Empowered Community

Congratulations La Concepción, San Matías!

195

Brigade Volunteers

1,401

Medical Patient Consultations

223

Dental Patient Consultations

640

People with Access to Clean Water

N/A

Loans Disbursed

8

Eco-Stoves Constructed

0

Latrines Constructed

21

Trained Community Leaders

La Concepción, San Matías

Overview

La Concepción is a small community with a population of 570 people in the municipality of San Matías. There are about 100 children under the age of 12 living in the community. The majority of homes are made of adobe, though there are some made of wood. The main forms of employment are in agriculture on owned land and the main products that are cultivated in the community are corn and beans. There are about 7 smaller communities surrounding La Concepcion including Rio Namles, El Salto, San Jeronimo, Rio Grande, Las Crucitas, Ajuijote, and El Espinito.

Municipality: San Matías
Department: El Paraíso

Homes : 160
Population : 570
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Latrines : 95%
Education : Up to 6th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hr 30 min

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.

The inhabitants of La Concepción have access to a CESAR within their community. The nurse that staffs the CESAR and the medications and supplies sent by the government are not able to meet the needs of the population served by the health center. If community members require the attention of a physician or dentist, they must travel to the nearest CESAMO in San Matías. For these reasons amongst others, health care access in La Concepción is still limited. The most common illnesses in adults are arterial hypertension and diabetes, while those experienced by children in the community are the common cold and asthma. Our Medical Program is currently working to train Community Health Workers in the community of La Concepción.

351

Brigade Volunteers

4,624

Patient Consultations

417

Pap Smears Performed

106

Health Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Community members in La Concepción attend Medical and Dental Brigade clinics hosted in the community’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the school’s four classrooms. Doctors are able to spend an average of ten minutes with each patient. Each brigade sees an average of 420 patients and performs an average of 49 dental procedures. Each day of the brigade, an average of five or six educational charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 420
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: RIO NAMLES, EL SALTO, SAN JERONIMO, RIO GRANDE, LAS CRUCITAS, AJUIJOTE, EL ESPINITO
BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL BUILDING

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN LA CONCEPCIÓN

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Wake Forest School of Medicine & Syracuse University December 2011 47 Temple University June 2015 32
University of Michigan May 2012 30 Kutztown University January 2016 27
University of Pennsylvania & Meredith College March 2013 28 McMaster University & University of Lethbridge May 2016 23
Kansas City University of Medicine December 2013 34 Virginia Commonwealth University January 2017 37
University of Missouri May 2014 29 SUNY Stony Brook May 2017 30
University of Victoria February 2015 34

 

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 a dentist within a reasonable distance.

235

Patient Consultations

363

Flouride Treatments

196

Fillings Performed

38

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Community members in La Concepción attend Medical and Dental Brigade clinics hosted in the community’s school building. The various stations of the clinic are held in the school’s four classrooms. Doctors are able to spend an average of ten minutes with each patient. Each brigade sees an average of 420 patients and performs an average of 49 dental procedures. Each day of the brigade, an average of five or six educational charlas are facilitated with the clinic’s patients.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 420
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: RIO NAMLES, EL SALTO, SAN JERONIMO, RIO GRANDE, LAS CRUCITAS, AJUIJOTE, EL ESPINITO
BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL BUILDING

MEDICAL/DENTAL BRIGADES IN LA CONCEPCIÓN

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Wake Forest School of Medicine & Syracuse University December 2011 47 Temple University June 2015 32
University of Michigan May 2012 30 Kutztown University January 2016 27
University of Pennsylvania & Meredith College March 2013 28 McMaster University & University of Lethbridge May 2016 23
Kansas City University of Medicine December 2013 34 Virginia Commonwealth University January 2017 37
University of Missouri May 2014 29 SUNY Stony Brook May 2017 30
University of Victoria February 2015 34

 

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CONCEPCIÓN’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE

