Los Huatales – Global Brigades

Los Huatales

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

Overview


Los Huatales is located on an island called Zacate Grande on the Pacific Coast and the southern tip of Honduras. Many homes are built on the edge of the mangrove forest where people own small boats and most families dedicate their livelihoods to fishing. Due to the geography, the community is also filled with boulders and rocks that make for poor road conditions and lower accessibility to neighboring towns. There is an elementary school in Los Huatales for children up to sixth grade, but children must travel to a nearby community in order to attend grades 7-9. If they choose to continue to secondary school, they will have to travel to the nearest municipality, approximately 30 km away. The nearest health center to Los Huatales is in the neighboring community Los Langues, about 1.5 km away. 

Municipality: Amapala

Department: Valle

Homes : 42
Population : 120
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 56%
Education : Up to 6th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 27 km

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.

While there is no health center in the community of Los Huatales, there is a CESAMO, or the larger of the two health centers, in the community of Los Langues. This community is located approximately 1.5 km away from Los Huatales. While community members can access consultations with a physician in the CESAMOs, they often do not have the necessary medications or supplies. The most common health needs in Los Huatales as reported by community members are intestinal infections and diseases, diabetes, headaches, and difficulty with sight.

81

Volunteers

1,154

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

65

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

Los Huatales has access to a total of twenty Community Health Workers (CHWs). These CHWs were trained in the community of Ojochal and provide their services to a total of six communities.

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 that 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

Medical brigades use the local school as their brigade site. There are two large classrooms in the building. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 12 educational charlas a day.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 415
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS PILAS, TIERRAS COLORADAS

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LOS HUATALES

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
St. Olaf College February 2016 26 Case Western Reserve University Medical Brigade & Wake Forest Medical School Medical Brigade & Maryville University Medical Brigade May 2018 32
Dominican University Medical Brigade & Marshall Pharmacy School Medical Brigade May 2019 23

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.

129

Patient Consultations

124

Number of Extractions

81

Fillings Performed

20

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical brigades use the local school as their brigade site. There are two large classrooms in the building. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 12 educational charlas a day.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 415
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: LAS PILAS, TIERRAS COLORADAS

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LOS HUATALES

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
St. Olaf College February 2016 26 Case Western Reserve University Medical Brigade & Wake Forest Medical School Medical Brigade & Maryville University Medical Brigade May 2018 32
Dominican University Medical Brigade & Marshall Pharmacy School Medical Brigade May 2019 23

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LOS HUATALES’ ENGINEERING CHALLENGE

No centralized water system existed in Los Huatales prior to GB’s arrival. There were 5 public wells and 6 private wells with untreated water, but due to its proximity to the ocean, many of the wells contain salt water. Also, during the dry season, most of the wells run dry. When the water was unavailable, community members had to walk approximately 40 minutes to the nearest source in Los Langues. Most families filled one 5 gallon bucket per day at the most accessible water source and treated the drinking water with chlorination. A lack of water also prohibits community members from following basic hygiene and sanitation practices. Thus, common colds, skin rashes, parasites, and diarrheal diseases plague community members.

21

Volunteers

442

Beneficiaries

11.5

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

60

Average Community Volunteers

LOS HUATALES’ ENGINEERING SOLUTION

Los Huatales joined together with two other neighboring communities, Las Pilas and Tierras Coloradas, in order to construct one large water system that serves a total of 532 beneficiaries. Drexel University Engineering Brigade arrived in March of 2015 in order to design the system that would contain almost 12 kilometers of piping and 145 houses. Based on this design, a large well was dug at the community’s school and a pump installed to drive the water to a 20,000 gallon chlorination tank located 83 meters above sea level. The chlorination tank stores and purifies the water, eliminating harmful bacteria and parasites. Gravity then propels the water to each house in the community. Because of this design, the homes in Los Huatales are now equipped with access to clean, potable water.

ENGINEERING VOLUNTEERS IN LOS HUATALES

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Drexel University Engineering Brigade March 2015  21

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LOS HUATALES’ WATER CHALLENGE

No centralized water system existed in Los Huatales prior to GB’s arrival. There were 5 public wells and 6 private wells with untreated water, but due to its proximity to the ocean, many of the wells contain salt water. Also, during the dry season, most of the wells run dry. When the water was unavailable, community members had to walk approximately 40 minutes to the nearest source in Los Langues. Most families filled one 5 gallon bucket per day at the most accessible water source and treated the drinking water with chlorination. A lack of water also prohibits community members from following basic hygiene and sanitation practices. Thus, common colds, skin rashes, parasites, and diarrheal diseases plague community members.

