Washinton-based hygienist, flew in the join our team. This program did not have a construction part, so John and Kathy assisted at the dental clinic.
With the help of three of the San Juancito dental assistants, our team could set up and staff five dental chairs for treating the grade school kids. Thus the team was able to provide treatment for nearly 400 children. This effort is quite important as the grade school has over 1,000 students.
In the pictures that follow, you will see volunteers for all teams hard at work caring for the children and you can get an idea of what goes on in a typical volunteer clinic. If any of this appeals to any of you, we are always looking for additional volunteers. We have a team going out this June, and we are seeking volunteers for a team in late fall. Soon we will have a schedule for 2024. If volunteering does not work for you, then please consider clicking on the donation link in the web site and make a donation. We are grateful for your support.
Jan sterilizing dental instruments for the team.
Trish assists Dr. Jose as they provide sealants for a youngster.
Dr. Gloria, her son, Dr. Gustavo, and Nicole work on un rompecabezas.
Dinner time at the hacienda. Our cook, Emalina, always has scrumptious meals for us. We are fortunate to have her as part of our team.
The Guadalajara team at the hacienda in El Naranjal. We stay at this site for a number of our volunteer projects in the Choluteca River valley.
A group of kids brushing their teeth in Guinope as part of our dental hygiene program. All children get a toothbrush and comprehensive dental education lessons.
The dental team has to improvise due to a power outage. This is not a common occurrence, but we always have a generator available just in case.
The Heart for Hope team in the mountainous area of Guinope.
A five-dental chair clinic in the La Villa San Francisco grade school.
Our Heart volunteer hygienist, Jonna, provides treatment to a young boy.
Kathy laughing with some of the students in La Villa. Such wonderful kids in all of Honduras. We enjoy them so much on every trip.
One of the many beautiful murals in the villages of Cantarranas and La Villa San Francisco. It is an artistic delight to visit these towns and see all the colorful pictures on the stucco walls. Quite impressive.
If this blog sparks an interest in volunteering in Honduras, please contact me through this web site or at email@example.com. We have a team this June and will soon be planning for teams late this Fall and then early in 2024. Dental experience or training is not required. If volunteering in Honduras is not something you can do, consider making a donation on the link in this web site to support our program in Honduras. Dr. John