Empowered Community

Congratulations El Encinal!

1,040

Brigade Volunteers

3,644

Medical Patient Consultations

268

Dental Patient Consultations

219

People with Access to Clean Water

N/A

Loans Disbursed

59

Eco-Stoves Constructed

52

Latrines Constructed

16

Trained Community Leaders

El Encinal

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Engineering
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health

Overview

El Encinal is located far from any highway that would allow easy access to outside employment or health care. Global Brigades has worked with our various programs to provide the community access to public health infrastructure, capital for their community bank, potable water, and health care through our brigade clinics. El Encinal does not have a health center directly in the community; however, they do have a health center about a 30-minute walk away in El Junco & Joyas. The health center is a CESAR and staffed by a local nurse. In support of the nurse’s work, 9 members of the community make up the Community Health Committee. El Encinal’s educational system includes Kinder and Primary schools (through 6th grade), though students have the opportunity to study 7-9th grades at the school in El Junco & Joyas. In El Encinal, there are 56 students and it is estimated that about 94% of the community knows how to read and write.

Municipality: Teupasenti

Department: El Paraíso

Homes : 100
Population : 600
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
Homes with Latrines : 80%
Education : Up to 9th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hr

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

The Honduran government provides two different types of health centers throughout rural Honduras: Centros de Salud Médico Odontológico (CESAMOs) and Centros de Salud Rural (CESARs). CESAMOs are the larger of the two, often found in municipalities, and typically have at least one physician on staff at all times with nurses and potentially a dentist. CESARs are found sporadically in rural communities and generally have a single nurse available. Even with this coverage, it is important to note that medications, supplies, and materials are often not available in these health centers and the physician density in Honduras remains around 1,220 people for every one doctor. According to the World Health Organization, there should be a maximum of 435 people per physician to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention.

El Encinal does not have a health center directly in the community; however, they do have access to the CESAR-Joyas del Carballo. The walk to this health center from El Encinal is about thirty minutes. The health center is staffed by a local nurse, who receives help from the nine members of the Community Health Committee. The most common illnesses reported by community members are diarrhea, dengue, and asthma.

*These statistics reflect data from Medical/Dental Brigades in the community of El Junco & Joyas, where community members from El Encinal attend the mobile clinics.

207

Brigade Volunteers*

3,644

Patients Attended*

248

Pap Smears Performed*

95

Health Education Workshops*

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

El Encinal has access to a total of twelve Community Health Workers (CHWs). These CHWs were trained in the community of El Junco & Joyas and provide their services to a total of six communities. Two of them live in El Encinal.

Community Health Workers, or Guardianes de Salud, work on a volunteer basis as advocates for health care within their communities. While this is an existing program in Honduras and Guardianes de Salud are identified by other organizations and some health centers, Global Brigades is able to bridge gaps in access to training and provide more comprehensive technical skills. Our CHWs are some of the very few Guardianes de Salud to receive certification from the Honduran government. Our CHWs are tasked with treating and preventing common illnesses, and some of their responsibilities include first aid, supporting and caring for pregnancies and newborns, and responding to emergency situations. They are also responsible for following up with chronic patients to ensure proper administration of medications and treatments to avoid further complications. Additionally, CHWs provide support for brigades that are hosted in their area. At the completion of their training, CHWs are equipped with basic medical supplies and equipment provided by Global Brigades and its partners. The presence of these volunteers and their advocacy for health within their community contributes to the sustainability of health care supported by Global Brigades’ Medical Program and is one of the most impactful disease prevention strategies in rural communities across the globe.

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Members of El Encinal attend Medical and Dental Brigade clinics hosted in El Junco & Joyas’ school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the school’s 4 classrooms. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational charlas a day. Each brigade sees an average of 607 patients and performs an average of 68 dental procedures.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 607
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: AGUA FRIA, EL ENCINAL, TENCHON, SUYATAL, MANZANAS, ESPERANZA, JUNCO, BARNES
BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL BUILDING

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN EL JUNCO & JOYAS

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
DePaul University November 2012 31
CORE August 2013 21
UC Irvine March 2014 34
University of Virginia & Vikings Brigades March 2015 37
University of Houston & Middle Tennessee University August 2015 48
Duke & Chabot College January 2016 36

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

Working closely with the medical program, the dental program provides fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments as a standard part of medical brigades. Most community members do not have regular access to dental care due to the lack of dentist within a reasonable distance.

*These statistics reflect data from Medical/Dental Brigades in the community of El Junco & Joyas, where community members from El Encinal attend the mobile clinics.

