Guaricayán – Global Brigades
Empowered Community

Congratulations Guaricayán!

723

Volunteers

5,083

Medical Patient Consultations*

1,229

Dental Patient Consultations*

143

People with Access to Clean Water

60

Loans Disbursed

25

Eco-Stoves Constructed

25

Latrines Constructed

27

Trained Community Leaders

Guaricayán

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

Overview

Guaricayán is a small community with a population of 185 people in the municipality of Cantarranas located in Central Honduras. School is offered until 6th grade, at which point most children begin to work in agriculture to support their families. The closest health center is over an hour walk away. When Global Brigades started implementing sustainable development projects, Guaricayán was a perfect candidate for the holistic model.  Community leaders partnered with Global Brigades to develop a Water Council, a Basic Sanitation Committee, a community bank, and a new chicken farm called “Guaripollo”. Community members took out their first loan with the new community bank in order to invest in their family’s’ health by purchasing latrines, showers, water storage units, and cement floors. Seven community leaders stepped up to form the Water Council that implemented and currently maintains the water project that linked 33 houses, 1 school, and 1 church to a centrally treated water system. Architecture brigades designed and helped community members build a community bank that now serves for a place to buy and sell agricultural goods, take out loans, start savings accounts, and encourages business development. Guaricayán and Global Brigades celebrated their sustainable transition in December of 2015.

*These statistics represent brigades in the community of El Zarzal, where community members from Guaricayan attend Medical Brigades


Municipality: Cantarranas
Department: Francisco Morazán

Homes : 51
Population : 185
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 100%
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hour

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

Guaricayán has no health professionals or health center within the community. There is a health center in El Zarzal, about 1 hour away walking. Guaricayán members also attend medical and dental brigades in El Zarzal. The health center in El Zarzal is called a CESAR, and is staffed by one nurse. The small group of Community Health Workers help relieve some of the patient load for the nurse in the health center. Additionally, medical supplies that the CHWs use can help fill the need for medical supplies that the government is not able to supply. Unfortunately, the CESAR-Zarzal does not provide dental care.

*These statistics represent brigades in the community of El Zarzal, where community members from Guaricayan attend Medical Brigades

205

Volunteers*

5,083

Patient Consultations*

312

Vision Screenings Provided*

130

Health Education Workshops*

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

Because of their proximity to El Zarzal, Guaricayán can benefit from their community health center, medical brigades, and Community Health Worker program.  The Community Health Worker (CHW) program in El Zaral began in June 2010, after the dental, medical, public health, water, and microfinance programs had already completed their projects in the community.  These programs laid a strong basis for El Zarzal that provided a starting point for the Community Health Workers program. There are a total of 13 Community Health Workers were trained in El Zarzal, reaching 6 different communities including Guaricayán, Cofradia, Yamaguare, Miravalle, and San Luis. 3 of these 13 CHW’s live and work in the community of Guaricayán. These 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. 

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Guaricayán members attend medical and dental brigades in the nearby community, El Zarzal. The brigade in El Zarzal is held both at the school and the health center.  The school is too small to hold every station on the brigade, so the health center (located directly behind the school) is used for Dental and Gynecology.  This leaves a total of 6 rooms available so that each station can comfortably fit on the brigade.

Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 8 educational charlas a day. In addition to patients from Guaricayán and El Zarzal, communities from five other communities attend the medical brigades.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 885
  • NEARBYE COMMUNITIES: GUARICAYAN, COFRADIA, YAMAGUARE, MIRAVALLE, SAN LUIS

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.

*These statistics represent brigades in the community of El Zarzal, where community members from Guaricayan attend Medical Brigades

1,229

Patient Consultations*

1,013

Number of Extractions*

626

Fillings Performed*

61

Dental Education Workshops*

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Guaricayán members attend medical and dental brigades in the nearby community, El Zarzal. The brigade in El Zarzal is held both at the school and the health center.  The school is too small to hold every station on the brigade, so the health center (located directly behind the school) is used for Dental and Gynecology.  This leaves a total of 6 rooms available so that each station can comfortably fit on the brigade.

Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 8 educational charlas a day. In addition to patients from Guaricayán and El Zarzal, communities from five other communities attend the medical brigades.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 885
  • NEARBYE COMMUNITIES: GUARICAYAN, COFRADIA, YAMAGUARE, MIRAVALLE, SAN LUIS

 

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

 

GUARICAYAN’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE:

 

Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival, the community of Guaricayán relied on a water supply system that did not provide or meet local needs in terms of quality and quantity. The previously existing water system was constructed in 1987 by the Honduran government. Very little monitoring or follow-up was provided after construction. The original system was constructed to supply a total of less than 20 households without taking into account the growth of the community. Houses which were not originally connected to the system were forced to get water by carrying it from a nearby stream. Moreover, pipe diameters in the original system design were not sufficient to provide water consistently to all the houses that were connected. After functioning well for the first few years, the system began to fail and people connected to the system were forced to retrieve water from neighbors or streams despite the existing water system. This infrastructural failure caused the community to stop treating its water. The health center of El Zarzal, which serves six communities in the area reported that Guaricayán has had the most cases of water and sanitation related illnesses. At the time, the Water Council had only five members, none of whom, were not complying with their responsibilities. Due to lack of organization in the Water Council and poor water service, the vast majority of community members were not paying the established 10 Lempira (US $0.50) water fee.

