Community Health Partnership of Honduras
Community Health Partnership-Honduras is a secular organization with an overarching goal of improving the health of rural communities through collaborative work with Honduran volunteers and all levels of participation in the communities we serve. Education and prevention are the key components, sharing knowledge between visiting and local practitioners and learning from the communities has been at the core of our success.
How It all Started
We began development of our work in Opatoro, La Paz after an exploratory site visit in December 2012. The founders enjoyed a home stay with a local family, visited with leaders of several communities, met with the clinic nurse in La Florida and most importantly we listened to the “voluntarios” of th 17 lower villages of Opatoro. These advocates provided us with their knowledge of each community’s needs and resources, their role is critical in our approach to collaborative care.
The region we work in is an agricultural community primarily in coffee production and export. Most of the village homes lack electricity, latrines, and running water. It is a beautiful part of Honduras which borders El Salvador and is very mountainous, all roads are dirt but the main roads are fairly well maintained in order to support the coffee trucks. The population is mostly indigenous Lenca with a history of maintaining traditional values for family life and their environment. Though very poor, they are rich in the resources of community support and they work together to improve their lives as well as towards the future with concern for succeeding generations.
Initially we began by bringing “brigades” each spring to support the local clinic and to serve the population of these 17 villages. Through the efforts of our Honduran directors we have developed relationships with the municipalities, including the regional health service director and the mayor of Opatoro. The mayor has become an important ally in our effort to improve the health of her region. Dunia has provided us with a large coffee truck for equipment and supplies as well as a bus to welcome our teams in Tegucigalpa. It is nearly seven hours to drive out with the teams so her contribution to our transportation costs have been critical in keeping our costs down.
Our teams are usually comprised of half Honduran and half US (or DR) dental and medical practitioners. Most of our translators are Honduran, some are very young and others come from other professions. All of our team members volunteer their time.
Making a Difference
In 2015 we brought our first fall team to begin our commitment to twice yearly team visits. Over time we have developed a relationship with the northern 18 villages of Opatoro. At the mayor’s request we saw many of the patients at our clinic in La Florida, they were given transportation by coffee truck for the rigorous hour drive. As our patient load increased we decided to create a smaller team which would travel to the northern clinic for two days each visit. It has been a wonderful opportunity for us to work with the rotating remote doctor and the dedicated nurses, the population is also grateful for the effort we make to serve them in their own communities.
2016 saw CHPH’s expansion into the neighboring region of Santa Ana. We have been working with their clinics, their health promoters and voluntarios to advance education and prevention in health concerns. This brings our direct work into the realm of 56 villages. We have found eager and dedicated partners at all levels as we advance our efforts to make a difference.
In August 2017 we sent our first all-dental team to one of the more remote areas in the highlands of neighboring Santa Ana where there has been no previous access to health or dental care. These small villages were recently identified as struggling with the issue of malnutrition and we have worked with the mayor’s office to bring the families and voluntarios in to visit our La Florida clinic. This team included ten Honduran dentists supported by three US dentists, their work was primarily in treating children and beginning their inclusion in our extensive fluoride and prevention program.
Every volunteer makes a difference. Every donation large or small changes a life.