Prior to Global Brigades’ partnership with La Concepción, addressing the community’s water issues was a priority. With no central community water system, the people in La Concepción used one of the six shallow wells within the community, drawing water out with hand pumps. Not all six wells were public, and people sometimes paid up to 60 Lempiras just to take water from the well. A large storage tank had been built at an elevation above the community with the idea of connecting it to a pump-powered water system for the community, but the project was never completed and the tank had been sitting empty ever since. Without a central storage tank used for water distribution, there was no way for the people of La Concepción to centrally and consistently treat their water. In an effort to address this problem, Rotary International donated household Bio-Sand Filters to every home throughout the community to allow families to purify their drinking water before consumption. However, community leaders still stated that constructing a water system that brings water to the homes and uses an improved water source is one of the highest needs within the community. La Concepción was an organized community with a functioning community bank, educational programs, and a Basic Sanitation Committee among other public services. The community had a Water Council prior to Global Brigades’ arrival; however, they were not properly trained due to the lack of a community-wide water system. There was also no monthly water fee established to assist with maintenance and administration of existing water infrastructure.

N/A

Brigade Volunteers

540

Beneficiaries

3

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

N/A

Average Community Volunteers

LA CONCEPCION’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION

Water Brigaders from 12 different universities worked with La Concepción from May 2012 to June 2012. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:

  • Install an electric pump in a well that provides 26 GPM
  • Repair and paint a 10,000-gallon storage tank with chlorinator
  • Dig approximately 3,000 meters of trench and lay pipeline
  • Connect 144 houses, 2 schools, 1 health center and 2 churches to the system
  • 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. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of students and community members, Global Brigades completed the system in less than two months. Such a quick effort would not have been possible without the generous support of the municipal government in San Matías and PDA San Matías (a division of World Vision). The Global Brigades’ Water Team would like to thank all of those who contributed to the project and brought an adequate supply of potable water to each home in La Concepción.

 

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CONCEPCIÓN’S WATER CHALLENGE

Prior to Global Brigades’ partnership with La Concepción, addressing the community’s water issues was a priority. With no central community water system, the people in La Concepción used one of the six shallow wells within the community, drawing water out with hand pumps. Not all six wells were public, and people sometimes paid up to 60 Lempiras just to take water from the well. A large storage tank had been built at an elevation above the community with the idea of connecting it to a pump-powered water system for the community, but the project was never completed and the tank had been sitting empty ever since. Without a central storage tank used for water distribution, there was no way for the people of La Concepción to centrally and consistently treat their water. In an effort to address this problem, Rotary International donated household Bio-Sand Filters to every home throughout the community to allow families to purify their drinking water before consumption. However, community leaders still stated that constructing a water system that brings water to the homes and uses an improved water source is one of the highest needs within the community. La Concepción was a organized community with a functioning community bank, educational programs, and a Basic Sanitation Committee among other public services. The community had a Water Council prior to Global Brigades’ arrival; however, they were not properly trained due to the lack of a community-wide water system. There was also no monthly water fee established to assist with maintenance and administration of existing water infrastructure.

317

Brigade Volunteers

540

Project Beneficiaries

3

Kilometers of Piping Installed

10,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

LA CONCEPCIÓN’S WATER SOLUTION

Water Brigaders from 12 different universities worked with La Concepción from May 2012 to June 2012. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to:

  • Install an electric pump in a well that provides 26 GPM
  • Repair and paint a 10,000-gallon storage tank with chlorinator
  • Dig approximately 3,000 meters of trench and lay pipeline
  • Connect 144 houses, 2 schools, 1 health center and 2 churches to the system
  • 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. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of students and community members, Global Brigades completed the system in less than two months. Such a quick effort would not have been possible without the generous support of the municipal government in San Matías and PDA San Matías (a division of World Vision). The Global Brigades’ Water Team would like to thank all of those who contributed to the project and brought an adequate supply of potable water to each home in La Concepción.

WATER BRIGADES IN LA CONCEPCIÓN

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Pennsylvania / University of Michigan / Boston University May 2012 20 University of Puget Sound May 2012 26
San Diego State University May 2012 14 Grinell University May 2012 23
San Jose State University May 2012 23 University of Chicago & University of Washington June 2016 13
Wayne State University May 2012 27 UC Irvine / UC Riverside / UC Los Angeles / UT Arlington June 2016 17
University of Pittsburgh May 2012 40 UC Santa Barbara June 2016 10
Indiana University & University of Southern Florida May 2012 45 UC Riverside June 2016 59

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CONCEPCIÓN’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.

