Medical Ministry International in Honduras
In the early 1970’s, Dr. Napolean Alcerro, had a vision to help those living in poverty in his country and provide a source for basic medical care. The third Vice President of Honduras, Napolean Alcerro, secured an official invitation to bring an Medical Ministry International medical brigade to Honduras.
Since 2004, Gustavo & Mildred Elicegui have served as Project Directors in Honduras. Mildred is a Family Practice Physician and serves on our project teams. They live in San Pedro Sula and have two boys. Daniel and Ruth Castro provided leadership for over 20 years for Medical Ministry International's one and two week projects. Currently, the Castros lead the Quimistan project.
Corquín is a municipality in the Honduran department of Copán. The population of Corquín is approximately 17,147. Copán is well known for its tobacco and fine cigars.
* Project Description: Teams stay in a camp center on this project. Each day, a mobile clinic with a triage area, consultation rooms, dental area, eye examination area, and health education area is set up. The conditions of the facilities where we set up clinic are very simple and basic. Many of the patients that come do not receive regular medical and dental care, so all kinds of health problems can be seen. Common complaints include gastritis, arthritis pain, lower back pain, skin problems, and dehydration.
Corquín's climate is classified as tropical. The summers have a good deal of rainfall, while the winters have very little.
Erandique is one of the several municipalities of the Lempira department of Honduras. Erandique is surrounded by pine forests with some pockets of Sweetgum trees. Many of the pine forests are still used as a source of biofuel for the local population. The terrain is rugged, characterised by steep hills. The coffee plantations have great importance to Erandique, and there is also agricultural production of corn and beans, as well as some vegetable crops and small herds of cattle. Erandique is one of the most economically poor places in Honduras.
* Project Description: The clinic will be held in the Local Communal Center of Erandique Lempira. The MMI Honduras team and their local partners are working hard to have this mission well run and organized. Each day, a mobile clinic with a triage area, consultation rooms, dental area, eye examination area, a Pharmacy, and health education area is set up. The conditions of the facilities where we set up clinic are very simple and basic. Many of the patients that come do not receive regular medical and dental care, so all kinds of health problems can be seen. Common complaints include gastritis, arthritis pain, lower back pain, skin problems, and dehydration.
1,280 m (4,199 ft)
The weather is cool during the rainy season (May–October), and warmer in the dry season.
Florida, Copán is a small rural town (population about 5,500) located in the west side of the Honduras. MMI has a partnership with the local Church and City hall. Tobacco, corn, and cattle are the main source of income for the farmers in Florida. Florida is about 2 ½ hours from San Pedro Sula.
* Project Description: MMI and our Honduras Director work in partnership with the local city hall and the local church in Florida. Each day, a mobile clinic with a triage area, consultation rooms, dental area, eye examination area, a Pharmacy, and health education area is set up. The conditions of the facilities where we set up clinic are very simple and basic. Many of the patients that come do not receive regular medical and dental care, so all kinds of health problems can be seen. Common complaints include gastritis, arthritis pain, lower back pain, skin problems, and dehydration.
483.17 m (1585.22 ft. )
The climate is hot and humid.
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 immigrants. 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".
* Project Description: Teams usually stay in a hotel on these projects and work in surrounding villages. The projects focus on medical, dental, optometry, and physiotherapy. The conditions of the facilities where we set up clinic are very simple and basic. Many of the patients that come do not receive regular medical and dental care, so all kinds of health problems can be seen. Common complaints include gastritis, arthritis pain, lower back pain, skin problems, and dehydration.
3 m (10 ft.)
Hot and humid.
Large amounts of rainfall, especially during October - February.
Omoa is municipality and small town located along the Northwest Caribbean coast of Honduras. The population is approximately 45,000.
* Project Description: These projects provide mainly Dental, Preventive, Primary, and Optical care in the villages surrounding Omoa.
Omoa's climate is tropical. The average monthly temperatures are very hot and humid.
Quimistán is located in Santa Bárbara and is one of the 18 departments into which Honduras is divided. Quimistán has 51,160 (2015) inhabitants which represent 13.85 % of the population of Santa Bárbara.
