El Ocote

Overview

El Ocote is a small, tight-knit community tucked into the mountains of Francisco Morazán and surrounded by trees and vegetation. It is 10 km from the nearest town, which most community members travel to by foot. The principal economic activity in El Ocote is agriculture: corn and beans are cultivated by both men and women, and some children and teens are also involved in the process. Some community members work in a local sugar cane farm harvesting the plant.

Municipality: Cantarranas
Department: Francisco Morazán

Homes : 65
Population : 300
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 50%
Education : Up to 6th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hr 30 min

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

El Ocote does not have its own health center, but travels to the nearby municipality, Cantarranas, in order to get health care. There, the health center is CESAMO, a larger scale health center where doctors and occasionally dentists are on staff. The trip can take up to 2 hours on foot. The main health concerns of the community are diabetes, arthritis, diarrhea, and hypertension.

168

Brigade Volunteers

763

Patient Consultations

14

Pap Smears Performed

34

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

Community Health Workers in El Ocote were trained by Global Brigades starting in October of 2015. The Community Health Workers help to provide basic medical attention in the absence of the nurse in the Community Health Center. CHWs help to treat and prevent common illnesses and address other health topics such as first aid, caring for pregnancies, and first response in emergency situations. Patients with chronic illnesses in El Ocote have reported receiving better follow-up care because of the program.

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical Brigades use the local school as their brigade site. The school has 2 rooms, where the various medical stations are conducted. 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 240 patients per brigade.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 240
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: TRIJITO, ZARZAL, GUARICAYAN, TOMATIN, BARTOLOI, CERRO BONITO, COFRADIA, SUYAPA
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN EL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Southern California January 2015 23 Pennsylvania State University May 2015 36
Chabot College & Duke University January 2016 36 University of Victoria February 2017 23
Southeast Missouri State University June 2017 20 Castleton University March 2018 30

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS:

In 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.

72

Patient Consultations

152

Flouride Treatments

24

Fillings Performed

16

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical brigades use the local school as their brigade site. The school has 2 rooms, where the various medical stations are conducted. 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 240 patients per brigade.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 240
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: TRIJITO, ZARZAL, GUARICAYAN, TOMATIN, BARTOLOI, CERRO BONITO, COFRADIA, SUYAPA
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN EL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Southern California January 2015 23 Pennsylvania State University May 2015 36
Chabot College & Duke University January 2016 36 University of Victoria February 2017 23
Southeast Missouri State University June 2017 20 Castleton University March 2018 30

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL OCOTE’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival in the community, El Ocote had a water system, but it was not large enough to meet the community’s needs. The system utilized a well situated 800 meters from the community, but that source only provided 2.6 gallons of water per minute in the summer taking more than 20 hours to fill the 3,000-gallon storage tank which served the entire community. Thus, community members only had access to water for roughly twenty minutes each day. Without an adequate supply of water, community members had to forgo many basic hygiene and sanitation practices that would have helped protect their health. Yet, people were still paying a water fee of 15 Lempiras, or US $0.75, each month despite the sub-par service. Further endangering their health, few community members consumed treated water. There was no centralized treatment system and the existing storage tank was not equipped with a chlorinator to treat the water prior to consuming it.

152

Brigade Volunteers

215

Beneficiaries

10

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

NA

Average Community Volunteers

EL OCOTE’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from several different universities worked in El Ocote from August 2014 to November 2014. Throughout this time, volunteers worked with community members to:
• Build 2 dams at 2 different water sources
• Construct a 10,000-gallon storage tank with chlorinator
• Dig approximately 10,000 meters of trench and lay pipeline
• Connect approximately 62 houses, 2 churches, and 1 school
• Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics

To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new seven member Water Council was established and trained by Water Brigades in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee also subpar by Water Brigades. When Water Brigades first approached the community of El Ocote a dire water need was observed. The existing system was not meeting community needs and community members recognized the need to construct a new system. They immediately demonstrated their desire for water through their collaboration and dedication to the project.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL OCOTE’S WATER CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival in the community, El Ocote had a water system, but it was not large enough to meet the community’s needs. The system utilized a well situated 800 meters from the community, but that source only provided 2.6 gallons of water per minute in the summer taking more than 20 hours to fill the 3,000-gallon storage tank which served the entire community. Thus, community members only had access to water for roughly twenty minutes each day. Without an adequate supply of water, community members had to forgo many basic hygiene and sanitation practices that would have helped protect their health. Yet, people were still paying a water fee of 15 Lempiras, or US $0.75, each month despite the sub-par service. Further endangering their health, few community members consumed treated water. There was no centralized treatment system and the existing storage tank was not equipped with a chlorinator to treat the water prior to consuming it.

