The following narrative is shared by one of MEDICO’s recently returned team volunteers to Uhi, Honduras. We again thank another wonderful group of volunteers who stepped forward to share in this experience of “service beyond self.”
Last week MEDICO went back to the community of Uhi, located on the far eastern tip of Honduras in the region known as La Moskitia. While some of our patients spoke Spanish, most spoke only Miskito, an indigenous language that requires double translation for us to communicate. The majority had no access to a doctor or dentist since our last brigade in 2019.
Planning these trips is a challenge. For less than a week in a village, it takes at least six months of serious planning. We had 13 volunteers who came from the US, Honduras, and Nicaragua – no small feat in the time of COVID. We transported over 1000 lbs of medical supplies on a journey that took us on multiple plane rides, a 4 hour bus ride, a 3 hour lancha (basically an open outboard motorboat), and a mile hike.
We saw over 500 medical patients and 200 dental patients. Extracted over 200 teeth. We met with community figureheads, and started to build out our long-awaited health education wing. I taught the importance of good health and hygiene to 150 happy Moskitia young men and women, which was probably the most fun I’ve ever had. We provided 200 reusable feminine hygiene kits to girls ages 9 -18 and discussed the importance of teenage pregnancy prevention.
It was one of the best weeks of my life, and also one of the undeniably hardest. It was a reset for so many of us volunteers – to provide aid in a part of the world that locals call the “forgotten land”. To remember why we got into healthcare, and that our problems at home likely really aren’t that bad. To make a difference somewhere it really matters.
Charlotte from Colorado