Empowered Community

Congratulations Palo Verde!

540

Brigade Volunteers

167

People with Access to Clean Water

40

Eco-Stoves Constructed

38

Latrines Constructed

18

Trained Community Leaders

Palo Verde

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

Overview

Palo Verde is a community with a population of approximately 250 people living in 42 homes.  Located more than 2 hours from Global Brigades’ compounds, it is a fairly secluded community that belongs to the municipality of Cantarranas in the department of Francisco Morazán. Palo Verde is an agricultural community relying on the production of corn, coffee, and beans for sustenance.  The main form of employment is agriculture on owned land.  There is little economic opportunity outside of agriculture as there is little access to credit.  This is changing, however, as the community bank in El Zurzular is beginning to serve community members in Palo Verde, thus providing them with more entrepreneurial opportunity.  Similarly, there is no health center in the community, so they utilize the services of the health center in El Zurzular.  Palo Verde also has a functioning water system constructed in 2012.

Municipality: Cantarranas

Department: Francisco Morazán

Homes : 42
Population : 250
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Access to bank in El Zurzular
Electricity : Yes - Solar Power
Health Center : CESAR in El Zurzular
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 100%
Eduaction : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 2 hours

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Palo Verde has access to healthcare through the community health center as well as the medical brigades in El Zurzular. El Zurzular has a smaller health center called a CESAR. CESAR’s never have doctors on staff and typically have one nurse. The nurse staffs the health center Monday through Friday traveling from her home in Cofradia, about a 45 minute drive. The health center is open from about 7am to 3pm. Access to healthcare is limited, and if community members need to see a doctor or dentist, they must travel down the mountain to Cantarranas, the nearest town with a CESAMO, or a larger scale health center where doctors and occasionally dentists are on staff. The trip can take up to 4 hours on foot. Although there is a bus that comes to the community, it does not come very often and many community members cannot afford to pay the bus toll.

*These statistics represent brigades in the community of El Zurzular, where community members from Palo Verde attend Medical Brigades

117

Brigade Volunteers*

2547

Patient Consultations*

283

Pap Smears Performed*

1621

Health Education Workshops*

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

Palo Verde has one Community Health Worker who was trained in El Zurzular along with 10 other women. The Community Health Worker (CHW) Program in El Zurzular began in 2012 after the water, public health, and microfinance programs had already completed their projects in the community. 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.  El Zurzular is a part of a larger area that includes Palo Verde and 2 other small communities. Therefore, these 11 Community Health Workers reach 4 different communities.

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

As the health center in El Zurzular is located next to the local school, both facilities are used to hold medical brigades. The school is  relatively small, with about 2 large rooms and 2 smaller rooms. Despite the smaller space, we always run a successful brigade.  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 212 patients per day.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 637
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: TRIGALES, PALO VERDE, LA COLONIA, LAS DELICIAS, CHAGUITE, NUEVA ESPERANZA, PLAN GRANDE
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL & HEALTH CENTER

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN EL ZURZULAR:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Tulane University March 2012 43 Purdue University December 2012 27
Johns Hopkins University January 2014  19  Brandeis University April 2015 28

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 Zurzular, where community members from Palo Verde attend Medical Brigades

261

Patient Consultations*

358

Fluoride Treatments*

116

Fillings Performed*

20

Dental Education Workshops*

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Community members of Palo Verde attend Medical and Dental Brigades in El Zurzular. The brigades use both the Zurzular health center and school as their brigade site. The school is  relatively small, with about 2 large rooms and 2 smaller rooms. Despite the smaller space, we always run a successful brigade. 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 29 patients per day.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 637
  • NEARBY COMMUNITIES: TRIGALES, PALO VERDE, LA COLONIA, LAS DELICIAS, CHAGUITE, NUEVA ESPERANZA, PLAN GRANDE
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL & HEALTH CENTER

