This Spring Break I traveled on the Honduras Alternative Spring Break Medical Mission trip with 11 other F&M students in conjunction with the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement's Honduras Alternative Spring Break program. C.A.R.E. (Central American Relief Effort) is an organization that works closely with the Mayors of Honduran communities to organize medical clinics at local schools in rural areas to aid the unmet medical need of the population.
Reading about the program did not prepare me for the hundreds upon hundreds of men, woman, and children that showed up to our daily clinics looking for medication. Often, the people who attend these clinics have little to no money or access to a doctor or dentist, and thus many come to get whatever medicine they can get their hands on. It was very interesting to see how "western" medicine is perceived as a cure-all by most of the patients who attended the clinics.
Being a part in both diagnosing patients and giving them medicine was a fulfilling process and not only helped enhance my Spanish proficiency but also helped to augment my cultural awareness. Attending this trip has allowed me to gain knowledge and experience that I would have never have gained otherwise, and I would like to thank the Ware Institute, C.A.R.E., as well as the Marshall Fellows grant for allowing me to have this immersion experience.
"It was amazing how much trust the Hondurans had in us and the gratefulness they expressed for what we were doing."