* Project Description: These projects provide care to several villages surrounding Quimistán, Santa Barbara, and provide mainly medical care, preventive and primary care, dental care, and optometry. On these projects, teams stay in a Christian camp and work in different surrounding villages each day.
183 m (600 ft)
The average monthly temperature in June is a high of 33 °C (91°F) and a low of 24°C (75°F) The weather will be warm but in the evenings cooling off a bit approximately 75- 80 °F (evening) 85-95 °F (daytime).
San Luis is a municipality in the Honduran department of Santa Bárbara. San Luis has a population of about 25,000. Its economy is based strongly around coffee farming. San Luis is in a region with many pine-covered hills.
* Project Description: These projects provide services in a clinic in San Luis, Santa Bárbara, and provide mainly Medical care, Preventive and Primary care, and Dental care. Teams usually stay in a local hotel.
1,037 m (3,402 ft.)
The average November temperature ranges from a high of 27 °C (81°F) to a low of 16°C (61°F). Warm but in the evenings cooling off a bit.
Tela is a coastal city 94 kilometers from San Pedro Sula on the Caribbean sea. It is located in the department of Atlantida. Tela has a population of about 99,294.
* Project Description: Teams work in the surrounding villages of Tela to provide mainly Medical care, Preventive and Primary care, and Dental care.
3 m (10 ft.)
Travelling on a Project
Entry & Exit Requirements
Travelers must present a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure. Departure tax of $40 USD is required upon exit for all international flights, but this is often included in your tickets. Please ensure you have this cash with you just in case.
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:
• Americans: Proof of return or onward travel is required. For more information see the US State Department website:
• Canadians: Please check the following website for the most current entry/exit requirements:
• International: Please contact MMI office or Raptim Humanitarian Travel for visa requirement if needed.
Please email ALL CREDENTIALS upon application, as these must go to the Project Director in the country to be translated and then taken to the Ministry of Health to get temporary licenses prior to your arrival.
• For everyone, we need:
- Colour Scan / Photocopy of Passport (photo page)
- Colour photo for your name badge (any good photo, we can adjust size)
- Travel Itinerary
- Supply Lists
• Medical Professionals, we also need your:
- Current License (through time of project)
- Diploma (Techs, Nursing, Dental, MD and Board Certifications)
- Curriculum Vitae or Resume (this also will help the Project Director know your skills & experience to assign you a task on the project, especially for 1st time participants)
• Health Care Students: Letter of Good Standing from your school (including year of study and graduation date).
• All MINORS travelling with only one parent, or without their parents, will need a letter from BOTH parents stating that it is OK for the child to travel with one parent or an appointed guardian. The letter should be signed and notarized. MMI needs a copy of this letter, and the parent or guardian should carry the orignial letter while travelling.
Once you have been accepted on the project, you can contact our designated travel agency to arrange your travel and coordinate your arrival the team.
Raptim Humanitarian Travel: www.raptim.org
• US Applicants: Travel costs are arranged directly with the travel agent and are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “Serve Team 2”: ServeTeam2.firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct Toll Free: 1-844-882-3233 and ask for the agents by name or extension.
Lead Agents – Claudia (ext. 13302), or Michael (ext. 15004).
• Canadian Applicants: Donations to MMI for travel are in addition to the Participant Project Donation.
Contact our “We Partner” team: email@example.com
905-465-4300 or Toll Free: 1-844-442-6978 & ask for the agents by name.
Lead Agents - Anca (ext. 32327), or Connie (ext. 31771).
• International Applicants: Travel arrangement can be procured locally or following the Canadian instructions above.
• Airport: Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport (SAP), Honduras.
We strongly recommend that you consult a travel clinic, as they are aware of outbreaks and can suggest preventative immunizations. All routine immunizations should be up-to-date. Please check the following website for the most current information.
• Americans: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/honduras
• Canadians: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/countries-pays/country-pays-eng.php?id=344
Accommodations and Meals
MMI will arrange local accommodations for the team.