N/A

Volunteers

143

Beneficiaries

3.2

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

N/A

Average Community Volunteers

GUARICAYAN’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from nine different universities worked in Guaricayán in January and February 2011. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:
• Construct a new dam
• Build and paint a new 5,000-gallon storage tank with a chlorinator
• Dig approximately 3,200 meters of trench and install pipeline
• Connect 33 houses, 1 school, and 1 church
• Supply each house with a water storage bucket
• 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. Guaricayán was a great example of a community which was not complacent in its situation, something that can be found in other rural communities where Water Brigades has worked. With minimal support from the government, community members in Guaricayán had been active in pursuing a water solution in their community up until Water Brigades arrived. With the incredible support of the brigade groups and all the people of Guaricayán, the project was finished with great success in only two months. All houses in the Guaricayán now have sufficient treated water in their homes.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

GUARICAYAN’S WATER CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades’ arrival, the community of Guaricayán relied on a water supply system that did not provide or meet local needs in terms of quality and quantity. The previously existing water system was constructed in 1987 by the Honduran government. Very little monitoring or follow-up was provided after construction. The original system was constructed to supply a total of less than 20 households without taking into account the growth of the community. Houses which were not originally connected to the system were forced to get water by carrying it from a nearby stream. Moreover, pipe diameters in the original system design were not sufficient to provide water consistently to all the houses that were connected. After functioning well for the first few years, the system began to fail and people connected to the system were forced to retrieve water from neighbors or streams despite the existing water system. This infrastructural failure caused the community to stop treating its water. The health center of El Zarzal, which serves six communities in the area reported that Guaricayán has had the most cases of water and sanitation related illnesses. At the time, the Water Council had only five members, none of whom, were not complying with their responsibilities. Due to lack of organization in the Water Council and poor water service, the vast majority of community members were not paying the established 10 Lempira (US $0.50) water fee.

103

Volunteers

143

Project Beneficiaries

3

Kilometers of Pipeline Installed

5,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

GUARICAYAN’S WATER SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from nine different universities worked in Guaricayán in January and February 2011. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:
• Construct a new dam
• Build and paint a new 5,000-gallon storage tank with a chlorinator
• Dig approximately 3,200 meters of trench and install pipeline
• Connect 33 houses, 1 school, and 1 church
• Supply each house with a water storage bucket
• 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. Guaricayán was a great example of a community which was not complacent in its situation, something that can be found in other rural communities where Water Brigades has worked. With minimal support from the government, community members in Guaricayán had been active in pursuing a water solution in their community up until Water Brigades arrived. With the incredible support of the brigade groups and all the people of Guaricayán, the project was finished with great success in only two months. All houses in the Guaricayán now have sufficient treated water in their homes.

WATER VOLUNTEERS IN GUARICAYAN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Johns Hopkins University Water Brigade January 2011 7 Saint Louis University Water Brigade January 2011 9
University of New York Stonybrook Water Brigade January 2011 11 University of Virginia Water Brigade January 2011 12
University of Southern California Water Brigade January 2011 13 Boston University Water Brigade January 2011 15
Mount Allison University Water Brigade February 2011 11 University of Victoria Water Brigade February 2011 11
North Carolina State University Water Brigade February 2011 14

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

GUARICAYAN’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

Guaricayán is an agricultural community relying on the production of coffee, corn and beans for sustenance. The average family only earns about 1,750 Lempiras ($75.00) per month, which averages to less than $1.00 per person per day. Many community members work by the day for the standard pay of 100 Lempiras ($4.25) as masons or peasants on others’ land, but this is far from representing a stable and predictable source of income. On top of this, the agricultural activity typically requires families to make investments during the planting season; they must wait until crops are harvested and sold to receive a revenue. The necessary purchases of fertilizers and seed become very difficult when savings are not available. To overcome this hurdle, community members often resort to the support of middlemen who exploit the lack of access to market. Middlemen buy harvested crops from farmers in Guaricayán and then re-sell them at much higher prices in the markets of cities. 

Guaricayán previously had no access to any financial institution or its services. The closest savings & loans cooperative was located in Cantarranas, the town at the bottom of the valley, about 1 and a half to 2 hours away on foot. Very few members of the community had a means of transportation, making the distance between Guaricayán and Cantarranas complicated to overcome.