268

Patient Consultations*

406

Fluoride Treatments*

115

Fillings Performed*

56

Dental Education Workshops*

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Members of El Encinal attend Medical and Dental Brigade clinics hosted in El Junco & Joyas’ school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the school’s 4 classrooms. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational charlas a day. Each brigade sees an average of 607 patients and performs an average of 68 dental procedures.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 607
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: AGUA FRIA, EL ENCINAL, TENCHON, SUYATAL, MANZANAS, ESPERANZA, JUNCO, BARNES
BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL BUILDING

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN EL JUNCO & JOYAS

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
DePaul University November 2012 31
CORE August 2013 21
UC Irvine March 2014 34
University of Virginia & Vikings Brigades March 2015 37
University of Houston & Middle Tennessee University August 2015 48
Duke & Chabot College January 2016 36

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ENCINAL’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE

Prior to Global brigades’ arrival, the community of El Encinal relied on a water system that did not meet the needs the community in terms of water quality and quantity. That system was over 25 years old and had been constructed by the Honduran government. Very little monitoring or follow-up was provided after the project’s construction. The original system was intended to supply a total of 50 households between the two communities of El Encinal and El Junco; however, this didn’t take into account population growth. Presently, these communities have a total of approximately 90 households. Many houses that had not been connected to the system originally or located at an elevation above the systems storage tank were excluded and required to collect their water from a nearby stream. Additionally, the pipe diameters in the original system were not sufficient to consistently provide water to all of the connected houses. In many cases, houses could go without receiving water for up to a week.

The existing water council had two members, but neither were following through with the necessary system maintenance. Due to this lack of organization and poor service, the vast majority of community members were not paying the water fee and most people stopped treating their water. Illnesses related to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene were common. As a resource-constrained community, El Encinal did not have the funds to improve their existing system or consider constructing a new one. The community acknowledged these issues and solicited support from government organizations without receiving any help.

N/A

Brigade Volunteers

219

Beneficiaries

3

Kilometers of PIpeline Designed

N/A

Average Community Volunteers

EL ENCINAL’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION

Water Brigaders from 13 different universities worked in El Encinal from August 2009 to June 2010. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:

  • Reach an agreement between El Junco & El Encinal to design two separate water systems.
  • Repair the dam and intake infrastructure and install a filter
  • Build a 5,000-gallon storage tank with chlorinator
  • Redesign and construct an entire distribution network
  • Connect all houses and churches to the system
  • Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics

When the Water Program first started its partnership with El Encinal, a lack of access to clean water was observed. Furthermore, the community lacked leadership, organization, and motivation after having lived so many years without a proper water system and government support. Global Brigades is happy to celebrate the community’s planning and contributions to the project with El Encinal, and ultimately the success of the water system. To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new, seven-member Water Council in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee was trained by Water Program.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ENCINAL’S WATER CHALLENGE

Prior to Global brigades’ arrival, the community of El Encinal relied on a water system that did not meet the needs the community in terms of water quality and quantity. That system was over 25 years old and had been constructed by the Honduran government. Very little monitoring or follow-up was provided after the project’s construction. The original system was intended to supply a total of 50 households between the two communities of El Encinal and El Junco; however, this didn’t take into account population growth. Presently, these communities have a total of approximately 90 households. Many houses that had not been connected to the system originally or located at an elevation above the systems storage tank were excluded and required to collect their water from a nearby stream. Additionally, the pipe diameters in the original system were not sufficient to consistently provide water to all of the connected houses. In many cases, houses could go without receiving water for up to a week.

The existing water council had two members, but neither were following through with the necessary system maintenance. Due to this lack of organization and poor service, the vast majority of community members were not paying the water fee and most people stopped treating their water. Illnesses related to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene were common. As a resource-constrained community, El Encinal did not have the funds to improve their existing system or consider constructing a new one. The community acknowledged these issues and solicited support from government organizations without receiving any help.

160

Brigade Volunteers

219

Project Beneficiaries

3

Kilometers of Pipeline Installed

5,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

EL ENCINAL’S WATER SOLUTION

Water Brigaders from 13 different universities worked in El Encinal from August 2009 to June 2010. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:

  • Reach an agreement between El Junco & El Encinal to design two separate water systems.
  • Repair the dam and intake infrastructure and install a filter
  • Build a 5,000-gallon storage tank with chlorinator
  • Redesign and construct an entire distribution network
  • Connect all houses and churches to the system
  • Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics

When the Water Program first started its partnership with El Encinal, a lack of access to clean water was observed. Furthermore, the community lacked leadership, organization, and motivation after having lived so many years without a proper water system and government support. Global Brigades is happy to celebrate the community’s planning and contributions to the project with El Encinal, and ultimately the success of the water system. To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new, seven-member Water Council in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee was trained by Water Program.

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ENCINAL’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

Rural communities in Honduras face a number of structural obstacles when it comes to economic growth. Access to credit is limited by physical barriers in transportation and exclusion from formal financial institutions. This exclusion can be the result of a lack of financial literacy, credit history, and land titles or substantial consumer goods to offer as collateral. If community members aren’t able to access these institutions, their only option is to solicit credit from coyotes, or loan sharks, who charge exorbitant interest rates. Additionally, maintaining savings is not a common practice in rural communities in Honduras.

