Information About: Honduras

Honduras clinis line

In the early 1970’s Dr. Napolean Alcerro, a devout Christian, had a vision to help the poor and provide a source for basic medical care to his country. The third Vice President of Honduras, Napolean Alcerro, secured an official invitation to bring an MMI medical brigade to the country.  One and two week projects continued under the leadership of Daniel and Ruth Castro. 

After many years of sending medical brigades to the country, MMI constructed a permanent health centre in 2002 on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, in the town of El Progreso.  Maxine and the late Douglas Perry, MD felt called to Honduras to provide eye care to those in need.  The Perry's home church was instrumental in the buuilding project.  This centre now provides year-round care.  

                                        Gustavo & Mildred Elicegui

                                        Gustavo & Mildred Elicegui

Since 2004, Gustavo & Mildred Elicegui have served as International Project Directors. Mildred is a Family Practice Physican and serves on our project teams. They have two boys, Diego 13, and Andres, 10.  

Gustavo has a heart for serving with joy!

Project Sites

  • La Ceiba, Atlántida
  • Morazan, Yoro
  • San Jose, La Paz
  • Trinidad, Santa Barbara

General Overview

Projects will be able to meet primary care needs for those in communities we serve. The country price and difficulties with travel makes the basic services impossible to access for most of the people in rural and mountainous areas. It is not uncommon for patients to walk six or seven hours to access a medical brigade. Coastal populations are often comprised of marginalized groups that benefit from dedicated service. 

When general surgery is offered, the surgical component of the project will provide the patients with an opportunity to have access to a surgery in their own community. Many projects also provide an opportunity to serve with locals in the medical and dental fields, as well as providing training options which are often well-received. 

Project Details

About La Ceiba, Atlántida

La Ceiba is a port city in the department of Atlántida on the northern coast of Honduras. The population of 200,000 are largely involved in commerce and agriculture, specifically pineapple. Eco-tourism is also extremely popular in this city, and highlights include: mountain treks, river rafting, and Caribbean beaches. La Ceiba is home to members of the Garifuna minority in Honduras, who are decendents of immigrant slaces. La Ceiba was named after a giant ceiba tree which grew near the old dock, which itself finally fell into the sea in late 2007. The local population originally referred to the large tree as "the ladder God used when he came down from Heaven to visit Earth" 

Elevation

3 m (10 ft)

Climate

Hot and humid
Large amounts of rainfall, especially during October - February

About Morazan, Yoro

Morazan is located in the department of Yoro in the north of Honduras. The population of 8500 are largely involved in forestry, specifically cedar and mahogany; as well as the cattle industry. The inhabitants of this region has lover socioeconomic indicators than the rest of the country. Yoro is known for the Lluvia de Peces, a natural phenomenon in which fish are stranded on land, which is celebrated every year with the first major rainfall in May or June

Elevation

211m (692 ft)

Climate

Hot and humid

About San Jose, La Paz

San Jose is a municipality in the state of Santa Barbara in the north of Honduras. The population of 15,907 are largely involved in forestry, specifically cedar and mahogany. The town has a high population of Jewish ancestry.

Elevation

320 m (1049 ft.)

Climate

Hot and humid

About Trinidad, Santa Barbara

Trinidad is a small municipality with 28 villages in the state of Santa Barbara in the north of Honduras. The population of 15,907 are largely involved in forestry, specifically cedar and mahogany. The town has a high population of Jewish ancestry. Around some of the villages there are health centers that provide very basic health services. The problem at the moment with the health centers, is that they don’t have medicines to give to the patients. Friends and family members have to go to the local pharmacy to buy what the patient needs. Most of the population do not have money to buy medicine, so they go away empty handed. If they go to the hospital for surgery there is very little availability and most surgeries are scheduled a year out.