341

Volunteers

60

Loans Disbursed

N/A

Community Businesses

$14,639

Capital Investment

GUARICAYAN’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION:

Guaricayán was the fifth community the Microfinance Program in Honduras expanded to in June 2012. The Microfinance Brigades in-country team and brigaders from six different universities have worked in this community since then. During this time, staff and volunteers have worked with community members to:
  • Train and establish a Community Rural Bank (Caja Rural)
  • Provide educational seminars to adults and children in the community on the importance of savings
  • Promote voluntary savings in the community to reach a level of sustainable capital for the Caja
  • Door-to-door community visits to further encourage community members to trust the system of the community bank and open accounts to actively save
  • Provide community-wide workshops to sensitize community members about the importance of creditworthiness and reliability in repaying loans
  • Door-to-door community visits to teach the basics of household budgeting and accounting to families and women
  • Concede loans to all Public Health beneficiaries to finance the completion of the projects and collect the totality of the overall loaned capital
  • Fundraised over $4,000 to finance the construction of the Caja Building

GUARICAYAN’S BUSINESS SOLUTION

In addition to the bank, community members started two new businesses. The first is a grain store, which started through the community bank. The store provides a venue for community members to buy and sell their own grain from the building Architecture Brigades built for the bank. This way, farmers could avoid having to travel to the nearest town and pay higher fees for grain. The micro-enterprise is also a source of income for the community bank and the community bank members who run the store.

The second business is a chicken farm that is run by members of the community bank. They raise chicks until they are large enough to sell as meat, providing a good source of affordable meat to their community as well as generating more income for the business leaders. The chicken farm is called “Guaripollo”.

BUSINESS VOLUNTEERS IN GUARICAYAN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Victoria Medical Brigade and Brandeis University Medical Brigade February 2013 36 Michigan State University Medical Brigade N/A 35
University of Pittsburgh Medical Brigade N/A 55 Michigan State University Medical Brigade N/A 49
Medical Scribe Systems Medical Brigade N/A 21 University of Virginia Business Brigade March 2013 10
Yale University Business Brigade & Dublin City University Business Brigade March 2013 23 University of Connecticut Business Brigade & Loyola University Business Brigade May 2013 22
Mount Allison University Business Brigade February 2014 17 University of Southern California Business Brigade March 2014 16
University of Texas Austin Business Brigade January 2015 17 University of Utah Business Brigade March 2015 22
Oxford University Business Brigade August 2015 10 Brandeis University Business Brigade February 2016 13
Central Michigan Business Brigade March 2016 15

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

GUARICAYAN’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

Many community members in Guaricayán lacked the resources needed to improve their homes and prevent diseases caused by unsafe living environments.  The majority of homes were made of adobe, straw, and mud and 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 waterborne disease, the absence of cement floors caused parasitic infection and Chagas Disease, and the lack of eco-stoves resulted in respiratory problems in the community.

217

Volunteers

25

Sanitation Units Installed

99

People Benefited with Public Health Infrastructure

42

Hours of Public Health Education

GUARICAYAN’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Public Health Brigaders from several different universities and the Public Health Brigades in-country team worked in Guaricayán from September 2012 – January 2013. 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, build eco-stoves, latrines, showers, water storage units, and cement floors, and conduct educational workshops emphasizing the importance of sanitation and hygiene in the local primary school.

Most members of Guaricayán could not have afforded to buy their own latrines or other public health projects. However, thanks to the establishment of the community bank in Guaricayán, the Public Health team was able to offer latrines, eco-stoves, water storage units, cement floors, and showers to all families in Guaricayán. Families took out loans for about 25% of the total cost of the products through the community bank, and Global Brigades was able to subsidize the rest of the cost of the products. To ensure the sustainability of the in-home infrastructure projects, the Public Health Program provides follow-up in the community to monitor the longevity of the projects. Public Health Brigaders and Global Brigades Staff also trained community members on topics in hygiene and sanitation such as the importance of treating all drinking water. Now, community members have taken out loans to buy public health products in order to invest in their own health.

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN GUARICAYAN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Lower Columbia College Public Health Brigade September 2012 11 Imperial College London Medical Brigade September 2012 22
Oregon State University Public Health Brigade September 2012 12 DePaul University Public Health Brigade December 2012 22
Oakland University Public Health Brigade & Philadelphia University Public Health Brigade December 2012 12 University of Illinois at Chicago Public Health Brigade & Duke University Public Health Brigade December 2012 25
University of Virginia Public Health Brigade & University of Texas Austin Public Health Brigade January 2013 26 University of Wisconsin – Madison Medical Brigade January 2013 9
Washington University in Saint Louis Public Health Brigade & Saint Louis University Public Health Brigade January 2013 27 University of Southern California Public Health Brigade & University of California Berkeley Public Health Brigade & Brown University Public Health Brigade January 2013 25
Johns Hopkins University Public Health Brigade & Columbia University Public Health Brigade January 2013 15

Local Reference Points

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

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