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San Jose de la Cuesta

Thursday, May 23, 2014

As we travelled up the windy roads to the town of San Jose de La Cuesta, Siguatepeque, Comayagua, specks of blue skies were starting to show the true beauty of Honduras.  San Jose de La Cuesta is in the fifth year of the FOBF program.  After years of experience, you can truly see the impact FOBF has made on the village and their sustainability.  The village is made up of 75 families, over 300 residents.  Upon arrival, residents prepared areas for FOFB staff and a shaded area for residents waiting at registration.  Two young girls made palm flowers for most of the FOFB staff showing their appreciation of the years of support. 

At the beginning of the week, each medical team member was given a cross to share with a family who made an impact on them personally.  Today, there was a girl and her mother, that touched me and reminded me of my students back home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Carmen seemed “shy” as she clung to her mother’s leg with her head hanging down.  After getting down to her level and some interaction we were able to smile back and forth with each other. I was able to get her to look at me and smile a few more times while her mother moved to the next station.  As Carmen moved to dental, I was able to share my joy with a fellow team member and co-worker.   Carmen was very cooperative at the start of the fluoride procedure and then proceed to get upset.  The two of us calmed her by quietly singing to her as we rubbed her neck and arms.  As Carmen and her mother, Maria, exited dental, I just knew that’s where my cross belonged.  I put the cross around Maria’s neck, gave her a hug and told her I would be thinking about them.  They truly made an impact on me and my trip to Honduras.


Today I translated for talented Nurse Jenna, we had both not yet given away our crosses and we had several memorable patients - a sweet old man with 3 teeth, a man with a fungal skin infection that thought he couldn’t bathe after a hot day of work because of local beliefs, and finally a sweet mom of 2 boys that was doing her utmost to raise healthy kids in a tough environment. I empathized with her as a mom of all boys, and as we spoke, I found out her mom had died when she was 8, and her dad had left her as well. So when I told her I had chosen to give her my cross since I recognized the effort she was putting into being a good mom, she started crying. I promised I would pray for her and her family and she was as grateful and touched as I was.


Although every village we have seen this week has something that makes them unique, they all seem to value family and community. A family of four walked over to my clinic station today, They all gathered around and told me what was bothering them.  The mother spoke about how she was worried about her blood pressure and ran out of medications. When we got to talking she said that she was stressed because she had to take care of her sick father, as well as worry about the rest of her family. She had a daughter and a son. Her husband was an agricultural worker.

The family seemed very close, they reminded me of my family back at home. I spoke to the woman about taking time for herself, explaining to her the importance of staying healthy that way she could continue to take care of her family. We spoke about ways she could do this.

I have noticed that a lot of people in these villages take on so much responsibility and stress. They all want to care for their families and friends. It’s so beautiful to see a community that is so remote, who have very little access to things, come together to help one another. I gave my cross to this woman because I could see how important her family was to her. I wanted her to know that she was also important, and that the cross could be her reminder to take a moment for herself from time to time.

-Jenna O

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