• Laundry Service: usually available for additional fee
• AC: dependent on location
• Phone Service: check with your cell phone provider, roaming is very expensive. Your cell will work in the US, so you may want to have it with you as you travel.
• Wifi/Internet: dependent on locations
• Voltage: 110V & 120V.
• Meals: MMI will provide meals for the team. Dietary restrictions can be indicated on your application and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Be sure to bring your own re-usable water bottle with a wide mouth for refilling. Purified water is supplied. If you would like to bring snacks to have throughout the day, please bring items such as peanut butter, granola bars, trail mix or pretzels and crackers in sealable containers (like Ziploc bags).
• Language: Spanish (official) and Amerindian dialects
- Roman Catholic: 47%
- Protestant: 42%
- Unaffiliated: 8%
• Government: Presidential Republic
The money in Honduras is called the Honduran Lempira (HNL). MMI staff will help you exchange money. All major credit cards are accepted - Visa and MasterCard the most widely accepted (make sure to call your credit card company and let them know that you’ll be traveling internationally). Traveler’s cheques are not easily cashed. You must bring US dollars in good condition. Torn, stamped or old bills will not be exchanged. $100 bills older than 2006 are also not accepted.
Centro Cristiano de Servicios Humanitarios de Honduras (CCSHH)
Centro Cristiano de Servicios Humanitarios de Honduras (CCSHH) is located in El Progreso, Honduras. Established in 1997 by the late Dr. Douglas Perry and his wife Maxine in collaboration with Rev Daniel and Ruth Castro, Directors of Sociedad Medica Cristiana and funded by Medical Ministry International and the Church of the Palms in Sarasota, Florida. Melvin Tejada serves as the Hospital Director.
In June 2017, the CCSHH Eye Clinic developed a pediatric ophthalmic unit. The area serves more than 3,000 children per year with various visual pathologies. The pediatric unit has two examination rooms adapted especially for children, as well as a waiting room which is a growing project. With this new unit, CCSHH now has the opportunity to host visiting pediatric ophthalmologists that would like to be involved with CCSHH.
This ongoing clinic treats approximately 12,000 patients a year. CCSHH celebrates their 20 year anniversary in 2017.
Patient Story: Ángel Gabriel
Pictured left: When Ángel Gabriel was born, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his leg, causing malformation of the muscles. He underwent multiple surgeries, but they didn't appear to improve any function.
In November 2018, Ángel (20 months old) and his mother came to the MMI clinic in Corquín Copán. After being seen by one of the Honduran doctors, Dr. Maritza López Oviedo, it was determined another surgery (equinovarus foot surgery) could help.
Ángel’s mother provides for her family by cutting coffee in the harvest season, but this income was not enough to afford the necessary surgery for Ángel. Dr. Oviedo explained the situation to the MMI project team, and they generously provided money for the surgery, as well as food and transportation.
In January, with coordination from MMI Honduras Director, Gustavo Elicegui, Ángel received the surgery he needed. The surgery was successful!
In the words of Charlotte, an MMI volunteer on the Corquin Copan project: “More surgery and therapy may be needed, but with God's love and the help of those around him, he will live a happy and productive life.”
Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a republic in Central America. Honduras has a population of approximately 8 million people with primarily Spanish ancestry, alongside small amounts of Garifuna and Mesoamerican Mayan descendants. 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 least-developed country, and 50% of its population live below the poverty line. 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 textile exporter and tourist destination. Honduras is particularly known for its variety of climate zones: interior mountains, Carribbean and Pacific coasts, and Carribbean islands. The region is considered a biodiversity hotspot because of the many plant and animal species found in the reserves, rain forests, cloud forests, mangroves, savannas, and mountain ranges. 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.
Central America, between Guatemala and Nicaragua
15 00 N, 86 30 W
Central American and Caribbean
Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua
823 km (Caribbean Sea 669 km, Gulf of Fonseca 163 km)
12 nautical miles
Subtropical in lowlands, temperate in mountains
Mostly mountains in interior, narrow coastal plains
Caribbean Sea - 0 m
Cerro Las Minas - 2,870 m