DENTAL BRIGADES IN EL ZURZULAR:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Tulane University March 2012 43 Purdue University December 2012 27
Johns Hopkins University January 2014  19  Brandeis University April 2015 28

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

PALO VERDE’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades arrival, Palo Verde did not have a water system. Some community members obtained water by connecting hoses to small, contaminated water sources. Others, namely women and children, walked to nearby water sources and lugged buckets of water to their homes. The type of water source (spring, stream, puddle, hand well) and distance to the source varied depending on the season as many sources dry up during the dry season. Thus, practicing proper sanitation and hygiene was difficult for community members due to a low quantity of water in their homes. Furthermore, there was no central way for the community members to treat their water. After discussions with community members, it appeared that very few people treat their water in their homes. Those who treated their water typically used chlorine or boiled their water.

As a small community, Palo Verde had received little attention from their local government. After Water Brigade’s first visit to the community it was clear that neither the government nor any other organization had any pending plans to address the water problem in Palo Verde. The community did not have a Water Council nor a Basic Sanitation Committee and members did not pay any fee for their water.

167

Beneficiaries

7.7

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

$14,200

Total Project Cost

5,000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

PALO VERDE’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from nine different universities worked in Palo Verde in March 2012. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to

  • Construct a new dam and raise a fence to protect it • Construct a 5,000 gallon tank with chlorinator
  • Dig 7,688 meters of trench and install pipeline
  • Connect 30 houses and 1 school to the system
  • 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 nine member Water Council and a Basic Sanitation Committee were established and trained by Water Brigades. Two community plumbers were also identified and trained to maintain the new system. The community of Palo Verde greatly enjoyed working alongside student volunteers to construct their water system demonstrated by significant community participation throughout the process. In addition to the thirty families that earned their connection through their work on the project, ten families and young adults volunteered in order to secure a connection when they move to their own homes in the future. Such forward thinking ensures that they will have access to clean water when they marry in the coming years.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

PALO VERDE’S WATER CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades arrival, Palo Verde did not have a water system. Some community members obtained water by connecting hoses to small, contaminated water sources. Others, namely women and children, walked to nearby water sources and lugged buckets of water to their homes. The type of water source (spring, stream, puddle, hand well) and distance to the source varied depending on the season as many sources dry up during the dry season. Thus, practicing proper sanitation and hygiene was difficult for community members due to a low quantity of water in their homes. Furthermore, there was no central way for the community members to treat their water. After discussions with community members, it appeared that very few people treat their water in their homes. Those who treated their water typically used chlorine or boiled their water.

As a small community, Palo Verde had received little attention from their local government. After Water Brigade’s first visit to the community it was clear that neither the government nor any other organization had any pending plans to address the water problem in Palo Verde. The community did not have a Water Council nor a Basic Sanitation Committee and members did not pay any fee for their water.

150

Brigade Volunteers

167

Project Beneficiaries

$14,200

Total Project Cost

5000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

PALO VERDE’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from nine different universities worked in Palo Verde in March 2012. During that time, these volunteers worked with community members to

  • Construct a new dam and raise a fence to protect it • Construct a 5,000 gallon tank with chlorinator
  • Dig 7,688 meters of trench and install pipeline
  • Connect 30 houses and 1 school to the system
  • 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 nine member Water Council and a Basic Sanitation Committee were established and trained by Water Brigades. Two community plumbers were also identified and trained to maintain the new system. The community of Palo Verde greatly enjoyed working alongside student volunteers to construct their water system demonstrated by significant community participation throughout the process. In addition to the thirty families that earned their connection through their work on the project, ten families and young adults volunteered in order to secure a connection when they move to their own homes in the future. Such forward thinking ensures that they will have access to clean water when they marry in the coming years.

