After leading medical/dental teams for fourteen years to Honduras, I moved to Roatán, an Island 35 miles off the northern coast of Honduras and through a series of events, started a medical clinic from my kitchen table.  Some will tell you I am not much of a cook so this was a good use of the space. 

The clinic was started shortly after Hurricane Mitch, which hit Honduras October 22, 1998.  Many mainland Hondurans moved to Roatán seeking a better life after Hurricane Mitch destroyed everything they had. Mitch was the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, causing over 11,000 fatalities in Central America, with over 7,000 occurring in Honduras alone due to the catastrophic flooding it wrought due to the slow motion of the storm (Wikipedia).

My local friend, one of these transplants, discovered I was a nurse and started bringing people to my house as it was much closer than the public hospital, which was already very overcrowded due to the large influx of mainlanders and I had some medications, which they were in short supply at the public hospital. This soon turned into a functioning clinic and within a couple years a permanent structure was built.  We have an all Honduran staff of bi-lingual doctors, nurses, dentists and other allied health workers. We have chronic and acute, medical care, pediatrics, women's health, diabetes, pharmacy, laboratory, dentistry and community health. We provide those wishing to do a medical mission the opportunity to work alongside Hondurans who are helping their own people.  They know the culture, the customs, the language and the logistics of getting further care if needed. Our volunteers work with our staff of 22 to provide assist in the medical care to the patients.  In many areas of the world, one will find doctors from another country treating and caring for indigenous patients.  We are giving the Honduran doctors the 'fishing pole' by providing them with the tools, medicines and supplies to treat their own.  Volunteers provide additional help and further medical education for the young Honduran doctors that have just graduated and awaiting the 1-3 years it takes to get a residency scheduled.  Since our general medicine doctors are newly graduated, we are in search of an experienced board certified, Christian doctor that would work alongside our local doctors helping to prepare them for residency as well as volunteer medical students and residents to oversee their patient care, providing educational sessions and assist in patient care.  It is not a requirement for our volunteers to be Christian and often, they are not.    Our Christian staff and permanent volunteers are here to show the love of God to all those that cross our paths.  We are hopeful to find a dedicated Christian missionary doctor that will also show the love of God to those around them, love to teach and be the point person for medical questions and education.  Ideally, we would like to have a FM, IM or EM missionary doctor that would like to consider Roatán their home. Families welcome.  If you know of such a doctor, please have him contact me at volunteer@clinicaesperanza.org.

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