The average family income per month is estimated to be 1200 Lempiras, which is approximately L 560 (US $24) per person. The majority of homes are made from adobe, though some are made from wood. The main forms of employment are in agriculture on owned land and the main products that are cultivated in the community are corn and beans. Prior to its partnership with Global Brigades, La Concepción did have access to credit from a community bank formed by PRODERCO in 1998; however, this group was known for being exclusive and only allowed members to take out loans.

14

Brigade Volunteers

732

Loans Disbursed

42

Savings Accounts Opened

$1,500

Capital Invested

LA CONCEPCIÓN’S MICRO-FINANCE 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.

The community bank in La Concepión, Nuevo Despertar, which was started by PRODERCO, was restructured in November 2015 with the support of Global Brigades. The community bank has fourteen female and two male shareholders who meet in their own structure the 28th of each month. 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.

LA CONCEPCIÓN’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 community bank currently runs a business renting out a tractor to community members to accumulate more capital. However, La Concepción is in the process of establishing a new micro-enterprise. The Business Program has started hosting Business Brigades in La Concepción to study the local market in hopes of identifying and developing potential business opportunities for the community.

BUSINESS BRIGADES IN LA CONCEPCIÓN

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Calgary April 2017  14

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CONCEPCIÓN’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

Many community members in La Concepción lack the resources to make improvements to their household infrastructure. The majority of homes in La Concepción are made of adobe and mud. There are approximately 160 homes in La Concepción, with an average of four people living in each. While a majority of homes in the community already had latrines and eco-stoves prior to their partnership with Global Brigades, few of these homes had access to hygiene stations. Additionally, there was still a large number of families that lacked access to all three of these facilities. Hygiene stations are necessary to facilitate handwashing, allow water storage for hygienic processes, and offer privacy while bathing. By partnering with Global Brigades’ Public Health Program, La Concepción’s inhabitants were hoping to avoid preventable diseases and adopt proper hygiene and sanitation practices.

607

Brigade Volunteers

1

Eco-stoves constructed

53

Latrines Constructed

53

Water Storage Units Constructed

LA CONCEPCIÓN‘S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Between April 2016 and July 2017, the Public Health Program worked with all interested families to finance and install household infrastructure projects, including hygiene stations for hand washing and showering, latrines, concrete floors, and water storage units. These projects allow community members to avoid preventable disease and foster improved hygiene and sanitation practices. During their time in La Concepción, Public Health volunteers conducted educational workshops, or charlas, with community members on project maintenance and various public health topics. Additionally, Global Brigades trained a Basic Sanitation Committee, which advocates for proper hygiene and sanitation practices in addition to providing support for completed projects.

To promote the sustainability of the Public Health Program’s projects, families are required to contribute a portion of the project cost. This instills a sense of ownership and encourages proper maintenance of the projects. Therefore, before the Public Health Program started its projects, the Business Program worked with the community to train an existing community bank that would allow families to finance these contributions through microcredit. Although the Public Health Program has completed all planned projects in La Concepción, loans remain available through the community bank and local masons who were contracted to complete the projects now hold the skills to perform any necessary repairs or construct new units.

PUBLIC HEALTH BRIGADES IN LA CONCEPCIÓN

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of New Brunswick April 2016 24 Wayne State University & Florida International University August 2016 58
Emory University May 2016 13 Foothill College August 2016 25
Rice University May 2016 33 University of Maryland August 2016 28
Florida Atlantic University May 2016 52 Imperial University September 2016 18
University of Alabama, Tuscalosa / Wake Forest University / Clemson University May 2016 22 University of Illinois Chicago December 2016 28
Northern Arizona University May 2016 29 Chabot College / UC Berkeley / American University of Antigua January 2017 26
Illinois Wesleyan University June 2016 23 St. Louis University January 2017 27
Oregon State University June 2016 34 North Park University March 2017 25
University of California Davis June 2016 27 Washington University in St. Louis & UNC Chapel Hill March 2017 44
Eastern Michigan University & University of Edinburgh July 2016 22 University of Edinburgh June 2017 19
Memorial University of Newfoundland July 2016 30

 

Local Reference Points

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

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