It has been a great experience being here in Honduras. I have learned a whole lot during my two weeks of being here. It was an eye opening experience to see health care services in a different country and how they have to deal with limited supplies.
Honduras La Ceiba Review Volunteer
1.-How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Rafael is our local ABV Coordinator and he is a very nice person. He would walk or go with our group every morning to our shift, and make sure that we were doing okay throughout the day.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
At the program: The most surprising thing I experienced during the time I am volunteering here is the condition of the hospitals and their procedure on sanitation and safety of the healthcare provider. The condition of the clinics is terrible. They have a very low standard on sanitation and a poor sense of safety from getting diseases from the patients.
At the accommodation: The accommodation is as what I expected so there was not much surprising. Plus, I have also lived half of my life at a place similar so I am pretty used to it.
About the country: The country is still developing so there are lots of trash on the street and open ground. I think the traffic law is not strictly enforced, so people just drive the way they want. However, people here are very friendly and welcoming.
3- What was most difficult to experience?
In the program: The most difficult thing about the program is to be able to communicate with people around and at the hospital. Since my Spanish speaking level is very low, I had some trouble talking to patients and doctors. However, after a couple days, I started getting used to listening, and Rafael taught me some phrases that would get me by.
At the accommodation: Cold showers, especially during the rain.
The country: Crossing the street is always fun, and my friends would always be yelling at me for not telling them that I was about to cross the street.
4- Any tips for future volunteers…
Clothing: Pack enough clothes if you’re traveling for 1-2 weeks, so that you don’t have to do laundry here. The laundry mat requires a couple days to finish washing clothes. Also, bring rain gear if you’re traveling during raining season.
Donations: Sanitation is a big deal here, so I believe it would be great to donate hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes for cleaning and tiny ones for giving injections.
Weather: The weather is not bad at all, except it rains a lot during the winter season. The humidity is totally bearable.
4.1-Other things volunteers should know:
a.-Meals here are much different from the states. Small and quick breakfast and dinner.
b.-Be ready to take a cold shower every day.
c.-There are certain places where toilet paper is not available so you should bring your own.
d.-If you’re bringing cash to trade here, make sure the bills are perfect or brand new. The banks will not take the bills if they are ripped or have marks on them.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
It has been a great experience being here in Honduras. I have learned a whole lot during my two weeks of being here. It was an eye opening experience to see health care services in a different country and how they have to deal with limited supplies. I had a different expectation for the trip like I would travel to different locations to provide care, but I was able to give a lot just by volunteering at those hospitals.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, and security:
Rafael’s house is pretty nice, and there is also wifi so I was still connected with the rest of the world. The meals here are smaller than what I used to have back at home, but there are lots of restaurants within walking distance. There is always a ghetto side to any city, and La Ceiba is no exception. However, Rafael pointed that out on the first day and made sure that everyone knows to stay away. The people here are nice otherwise.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: My favorite memory of the program is able to work alongside with people I have never met before and speak a totally different language.
Country: The scenery is crazily beautiful. There’s too much to describe.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior to traveling?
Communication (Phone/emails/Online chat): ABV USA is very responsive to communication. They always sending reminder emails prior to the trip and during the trip.
Website Information: The website information is very useful
I volunteer with Texas A&M University, so I know A broader view from there, many of the students travel with them through ABV.
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