152

Brigade Volunteers

215

Project Beneficiaries

10

Kilometers of Piping Installed

10,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

EL OCOTE’S WATER SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from several different universities worked in El Ocote from August 2014 to November 2014. Throughout this time, volunteers worked with community members to:
• Build 2 dams at 2 different water sources
• Construct a 10,000 gallon storage tank with chlorinator
• Dig approximately 10,000 meters of trench and lay pipeline
• Connect approximately 62 houses, 2 churches, and 1 school
• Provide educational seminars to children in the community on water and health related topics

To ensure the sustainability of the project, a new seven member Water Council was established and trained by Water Brigades in addition to a Basic Sanitation Committee also trained by Water Brigades. When Water Brigades first approached the community of El Ocote a dire water need was observed. The existing system was not meeting community needs and community members recognized the need to construct a new system. They immediately demonstrated their desire for water through their collaboration and dedication to the project.

WATER BRIGADES IN EL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Miami Professionals Water August 2014 4 University of New Brunswick August 2014 15
California State Poytechnic University Pomona September 2014 8 Dublin City University October 2014 21

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL OCOTE’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE:

The principal economic activity in El Ocote is agriculture: corn and beans are cultivated by both men and women, and some children and teens are also involved in the process. Some community members work in a local sugar cane farm harvesting the plant. The average family income is about US $100 per month.

20

Brigade Volunteers

422

Loans Disbursed

23

Savings Accounts Opened

NA

Capital Invested

EL OCOTE’S MICRO-FINANCE SOLUTION:

In December of 2016, Global Brigades worked alongside El Ocote to establish their community bank. The bank has 9 female and 7 male shareholders who meet in the bank’s own structure every month. They are able to offer loans and savings accounts to community members so that families can plan and stabilize their finances. This is especially beneficial for farmers, who can take out loans to invest in their agricultural production and pay them back after the harvest. Loans allow many subsistence farmers to not only consume the crops they harvest but also earn an income from selling their excess.

EL OCOTE’S BUSINESS SOLUTION:

The next step for El Ocote will be to grow the existing grain store in the community and potentially establish another micro-enterprise that can bring more capital into the community. The Global Brigades business team looks forward to working with the grain store and will soon host Business Brigades in El Ocote to study the local market and identify potential business opportunities for the community.

ENGINEERING BRIGADES IN [COMMUNITY]

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Johns Hopkins University Graduate School January 2018 8
Milwaukee School of Engineering February 2018 12

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL OCOTE’S PUBLIC HEALTH  CHALLENGE:

Many community members in El Ocote lacked the resources needed to improve their homes and prevent diseases caused by unsafe living conditions.  The majority of homes were made of adobe, straw, and mud, and no homes had hygiene stations, water filters  or 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.

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. It also was necessary to increase the level of awareness concerning sanitation and the importance of health in the community.

476

Brigade Volunteers

76

Water Storage Units Constructed

76

Latrines Constructed

76

Showers Constructed

EL OCOTE’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION:

Public Health Brigaders from several different universities and the Public Health Brigades in-country team worked in El Ocote in May 2017. During this time, volunteers and staff members worked with community members to identify 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, conduct educational workshops emphasizing the importance of sanitation and hygiene in the local primary school, and build eco-stoves, latrines, water storage units, and water filters. The community received a donation from the Honduran Government to cover the costs of the pila and the shower. The rest of the projects were funded through a subsidy program with the newly established community bank in El Ocote. Although Global Brigades subsidized a portion of the project cost, each family was expected to take out a loan with the community bank and pay back approximately 25% of the total project cost over time. This was a great way for community members to invest in the health of their own family and to encourage their use and trust of the newly established bank.

To ensure the sustainability of the in-home infrastructure projects, the Public Health Program provides continuous follow-up in the community. It also forms and trains the Basic Sanitation Committee, a community body formed by local leaders, which monitors the correct usage and maintenance of the new infrastructure. Clear responsibilities and powers are assigned to each member, making the beneficiaries themselves an even stronger stakeholder in the Public Health projects.

PUBLIC HEALTH BRIGADES IN EL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Acadia University April 2017 14 University of New Brunswick April 2017 22
University of Calgary & University of Toronto April 2017 14 University of Pittsburgh May 2017 15
Pennsylvania State University & University of Michigan May 2017 19 University of Calgary & University of Toronto May 2017 24
Johns Hopkins Univeristy & University of California Berkeley & University of Pennsylvania May 2017 16

Local Reference Points

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

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