353

Volunteers

442

Project Beneficiaries

11.5

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

25,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

LOS HUATALES’ WATER SOLUTION

Los Huatales joined together with two other neighboring communities, Las Pilas and Tierras Coloradas, in order to construct one large water system that serves a total of 532 beneficiaries. Global Brigades worked with the three communities to form a water council and implement the water system based off of a design completed during an Engineering Brigade. The designed water system that contains almost 12 kilometers of piping and 145 houses. One large well was dug at the community’s school and a pump installed to drive the water to a 20,000-gallon chlorination tank located 83 meters above sea level. The chlorination tank stores and purifies the water, eliminating harmful bacteria and parasites. Gravity then propels the water to each house in the community. Because of this design, the homes in Los Huatales are now equipped with access to clean, potable water. Global Brigades also trained the water council of seven community members on water treatment, system maintenance, administration, and operation so that the council could take responsibility for the future of the water project. A community plumber was identified and trained in order to ensure system maintenance. Upon completion, a monthly water tariff was established by the water council in order to pay the for water treatment, maintenance costs, and system sustainability. A Basic Sanitation Committee consisting of community volunteers was established and trained to present educational workshops in the school  and in all community households in order to teach hygiene, sanitation, and sustainability of the water system.

WATER VOLUNTEERS IN LOS HUATALES

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Rochester Water Brigade & Saint Louis University Water Brigade January 2016 17 Pennsylvania State Water Brigade January 2016 34
Virginia Tech Water Brigad January 2016 33 Boston University Water BrigadE January 2016 16
Dublin City University Water Brigade January 2016 15 DHL Professional Water Brigade January 2014 24
University of Victoria Water Brigade February 2016 11 Milwaukee School of Engineering Water Brigade February 2016 22
Central Michigan University Medical Brigade March 2016 13 University of Virginia Water Brigade & Carnegie Mellon University Water Brigade March 2016 29
Georgetown University Water Brigade March 2016 14 Washington University at St. Louis Water Brigade March 2016 11
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Water Brigade March 2016 12
Penn State University Engineering Brigade March 2016 12 Acadia University Water Brigade & University of Calgary Water Brigade April 2016 15
University of Pennsylvania Medical Brigade May 2016 14 University of Oklahoma Water Brigade May 2016 4
John’s Hopkins University Water Brigade May 2016 2 Dublin City University Water Brigade May 2016 20
Drexel University Water Brigade June 2016 15 University of California Santa Barbara Water Brigade & London School of Economics Water Brigade & University of California Riverside Water Brigade June 2016 13

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LOS HUATALES’ ECONOMIC CHALLENGE:

The majority of community members in Los Huatales work in agriculture and fishing. This primarily consists of subsistence farming, although excess crops are sometimes sold. Most agricultural workers make about 100 lempiras (approximately US $4.25) a day during the rainy season. Regardless of occupation, most families earn around 4,000 lempiras per month (approximately US $170). Almost all household income is used to purchase food for consumption.

N/A

Volunteers

28

Loans Disbursed

12

Savings Accounts Opened

N/A

Capital Invested

LOS HUATALES’ MICRO-FINANCE SOLUTION:

In 2017, Global Brigades worked alongside Los Huatales to establish a community bank. The bank has 10 female and 5 male shareholders, and the members 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.

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Many community members in Los Huatales lack the resources to make improvements to their household infrastructure. The majority of homes in Los Huatales are made of adobe. There are approximately 42 homes in Los Huatales, with an average of 5 people living in each. Hygiene stations, which include showers and water storage units, are necessary to facilitate handwashing, allow water storage for hygienic processes, and offer privacy while bathing. Additionally, eco-stoves evacuate smoke from the living space and decrease the risk of respiratory illnesses, and latrines improve hygiene practices and prevent contamination of natural water sources caused by open defecation. By partnering with Global Brigades’ Public Health Program, Los Huatales‘s inhabitants are hoping to avoid preventable diseases and adopt proper hygiene and sanitation practices.

148

Volunteers

13

Sanitation Units Installed

57

People Benefited with Public Health Infrastructure

10

Hours of Public Health Education

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN LOS HUATALES

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Saint Louis University Medical Brigade & University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Medical Brigade January 2018 15 University of Missouri Public Health Brigade January 2018 12
College of William and Mary Public Health Brigade & Michigan State University Public Health Brigade March 2018 29 Michigan State University Medical Brigade March 2018 30
Central Michigan University Public Health Brigade April 2018 13 Louisiana State University Medical Brigade May 2018 49

Local Reference Points

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

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