Jun 13, 2018

Clean Water Brought to Valle Arriba 5/22 - 6/1/18

Water before passing through our filter
Water before passing through our filter

We just returned from our 2018 Immersion Experience to our Honduran Partners Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos. On May 22nd, thirty one of us (18 participants, 4 recent alumni of John Carroll, and 9 faculty and advisors) traveled with 62 suitcases filled with vitamins, medications, water filters, and necessary medical supplies to rural Honduran villages. Over the span of 5 medical brigades to various mountainous villages (Valle Arriba, Las Crucitas, El Pedregal, Corral Falso, Terrero Blanco), we were able to serve over 1200 patients. One story that is a testament to the healthcare disparities in Honduras came to us in the form of a diabetic patient. When asked how he tested his blood glucose levels since he ran out of the strips we gave him last year on our brigade, he simply stated that he would taste his urine. If it tasted sweet, he knew that his blood glucose levels were high. Stories like his are the reason we were so blessed to be able to right the scales of social injustice in this world.

Specifically, in Valle Arriba we were able, through your generous contributions, to provide 125 households with a FilterofHope Water Filtration system and a water collection bucket. Before and after pictures are included below the report. The filters last up to 10 years and clean the water up to 99.9%. A video will be included below With the help of community leaders, especially Alberto, an ex-US Navyman, we compiled a list of all the local households to ensure equity in distribution. The Valle Arribans were extremely receptive to receiving the life altering access to clean water to combat diabetes and hypertension. To analyze the effectiveness of our implementation, we will use our normal health survey and data analytics that we use on every brigade to track the population's health. Such a change would not be able to be created without your contributions. 

Our next project will be to expand the water filtration systems to other villages. Of all the villages we traveled to, we found excessively high rates of E. coli in their drinking water. The need for clean water is now apparent more than ever. We travel once a year to Honduras to perform the brigades. In the meantime, we will continue our donation collection in an effort to provide life sustaining care to those who truly need it. Many thanks and God Bless.

 

Water after passing through our filter (& Cato)
Water after passing through our filter (& Cato)
The Power a Smile Has to Build Community
The Power a Smile Has to Build Community
The great people we are privileged to serve
The great people we are privileged to serve
Mae-the Beautiful "Mother" of the Sociedad orphans
Mae-the Beautiful "Mother" of the Sociedad orphans
Sister Maria Rosa-The Mother Teresa of C. America
Sister Maria Rosa-The Mother Teresa of C. America

Links:

Mar 13, 2018

Analytics on Valle Arriba 2015-2016

In interviewing dozens of community leaders over the past five years, we have learned that there is significant variation in water systems and water cleanliness in rural Honduras.  Some villages have recently installed new water tanks with chlorination systems. Others have old water tanks and are unable to afford chlorine. Still others lack a community-wide system and rely on a variety of water sources.  One example of a village without a decent water system is Valle Arriba, a small agricultural village in the Moroceli Valley in south central Honduras that we have visited twice for medical brigades. With roughly 70 homes and a population of 350 people, Valle Arriba lacks a reliable water system.  Many villagers get their water from a small, dirty stream and are unable to filter out parasite-causing bacteria. The funding that we are looking to receive will be spent on water filters. The filters will be bought from our contact at Filter of Hope. Our goal is to provide water filters to each household in Valle Arriba, a small village in the Department of El Paraiso; implement a training program that makes this project sustainable for 10 years; and study the impact of clean water on the rate of parasites and infectious diseases in this community.  To complete this important project, we are asking for a total $4,000 (85 filters at $40 each, plus 85 5-gallon buckets at $5.75 each, plus sales tax).

 

Implementation is another area that we know will work. The implementation of this project will be straightforward yet impactful. Patients go through our brigades as a family - typically a mother and her children.  After they see an attending physician they go to our pharmacy. Each household will receive a water filter and bucket when they receive their prescriptions, after which they will learn about how to setup, use, and maintain their filter.  This instruction will be conducted in small groups (2-3 families each) and in Spanish. During this time, we will also discuss the direct benefit of using the filter: a reduced likelihood of contracting waterborne illnesses.

Attached is an example of the analytics we gather as an organization. Some say numbers speak louder than words and the analytics on Valle Arriba paint a rather grim picture. Yet, there is always hope! Be the hope our Honduran Partners need.


Attachments:
 
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