Elevation

1392m (4566 ft)

Climate

Hot and humid

Quick Facts

COUNTRY BACKGROUND:

Honduras has a population of approximately 8 million persons with primarily Spanish ancestry, alongside small amounts of Garifuna and Mesoamerican Mayan descendants. Honduras gained independence from Spain in 1821, but since that time several internal rebellions and civil wars have occurred, leading to governmental instability. The economy has one of the highest growth rates in Latin America, but wealth polarization and unemployment are also high.  According to the Human Development Index, Honduras is the sixth poorest/least-developed country, and has 50% of its population below the poverty line.

Most individuals in Honduras are enrolled in school at some point in their lives, and literacy rate is at approximately 85%. Primary school is not often completed, especially girls in rural regions; and secondary school is an opportunity reserved for males in urban, wealthy centres. Honduras is striving to improve many of its health services, particularly in vaccination coverage for children and maternal care. Honduras is also working to improve basic sanitation related to solid waste to decrease the spread of communicable disease. Non-communicable diseases are still rampant in the country, particularly hypertension and diabetes. Lack of access to skilled health professionals has contributed to health disparities.

Hurricane Mitch in 1998, floods in 2008, and the constitutional crisis in 2009 has meant that infrastructure and development has suffered. However, Honduras is emerging on the global stage as a testile exporter and tourist destination. Honduras is particularly known for its variety of climate zones: interior mountains, Carribbean and Pacific coasts, and Carribbean islands. Roátan in the Bay Islands, as home to the world’s second-largest coral reef, is particularly valued for it pristine and inexpensive experience. Honduras is also a historical hot-spot for Mayan ruins, and known for its love of football (soccer). 

GEOGRAPHY

LOCATION:

Central America, between Guatemala and Nicaragua

GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES:

15 00 N, 86 30 W

MAP REFERENCES:

Central American and Caribbean 

LAND BOUNDARIES:

TOTAL:

1,575 km

BORDER COUNTRIES:

Guatemala 244 km

El Salvador 391 km

Nicaragua 940 km 

COASTLINE:

832 km (landlocked)

MARITIME CLAIMS:

200 nm

 

CLIMATE:

Varies with altitude; sub-tropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains

TERRAIN:

Mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains

ELEVATION EXTREMES:

LOWEST POINT:

Caribbean Sea 0 m

HIGHEST POINT:

Cerro Las Minas 2,870 m

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Country Entry Requirements

Travelers must present a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departuTravelers must present a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure. Departure tax of $38 USD is required upon exit for all international flights. Tourist visa is not required. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required, if you have visited a country where yellow fever occurs. For a list of countries please see: http://www.who.int/ith/ITH_Annex_I.pdf

Canadians: Please check the following website for the most current entry/exit requirements: http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/honduras

Americans: Proof of return or onward travel is required. For more information see the US State Department website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/honduras.html

Medical/Dental Professionals

Please send a copy of the following to the MMI Canada office:

  • Current license
  • Current diploma 
  • CV for MD, DDS, DMD, RN/LN, RPN/LPN, NP, PA, and surgeons
  • Surgeons - Surgical privileges list  

Travel:

Once you have been accepted on the project, we will provide our designated travel agent information so that you can arrange your travel in order to coordinate logistics of the team.

Canadian Applicants: Donations for travel are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.

US Applicants: Travel costs are arranged individually and are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.

Airport

Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP), San Pedro Sula

Lodging and Accommodations

The team will stay at a modest guest house or inn while on project in Honduras. 

Bed Linens/Sleeping Bag: provided
Bath Towels: provided
Mosquito Netting: bring your own
Laundry Service: available for additional fee
Hot Water: possibly
AC: not available
Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider
Wifi: not available unless at an internet cafe
Voltage: 110V (transformers and adaptors not required)
Meals: Meals are provided by MMI Honduras staff. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling. Purified water is supplied.

Culture

Language: Spanish 

Religion: 

  • Catholic: 46%
  • Protestant: 41%
  • Other: 12%

Government: Democratic Republic

Currency

Currency is the Honduran lempira. US Dollars are widely accepted, but local currency is best for small purchases. Do not bring any bills larger than $50.00. There are only a few ATM machines around the city, but are freely available at the airport. Traveler’s checks are not easily cashed. 

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