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.