Sunday, June 12, 2011

Safely Home

Our amazing trip has come to an end and we are back in the States (minus one student who stayed in Honduras for an internship at Teleton). I am so blessed to have this job! It still amazes me that I could give a class in Honduras my first year of teaching!

I haven't had much access to internet the last few days, so I am behind on my posts - but stayed tuned since I'll be posting photos from Copan Ruinas this week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Canopy Tour

Our trip was topped off by a 14-cable Canopy Tour overlooking Copan Ruinas. Amazing!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Class at the Ruins

We paid another visit to the Ruins this morning just to spend time among the ruins and to have class!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


We had class at our favorite coffee shop in Copan Ruinas, Casa de Todo, which serves an out-of-this-world mochaccino. It was interesting to discuss the role of the family in the lives of the disabled after having seen patients and their family members at the doctor's office this week.

The doctor had arranged for us to spend some time with the kids at Ministerio La Cosecha in Copan Ruinas. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into! We arrived at 7pm and were ushered in to an hour long praise and worship service, complete with dancing. At 8pm, over 100 children were invited to join us for a Bible Study. Without the children workers we would have been totally lost! The experience ended up being a lot of fun, and it was interesting to see another Christian ministry in Honduras.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The School in Sinai

Although we were unable to visit patients in their village homes, we visited a village school this morning. The kids were supposed to be on vacation, but the teacher had them come in to spend time with us. We brought coloring books designed by UT for REED, made paper airplanes from construction paper donated by MOPS, dressed the girls in pillowcase dresses sent by Janine from Dress a Girl Around the World, and just played with them!

Because they were in school that day, the students were fed their breakfast of beans, rice, tortillas, and atol (an oatmeal drink). Their teacher told us that many of the kids are malnourished, making it difficult for them to retain anything they learn in class. They are from villages that speak the Chorti language, so although most of the learning is done in Spanish, the teacher has learned some Chorti and teaches them how to write it.

click on a photo to see it full-sized!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Mayan Ruins

We started the day off with a tour of the Mayan Ruins that have made Copan Ruinas such a tourist destination. After the 2-hour tour, we had a short lecture on the role of culture and religion in the lives of the disabled in Central America. We learned a little more about the Mayan religion and talked about the shift to Catholicism and Protestantism in more recent years.

After lunch, Addy and Abbey joined Lissa and Dr. Ventura for our first of 4 afternoons seeing therapy patients at a local family doctor's office. We had been hoping to see patients in their homes in the villages, but this new set-up afforded us a very interesting perspective of private healthcare in Honduras.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Macaw Mountain

Lissa joined our group today, after a delayed flight yesterday kept her in San Pedro overnight. We are so excited to have her! In the spirit of our class theme, we visited Macaw Mountain, a sanctuary for birds who have been mistreated or abandoned, many with permanent disabilities.

Addy made a personal connection with one of the birds - too bad we couldn't take it home!

Good-bye Santa Rosa!

Friday we said good-bye to our friends in Santa Rosa. We lunched in the home of Dr. Ventura's family and dined in style with Orlando and Bonnie, friends from El Centro de Salud.

We are now in the tourist town of Copan Ruinas, famous for the Mayan ruins and steaming with college kids from Honduras and overseas. It is a whole different world here!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Public vs. Private Hospital

Medical care is socialized in Honduras, but the country also has private medical care. Yesterday, we toured El Centro Medico Quirigico, which was in stark contrast to what we saw of the public health clinic and hospital.

Public: A deteriorating building
Private: An up-to-date building that hosts the city's first elevator

Public: Sights and sounds of sickness and pain all around
Private: Extremely clean appearance, with patients seen behind closed doors

Public: Two-three patients per bed
Private: Private rooms, with the option of upgrading to a private suite (complete with a mini-bar)

Public: Lines of people waiting to be seen
Private: Patients with appointments to see a specific doctor

Public: Laboratory tools way behind the times
Private: Laboratory run like a money-making business

I'd estimate that the Private hospital and clinic sees fewer patients in a week than the Public hospital and clinic does in a day. It's just not affordable for the general population. But if you have the means, getting medical attention at the Private medical center is much more sanitary and comfortable than what the government provides.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

La Casa de la Cultura

Last night we attended a concert by a local artist at La Casa de la Cultura. German Pena is from Santa Rosa and is currently living in Denver, CO. He was accompanied by Kiku, a music teacher from Japan who is teaching at La Casa and has a huge fan base in who we assume are his students.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Child Rehab @ Teleton

The Child's Gymnasium is a great place to be doing observations at Teleton! There is so much going on... while the therapist interacts with one patient, she gives the parents of the other children directions on doing their therapy. We had the opportunity to work with the kids too - like getting on the mat and spreading shaving cream around to help the girl with scoliosis stretch her back or just having a kid with cerebral palsey sing for us!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Day of Rest

We attended a local evangelical church today. Below are videos of part of the hour-long praise service through music and dance, and of the children reciting their verse at the end of the service. The pastor gave a message about the inner enemy of Disbelief.


Saturday was a full day. After breakfast, we went to the farmer's market across town where we got a taste of fresh coconut milk straight from the source...

We then picked up Dr. Ventura's family and headed to Gracias, Lempira to visit the San Cristobal Fort (a national monument) and spend a few hours at the Aguas Termales (Hot Springs).

Back in Santa Rosa, we attended a charity fashion show organized by Fusion Tierra, a local group of volunteers. The proceeds of the event will help support the new women's shelter.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Moses Project

Yesterday we got a tour of the Moses Project, a Canadian-funded program that "is designed to provide training to rural youths to enable them to become self-sufficient and to ultimately effect sustainable development in their communities." The boys live at the program for 3 years, attending public high school in the evenings and and learning trades in the mornings. They are developing 70 acres of rich land recently purchased by the Canadian group for use as a self-sustaining farm. What the boys do not consume, they sell in the nearby towns. Their first year in the facilities, they sold $1,500 worth of goods.

At the end of our visit, we gave the boys shoes donated by So We Run, a non-profit on the North Shore that donates lightly-used shoes to those in need.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Back Group & Health Center

Today we had the opportunity to observe a group therapy session at Teleton where they were teaching people about preventing back pain. We also got to teach them a few exercises using therabands.

We also took a tour of the Clinica de Salud where we learned more about the basic healthcare provided to the people here in Honduras.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Today's big experience was a visit to Teleton, a non-profit rehabilititation clinic in Central America. The patients were very friendly and many told us the stories behind their need for rehabilitation. The number of gun-caused disabilities was astounding! Here are some photos of the facilities and the people we met.