WATER BRIGADES IN PALO VERDE:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Penn State March 2012 25 Texas A&M March 2012 11
University of Arizona March 2012 12 UC Davis March 2012 13
Washington University in St. Louis March 2012 10 Indiana University March 2012 9
Northwestern University March 2012 7 UNC Chapel Hill  March 2012  8
University of Southern California March 2012 7

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

PALO VERDE’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

The average family income per month is estimated to be 1500 Lempiras, which is approximately L250 (US $10.70) per person. The majority of homes are made of adobe, straw and mud. The main form of employment is agriculture, and the main products that are cultivated in the community are coffee, corn, and beans.

*These statistics represent the Business Program in the community of El Zurzular, where community members from Palo Verde have access to the Community Bank and micro-enterprises.

122

Brigade Volunteers*

523

Loans Disbursed*

98

Savings Accounts Opened*

$17,728

Capital Investment*

PALO VERDE’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

There is no community bank in Palo Verde. However, community members can access credit and savings accounts via the community bank in the neighboring community of El Zurzular. Some community members have even become members of this community bank.

The Microfinance Brigades in-counrty team and Brigaders from many different universities have worked in El Zurzular to train the community bank leaders. During this time, staff and volunteers have  worked with community members of the Caja Rural to train and establish a community bank, provide in-home financial consultations to community members, establish an agriculture store which sells pesticides and fertilizers to the community, establish a micro-enterprise focused on coffee processing, and provide educational seminars to adults and children in the community on the importance of savings, loans, and interest rates.

Since the establishment of the Caja Rural, every family in the community has benefited from a loan. With the profits from the Public Health Brigades loans, the Caja Rural was able to invest into the installation of electricity in the community of Zurzular.

PALO VERDE’S BUSINESS SOLUTION

Palo Verde is a beneficiary of one of the microenterprises in El Zurzular, an agriculture store. Because the surrounding communities are economically dependent upon agriculture, the store provides a sustainable method for them to buy and sell their own seeds, fertilizers, supplies, and crops. Because of their success, farmers are selling a total of 20,000 pounds worth of crops each season. Producers benefit from this business because they often can not transport their own crop to the nearest market, and have to sell it to middle men at artificially low prices. Consumers benefit as well because they usually have to travel to the nearest town to buy fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, and other supplies.

One of the most successful crops of the region is coffee. Global Brigades is helping coffee growers expand their business, increase coffee quality, and find profitable markets. Communities like El Zurzular now have the opportunities to sell dry beans internationally.

BUSINESS BRIGADES IN El ZURZULAR:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
UT Austin May 2016 19 Target Professionals February 2016 10
St Louis January 2012 50 College of Charleston May 2012 31
Boston College May 2012  5 Arizona State University May 2012 18
 Ivey School of Business February 2013 18 Boston University May 2015 40
UT Austin, Otowa August 2015 35

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

PALO VERDE’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

Many community members in Palo Verde 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 only 50% of the community had working latrines 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.

390

Brigade Volunteers

42

Eco-Stoves Constructed

40

Latrines Constructed

72

Floors Laid

PALO VERDE’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Public Health Brigaders from several different universities and the Public Health Brigades in-country team worked in Palo Verde from January – May 2014. During this time, volunteers and staff members will work 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, water storage units, and cement floors, and conduct educational workshops emphasizing the importance of sanitation and hygiene in the local primary school.

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 THE PALO VERDE:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Washington University in St. Louis January 2014 18 Tulane University January 2014 18
University of Virginia January 2014 5 Brown University January 2014 16
University of California Berkeley January 2014 15 Boston University January 2014 21
Johns Hopkins University January 2014 13 Columbia University January 2014 14
Mt. Allison University February 2014 19 Carnegie Mellon University March 2014 25
University of Pennsylvania March 2014 7 Yale University March 2014
Duke University March 2014 5 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill March 2014 18
Washington University in St. Louis March 2014 34 Central Michigan University March 2014 44
University of California San Diego March 2014 39 University of California Irvine March 2014 30
McMaster University May 2014 11 University of Pittsburgh May 2014 16
Boston University May 2014 26

Local Reference Points

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

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