I’m frequently asked for suggestions when visiting Roatan: accommodations, dining, attractions and entertainment. I even get asked about diving and snorkelling, which I’m not too helpful with, since I don’t do either. But, I have many friends on Roatan who do, and will gladly direct visitors to the people who I think can help them the most.
More often than not, I’m also asked—how can we help?
There are many opportunities to participate in helping the people of Roatan—help themselves. It can come in the form of: donating much needed supplies, volunteering your time while you are here, and/or, sharing your expertise: medical, technical, creative—whatever!
Living on Roatan, I’ve had the good fortune to get involved with various initiatives and see firsthand the positive impact they are having:
Roatan Daycare Center
Mission of the Daycare Center.
“Our purpose is to help children of working families learn and thrive, mentally, physically and emotionally.
Our program combines bilingual early education and nurturing childcare, with play, social skills, and a dedication to community. We provide a healthy environment within a safe and comfortable facility. This gives parents the ability to work with peace of mind, knowing their children are receiving the best of care. These parents work full time, as most live near or at the poverty level.”
“Familias Saludables is a non-profit, non-denominational organization devoted to fighting the AIDS epidemic on Roatan and the Bay Islands. Our major focus is on reducing the incidence of mother-to-child transmission of the virus both at birth and via breast milk. We run testing clinics for pregnant women, assign trained home visitors for mothers living with HIV/AIDS, provide education to the public, provide palliative training services and, when available, we provide infant formula, medications, and a host of supplies to support families struggling to cope with this disease. All of our services are free of charge and our staff consists solely of volunteers, both local and international.”
“From the apartment beneath her home – to donated space in the Son Rise Calvary Church in Sandy Bay – Peggy Stranges has given her life to building Clínica Esperanza, otherwise known as “Hospital Ms. Peggy.” Together, with Honduran physician Raymond Cherington, M.D. and Arizona-based physician Patrick Connell, M.D., and through the generous support from Roatán’s community leaders, Ms. Peggy has realized her dream of building a first class freestanding hospital.”
Roatan Vortex Breakfast Program
This one’s brand new, and I am thrilled to share with you! In conjunction with Familias Saludables (couldn’t do it without Val) and Louisa Trundle School—Roatan Vortex has launched a breakfast program for all the students at the school. When they arrive each morning, the first thing they are greeted by is a table (manned by the grade 7 students) where they are offered: a glass of milk, fresh fruit (of the day), and depending on the day: a healthy cookie, or toast with peanut butter, or perhaps a hardboiled egg.
I have so much more I want to too share with you about the program—it warrants a story all its own, and information on how you can participate. That will be coming soon; in the meantime here is a couple of: “Musings from a Breakfast Program.”
Positive reports from parents, teachers, and students. A hug this morning from a little girl who ate three eggs, but I know she doesn’t get food at home. She hugged me, and said, “breakfast was Delicioso!”
Today one of the grade six students had a seizure, and I took her to the hospital (don’t worry she turned out to be okay, she has epilepsy and missed her medication.) At the hospital, the nurse and the doctor asked her three times if she’d eaten breakfast. She kept saying yes, and I then asked why they were asking. They told me that almost every day they get some kid form school that faints from hunger. I was so proud to say our School had a breakfast program.
There are many other on-going programs on Roatan and the mainland that are worth checking out, but finding them can be a daunting task—that’s where Project Honduras can help you out.
“projecthonduras.com is an alternative concept for development of Honduras based on using information and communications technology (ICT) to identify, mobilize and coordinate all the available human capital in Honduras and around the world. By “human capital”, we mean resources such as time, energy, expertise, experience, talent, and contacts… things that really only gain value when people become personally engaged.”
In addition to on-line support, and information; there is the annual Conference on Honduras:
“For the past eight years, Copán Ruinas has served as the site of an annual pilgrimage by people from all walks of life, various faiths, and different countries. The purpose of the pilgrimage has been to come together as a community to find ways to become more enlightened and learn how to work as One. The ultimate aim has been to better support the poor and underprivileged within Honduran society by empowering them through education, healthcare, and a variety of community building projects. And to do so in a positive spirit of compassion, harmony, and joy.”
Read the full story at Honduras Weekly – Pilgrimage to Copan.
I look forward to attending this year (October 6-8) where I will get the opportunity to meet people I greatly respect, to hear about their programs, and present the Roatan Vortex Breakfast program. I also will be reporting details back to 101.1 FM Roatan Radio;—Bringing Roatan to the World and the World to Roatan.
Perhaps you’re think you can’t offer enough to make a difference? Check out this story about Bennett; a five year old boy, who lives in Canada. He asked his friends coming to his birthday party to not bring presents for him, but for the children at the Roatan Daycare Center.
And remember… “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.” – Anita Reddick