In El Encinal, the average family income is estimated to be 2,000 Lempiras per month, which is approximately L400 (US $17) per person. The majority of homes are made of adobe. The main form of employment in El Encinal is agriculture on owned land, and the primary crops produced are coffee, corn, beans, and plantains. Economic growth faces additional obstacles due to the community’s dependence on agriculture, as its inhabitants’ incomes are earned on a seasonal basis, determined by crop yields, and susceptible to external factors like weather and plant disease.

NA

Brigade Volunteers

EL ENCINAL’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

The Business Program works to stimulate the local economy by organizing community volunteers around a community bank, or caja rural, which is entirely owned and operated by its members. Focusing on providing access to credit and savings for their fellow community members, its volunteers are tasked with socializing the community bank and managing the funds. The Business Program provides training and support to help strengthen these community banks and stimulate the flow of capital within the community. These financial services are especially beneficial for subsistence farmers, who can invest more heavily in their production with a loan, pay back the loan after the harvest, and generate an income with any excess.

El Encinal’s community bank, Una Luz en mi Camino, was established in September 2009 with the support of Global Brigades and FUNDESUR. In order to pool their limited funds together, increase the capital available to the community bank, and expand the impact of its financial services, each member contributes a monthly share or fee for which they receive a proportional amount of the bank’s dividends at the end of its fiscal year. Another organization, FAMA, has also worked with El Encinal in the past, providing loans to women interested in starting microenterprises or investing in agriculture. Land owners in the community also have access to credit at BANADESA, a national agricultural loan agency, located about an hour and a half away by foot in San Juan de Flores. Following the establishment of the community bank, its leadership decided to work independently of Global Brigades. However, the community bank remains operational and continues to provide financial services to the community.

EL ENCINAL’S BUSINESS SOLUTION

In addition to working with the community bank, the Business Program provides support and technical skills in establishing anchor businesses that generate additional capital. The goal is to better integrate isolated communities into the local economy and allow for growth. During this process, interested community members receive training to increase their familiarity with business terminology, develop their business administration skills, and promote innovation and diversification in the types of business ventures they pursue.

The Business Program was not yet established in Honduras upon the community bank’s decision to work independently of Global Brigades. For that reason, an anchor business was not pursued in El Encinal. However, because the majority of the income in El Encinal comes from coffee production, Global Brigades will consider the community as a partner for a social enterprise in coffee production in the near future.

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ENCINAL’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

Many community members in El Encinal lacked the resources needed to improve their homes and prevent diseases caused by unsafe living environments. The majority of homes were made of adobe, mud, and straw. Very few homes had hygiene stations, cement floors, and eco-stoves prior to the arrival of Global Brigades. Such living conditions triggered disease. The lack of hygiene stations led to high rates of diarrhea and water-borne disease, the absence of cement floors caused parasitic infection and Chagas Disease, and the lack of eco-stoves resulted in respiratory problems in many community members. Not only would the creation of health infrastructure better the health of household members through improved sanitation and hygiene, but it would also improve their quality-of-life as the new water storage units would reduce time spent walking to water sources and the eco-stove would reduce firewood consumption by about 70%.

Although community members recognized the problems inherent to their living environments, they did not have the economic resources nor the technical knowledge needed to address them. Moreover, the level of awareness concerning sanitation and the importance of health is very low as the children did not receive any education about the topic.

*These statistics reflect projects completed in El Junco & Joyas and El Encinal, which make up a larger area referred to as Joyas del Carballo.

439

Brigade Volunteers*

59

Eco-Stoves Constructed*

52

Latrines Constructed*

45

Water Storage Units Constructed*

EL ENCINAL’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Public Health Brigaders from several different universities and the Public Health Program’s in-country team worked in Joyas de Carballo (El Encinal and El Junco & Joyas) from December 2009 – October 2010. During this time, volunteers and staff members worked with community members to:

  • Identify 9 community leaders and train them to form the Basic Sanitation Committee
  • Increase cultural sensitivity and awareness by working side-by-side with qualified masons and project beneficiaries
  • Build over 59 eco-stoves, 52 latrines, 45 water storage units, and 146 cement floors
  • Conduct educational workshops emphasizing the importance of sanitation and hygiene in local primary schools.

To ensure the sustainability of the in-home infrastructure projects, the Public Health Program continues to provide continuous follow-up in the community. It also formed and trained the Basic Sanitation Committee, a community body formed by local leaders which is entitled to monitor the correct utilization and maintenance of the infrastructures. Clear responsibilities and powers were assigned to each member, making the beneficiaries themselves even stronger stakeholders of the Public Health projects.

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

  • Feature