It is hard to believe that it has been a week already since our arrival in Honduras. The team has been working as a well-oiled machine which has been essential since it has been a very busy mission. Not only are we seeing many patients in the clinic, we are going into communities to hold prevention campaigns for Chikungunya on the request of the people who have heard about our success with this disease when we were in Honduras in November. We didn’t even stop to work on Saturday, when we went to the community of Soroguara about one hours drive from Valle de Angeles, and consulted with some 30 patients in an improvised setting for the day until the darkness fell. This community is in one of the many beautiful valleys of the Francisco Morazan province of Honduras. The population here lives a subsistence living, planting their food on small plots of land. A precarious living with large periods of lack of good water. In fact, we had to bring in our water for the day, because the community didn’t have any as they are waiting for the rains to come.
Our work has been complicated by the fact that we don’t have ready access to translators and that the one fully competent Spanish speaker of the team, Martine Jourde, has been occupied with meetings and the Chikungunya campaign away from the clinic in Valle de Angeles. Last Friday we had more than 40 patients who came for a consultation and even though we had only one translator, we managed to see all but 6 of these patients… This was a true miracle, even though we felt very bad that we had to turn away people. In fact, we broke a clinic record of the most people seen in one day, and this while providing a Spanish immersion opportunity for Carla who consulted with 11 patients without the help of a translator!
Coming on a mission in May, which is the start of the rainy season (called “winter” by the hondurans) is a different experience. It is planting season and people are very concerned if they are sick because they need to work long days in the field. For this reason, the Chikungunya epidemic is hitting the communities very hard. Although the disease, fortunately, doesn’t kill people, it renders them completely incapacitated and puts them to bed for weeks, sometimes even months with terrible bone pains and recurrent fevers. If a majority of people in a community is sick, the work in the field is not happening and therefore the harvest will be insufficient. This situation is devastating in a country where life is already so close to the margin with its extreme poverty.
Our recent collaboration with Dr Edgardo Valeriano, who we met by coincidence in November, has become one of the life lines for the HTSF work in Honduras. Not only is our work being facilitated by his connections in the University of Honduras (UNAH), and the Health ministery, but through his circle of friends, who all believe that Honduras can be a better place and work hard towards this goal, we have had numerous logistical supports as well. From being picked up at the airport, to having a truck and driver to go into the communities for the Chikungunya prevention, to bringing us a steady translator for this week, when Friday’s translator had come down with Chikungunya. On Monday therefore, we were able to work in three teams and see all the patients that had come, including the ones that we weren’t able to see on Friday. As the doors are opened this morning at 7 am, already groups of patients are waiting and it promises to be another busy and productive day.
Our next missions are planned for:
Mar 18-Apr 2, 2017
For these missions, we’re inviting Ontario and Quebec homeopaths to join us for training that applies to HTSF projects as well as clinical experience. For more information about how to join us on our next mission, contact us for more information.
Carla Marcelis, ND, DHom
Carla brings dedication, passion and expertise as mission leader to the MICH Honduras Clinic and to her role as Director and teacher at the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy. Visit her webpage to learn more about her and to read all of her blog posts.