Volunteering Honduras: My favorite memory was when they took us to a public school with an accompanying dentist. We would go to every classroom, she would teach the little children how to brush using a model and how to floss. Then we would hand out educational brochures and toothbrush packages to every kid.
1.-How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
The local coordinator was very nice and supportive. He took the time to take us around the town (La Ceiba) and show us some stores, attractions, the beach, etc. He also answered every question we had. Very nice gentleman. He could not have put in more.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
At the program: That they took us to a public primary school and we interacted with very young nice children as part of dental education outreach.
At the accommodation: How nice and welcoming the host family was.
About the country: How nice and warm the people are. Also I felt that people here are generally happier here compared to those in some Western countries.
3- What was most difficult to experience?
Volunteer program: The level of infection control in dental clinics here was far lower and also the materials and instruments were far more limited, so it was a challenge to adapt to these during work. However, the dentists were very helpful and made sure everything moved along smoothly
At the accommodation: There was no air conditioning and the heat was intolerable at times, and it was sometimes difficult to fall asleep die to th3 extreme heat.
The country: Not knowing Spanish makes it difficult to communicate with the people here, because they also don’t know any English. So if you are coming here it would be a good idea to build up on your Spanish (app in the ABV account) at least to a basic level with an download an App like Duolingo or itranslate. We were lucky in that we had an excellent translator with us through most of the clinics.
4- Any tips for future volunteers…
Clothing: Bring lots and lots of clothing. Perhaps enough that you can change your clothes every day or more. Bring very light clothing, a sandal, runners, and perhaps an umbrella and a rain jacket.
Donations: Bring something for your host family from your country. A good idea would be a mug with the name of your country on it.
Weather: Lots of sun screen. A good broad rim hat and good inexpensive sunglasses.
4.1- Other things volunteers should know:
a.- the level of cleanliness in general is not on par with the Western standard at the program. Bring your own liquid hand soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer etc although you can also buy all these here.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
The host family was very nice, and I got to meet so many new people. Overall it’s a very rewarding experience, especially if you are a student in a health care field like medicine or dentistry, and you have never done volunteering abroad.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals and security:
Accommodation was nice. The meals were decent, some were exceptional, although both the other volunteers and I were vegetarian and were picky with what we could eat (which made it hard for the host to know what to prepare). One tip is to be cautious of what you buy to eat from the stores. A rule of thumb is to not buy anything off the street. You will probably like most of the dishes that your host family makes for you.
The security was excellent and the main gate was always locked. Also the host family always made sure we got a good reliable taxi. The rooftop and the hammocks were also other bonuses of our amazing stay here.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: My favorite memory was when they took us to a public school with an accompanying dentist. We would go to every classroom, she would teach the little children how to brush using a model and how to floss. Then we would hand out educational brochures and toothbrush packages to every kid.
Country: I got to visit Utilia, one of the most beautiful parts of yb4 country and also got a diving lesson.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
ABC was very supportive. Several months before my trip I would email them many questions, and every time they would reply back within 12-24 hours. They really made sure everything was taken care of to the best.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Sure, you can definitely reach me
Volunteer Honduras La Ceiba Review Sina Makaremi Dental Student Program from A Broader View on Vimeo.