May 2011 Highlights
Our Village Partners May trip to allowed us to reap several benefits of our long term relationships with the people of Embarcadero and the partnerships we have formed over the last three years in Honduras. Here are the highlights of our activities:
- Met with three members of the Honduran Congress to share about the Village Partners Project in Embarcadero. They were very interested in replicating the model in their departments (Honduran states).
Following our meeting, Ing. Luis Berrios (pictured to the right), a congressman and director of the Ministry of Education, visited Embarcadero to see firsthand, the “Sanitario Seco” (Dry Sanitation System).
- Celebrated the completion of “Lorena” stoves in each home (Safer, vent smoke outside the home, use less fuel, and have an oven feature).
- Ten nursing professors from UNAH-CURLA visited Embarcadero, and learned about the health improvements that have been made over the last two years.
- Toured public, private, and alternative homeopathic hospitals and clinics with faculty and students from UNAH-CURLA (Honduran University in La Ceiba).
- Learned that La Ceiba’s public hospital lacks trained personnel to operate their ICU. Jewell Alumnus in our group, Anne Brown-Pollard, is in the process of forming a team of ICU professionals to return for a training event this fall.
- UNAH-CURLA and Jewell students taught basic hygiene to children in the village.
- Data mining – Collected health care information about residents of Embarcadero from the local public health clinic in nearby Esparta. The regional nurse was very helpful and cooperative.
- Participated in a meeting of the village’s “Patronato” (leadership council) as they made plans to open a small store, or “tienda,” in their village to create local, sustainable income.
- Jewell fundraising efforts will provide micro-financing as they launch this effort.
- An UNAH-CURLA agronomics student will work with them to develop and implement the business plan. She has already begun a preliminary study to determine what items the store should stock.
All this happened during our short, nine day visit, demonstrating the value of maintaining a long term relationship in an area of great need. The residents of Embarcadero continue to teach us, and their peers, what living in community really means. Our students returned with a renewed commitment to make Jewell a better community.