The Beauty of Compassion in Auka, Honduras – 2023


The May 2023 team had a productive and fulfilling week in Honduras. The team flew into San Pedro Sula, drove to La Ceiba, and spent the night. The next morning, they flew out to Puerto Lempira along the eastern coast and drove to Auka where the entire team was finally united.

Upon being united, we immediately got to work. Ale, our Honduran dentist was especially resourceful and decided to recruit second dental patient of the afternoon as her dental assistant for the remainder of the trip. Callie, Jarad, Nick, and Angela quickly mastered the flow of triage and promptly directed patients to the providers to be evaluated. Thus, the clinic began running in full swing hours after our team’s arrival on the first day.

Working in tandem with Auka’s two pastors, the line outside of triage was well managed. Thelma and Maheen, our Honduran nurses, provided answers to the pertinent triage questions. Noel, Walter, and Selvin translated for our providers Liz, Del, and Kristen to provide thorough patient care. Elena and Angie managed the pharmacy like superheroes. Angie became quick to memorize MEDICO’s available medications and distribution methods. Elena provided valuable patient education with each medication distribution.

Craig and Jose seemingly never sat down and worked behind the scenes to keep the clinic functioning. Notable moments while the clinic ran included the use of the nebulizer, not once, not twice but, four times. One of those times included a very cute toddler holding his own mask to his face. The ultrasound machine was used to diagnose a potential mitral valve leak and to confirm multiple pregnancies.

One of our most notable moments was when Liz and Angela conferenced with Dr. Franke via satellite messenger. Dr. Franke was able to confirm the safety of a rather creative use for injectable lidocaine. This resulted in the removal of a foreign body (bamboo) in a patient’s eye. Later in the week, the team was joined by Lauren. Lauren played an instrumental role in med-evacuating a very sick infant. Lauren also continued her work implementing House of Hope’s feeding program while in Auka. Apart from the clinic, we coordinated with the local nurse, Maheen, to take time away from triage and recruit over 400 children to receive dental treatment. In two sessions, Maheen brought those children to the local school where Jared, Nick, Angela, and Callie brushed the children’s teeth with a fluoride treatment. 400+ toothbrushes were distributed to each child after they had received the treatment.

On Thursday, we coordinated with the local schoolteachers to present the Days for Girls health/hygiene program. We held two classes. A class for women 10-18 and a class for women 18-40. The local teachers, Thelma, Lauren, Angela, Callie, and Angie did a fantastic job of presenting an engaging, informative, and relevant reproductive health education to the women. Approximately 120 Days for Girls kits were distributed. The most significant contributing factor to such a great week was without a doubt the local support we received. The pastor’s wife graciously cooked all our meals and thus kept us well-fueled and able to work. The coordination between the schoolteachers, the local nurse, and the pastors created an environment in which MEDICO’s team could only succeed. Upon arrival and until our departure the Auka community was welcoming, helpful, and gracious. What a great week!

Narrative shared by Team Leader Angela Franke

MEDICAL Patients Total = 682

223 Male

459 Female

DENTAL Patients Total = 147

307 Extractions

   9 Exams




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