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Honduras Mission Trip- January, 2017

February 13, 2017 - 4:15pm
7243 E 10th St
Indianapolis, IN 46219
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Mission Trip to Texiguat, Honduras- January, 2017

     We visited our sister parish, San Francisco de Asis, in Texiguat, Honduras from January 23-30, 2017. Travelers included:  Father Paul Koetter, John & Kathy Evans, Teresa & Larry Heil, Chris Brokaw, Lisa Lahey, Loema Salgado, Jim Bowman, John Bryan, Joe Ritter, Terie Schaeffer and Mike Petri. 

     We conducted 4 optical clinics in the villages of Portillo, Corralitos and San Jose', as well as in the main town of Texiguat.  In the aldea of Corralitos, we had no electricity so we had to connect an inverter to the battery of one of the trucks we rode up in to the village in order to have electricity. The only way we could power any of the equipment necessary was to eliminate the make-shift extension cord (who needs one when you don’t have electricity?) to the school. This meant we could only perform the readings of the patients' eyes outside, next to the truck. Due to the bright sun shine, we then had to drape the examiner and the patient with one of the black bags that had been used to transport the 2000 pairs of glasses up to the village in order to get good readings. Welcome to Honduras!  We dispensed many prescription glasses, reading glasses and sunglasses.  We also provide eye drops to many of the people subject to the dry and dusty conditions this time of year. 
      About half of our group of 13 people went with the priests and other local people to visit the sick, elderly and poor living in small houses adjacent to these villages. In most cases they were provided with food, aprons, rosaries, or crosses and other necessities. Large doses of love and prayer were also shared.  They also were anointed and given the Eucharist by either Father Paul or Padre Juan Pablo.   One of those visited was a lady named Griselda.  Two days later her 27 year-old son, Adon, died of a heart attack.  As P. Juan Pablo was schedule to say mass on that Sunday in another village, Father Paul stepped in and presided over the funeral mass.  This is in keeping with the custom of burying the dead within 24 hours.

     Another part of our recent trip to Texiguat, Honduras was that we were able to introduce a program called “Water with Blessings”.  Due to the water being contaminated with bacteria, viruses and parasites, many children and adults suffer from gastrointestinal diseases that diminish greatly the health of the people in this area. This program provides and teaches women (primary caregivers) how to us a water filter.   The filter purifies contaminated, disease-laden water into potable water that is even more pure than the bottled water that only the wealthier people in these communities can afford to buy.
      “Water with Blessings” provided us with 3 instructors based in Honduras to teach 4 of the women in this community to become “Water Women Teachers”. The 4 teachers are:  Reina Cerna, Aida Celinda Espinal, Yesina Patricia Lopez Espinal and Luz Estela Vasque.  They, in turn, trained 15 women in the community of San Jose' to become “Water Women” the next day. These teachers will now be able to instruct women in other communities on how to use these filters. We were able to bring 60 (we received a grant for 30) of these filters with us on this trip.  The “Blessings” portion of this program is that these filters are gifts from God to be shared with one’s neighbors.  Each woman with a filter is committed to provide water to at least 3 other households, but can provide even more water if they wish. So these 60 filters actually represent at least 240 households with over 1200 inhabitants. We are committed to providing as many filters as we can on our future visits.  In time we hope that pure drinking water will be available to as many people in this area as possible and, more importantly, the GI related diseases due to contaminated water will be a thing of the past.

      As you can see, we had a very busy seven days in Texiguat.  But probably more importantly, we continued to grow our relationship with solidarity, prayer, charity and compassion.