Hondurans are Outrageously Tough


Wednesday, February 17, 2022


Today we awoke early to travel to El Chaguiton, a small community located 1.5 hours in the direction of San Pedro Sula. The weather was clear and beautiful, and spirits were good. Upon arriving, spirits were lifted even further as some members of our group realized that they had been to El Chaguiton on previous trips. In particular, one of our members, Jodi, recognized two little girls that she met 2 years ago and was even able to show the girls a picture of themselves from 2 years prior. We all saw the benefit of these long-term investments in the community as many of the patients knew what ailed them or were able to tell us which medications from the Friends of Barnabas had worked for them in the past.


Our evening devotional was led by Martha who introduced the topic of rainbows as a visible sign of God’s promise and a reminder of his faithfulness. She challenged us to think of our own personal rainbows and we had a meaningful discussion sharing those times that God was most faithful. Something that I personally found impactful was when she shared how she became a nurse. It turned out that she had a first career as a research marine biologist. However, while she was on a mission trip to the Ukraine, she felt that it would be even better if she had a more tangible way to help the people she met. That desire to help planted a seed in her spirit to become a nurse. As she got to the airport in Kyiv, there was a beautiful double rainbow and the seed sprouted (over some tough years of training) into a second career in nursing. That moment of mutual trust and faithfulness is now bearing tangible fruit here as Martha cares for the people of Honduras.


While caring for those same people today, we noticed a theme: Hondurans are outrageously tough. The first example is an older male patient who has suffered from difficulty urinating secondary to prostate problems. It has been so bad that he resorted to using a urinary catheter on himself - a painful moment of life in the best of circumstances. But this patient? He’s been self cathing, in the mountains of Honduras, multiple times a day, for the past 5 months! Thankfully, we were able to refer him for more advanced assistance. The second example is an elderly woman who presented to the Wellness Clinic dressed in a beautiful lace headdress. However, Maggie, our savvy nurse staffing the Wellness Clinic, discovered a large gash on her arm. It turned out she received the wound from carrying a hen that got frightened, bolted, and lacerated her arm. But that wasn’t all - the same patient had also broken her wrist in January while gathering wood. She apparently saw a particularly “juicy” (Maggie’s words) piece of wood on the other side of a fence. She decided to scale the fence at 77 years of age, fell, broke her arm, and was developing a deformity. Why was this patient at the Wellness Clinic instead of the Sick Clinic, you ask? She only came to refill her blood pressure medication, apparently less concerned by the two unfortunate events.


We also appreciated the fact that many Hondurans are so full of life and joy that they make each and every day better. In particular, we have all been very thankful to work with Dr. Pedro Dominguez. Amongst the things we admire about him are his joyful disposition, his willingness to try to speak to us in English to make us more comfortable, his knowledge of the health problems endemic to Honduras, and his willingness to always help us when we have any kind of problem. He is not the only person we are thankful for on this trip, but we felt he deserved special recognition. Thank you Dr. Pedro!


~Dr. Chase