Empowered Community

Congratulations Tomatín!

467

Brigade Volunteers

3516

Medical Patient Consultations

250

Dental Patient Consultations

38

Loans Disbursed

13

Eco-Stoves Constructed

22

Latrines Constructed

33

Trained Community Leaders

2

Community Businesses

Tomatín

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

Overview

Tomatín is a small community of about 60 homes located in Cantarranas, Francisco Morazán, central Honduras. The primary occupation in the community is agriculture, and the people dedicate themselves to producing corn, beans, and sugarcane. Tomatín is about 40 minutes from the nearest town, where the health center is as well.  When Global Brigades first met Tomatín they learned about their reliance on sugar cane season in order to sustain themselves financially. Most men in the community worked as day workers for the sugar cane companies, and when the season was over they were always looking for other jobs. Their number one identified community need was sources of employment. Tomatin had an existing rural bank and water system, but needed help in strengthening the economic activity in the community as well as the public health infrastructure.

Municipality: Cantarranas

Department: Francisco Morazán

Homes : 60
Population : 250
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No, 40 minutes walking
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 100
Education : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hour 20 minutes

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Tomatín does not have a health center in the community. The closest center is in the local municipality of Cantarranas, about 40 minutes away walking. The health center is a CESAMO, or the larger of the two different types of health centers that the Honduran government provides. It has a doctor on staff at all times as well as nurses, and even occasionally may have a dentist on staff. The most common illnesses in this community are respiratory issues, the common cold, asthma, and high blood pressure.

134

Brigade Volunteers

3516

Patient Consultations

24

Pap Smears Performed

76

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS & PHARMACY:

Because of their proximity to the nearest health center (40 minutes walking), Tomatín needed to train community leaders to be health experts within their community. They combined with a neighboring community, and Global Brigades trained 24 total volunteers to be Community Health Workers. 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. The CHWs were also trained to start their own business. They are in trainings and preparations to open up a new community pharmacy where they can sell basic medications to community members who currently have to travel to the nearest town to purchase them.

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical brigades use the elementary school in Tomatín as their brigade site. There are three classrooms and a small office where each station of the clinic takes place. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational charlas a day. In addition to patients from Tomatín, communities from four other communities attend the medical brigades.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 570
  • NEARBYE COMMUNITIES: TRES CANDILES, SUYAPA, MAJADA VERDE, SAN BARTOLO
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN TOMATÍN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
UT Austin August 2013 University of Ottawa June 2014 17
Brown University January 2015  22  University of Missouri  May 2015  36
Toledo & Hartford January 2016  30 Oregon State May 2016 29
Pennsylvania State University March 2017  33

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.

250

Patient Consultations

404

Fluoride Treatments

195

Fillings Performed

25

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Medical brigades use the elementary school in Tomatín as their brigade site. There are three classrooms and a small office where each station of the clinic takes place. Doctors spend an average of 10 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational charlas a day. In addition to patients from Tomatín, communities from four other communities attend the medical brigades.

  • AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 570
  • NEARBYE COMMUNITIES: TRES CANDILES, SUYAPA, MAJADA VERDE, SAN BARTOLO
  • BRIGADE SITE: SCHOOL

 

DENTAL BRIGADES IN TOMATÍN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
UT Austin August 2013 University of Ottawa June 2014 17
Brown University January 2015  22  University of Missouri  May 2015  36
Toledo & Hartford January 2016  30 Oregon State May 2016 29
Pennsylvania State University March 2017  33

Engineering

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

TOMATÍN’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE:

Tomatín has a water project that was built by the local government in 2002. It connects to all of the houses in the community. It is a gravity system and is supposed to be chlorinated in the main storage tank. Global Brigades’ Engineering and Water Team conducted a system assessment in order to provide recommendations to the current water council. The team first noticed that the community plumber was not centrally chlorinating the water and that few community members were treating their water at home either.

TOMATÍN’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

The Engineering and Water Team gave suggestions to the Tomatín Water Council about maintaining their water system, but they also understood that some of the most important changes would be behavioral. Working in conjunction with the Public Health team, the Water Team recognized that community education was one of the most important tasks for Tomatín to advance in water and sanitation. Public Health Brigaders and Global Brigades Staff trained community members on the importance of treating all drinking water in addition to other hygiene and sanitation topics. Now, community members have taken out loans to buy public health products in order to invest in their own health. Water filters are some of the most popular products in Tomatín because they guarantee clean drinking water without relying on central chlorination.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

TOMATÍN’S WATER CHALLENGE:

Tomatín has a water project that was built by the local government in 2002.  It connects to all of the houses in the community.  It is a gravity system and is supposed to be chlorinated in the main storage tank. Global Brigades’ Engineering and Water Team conducted a system assessment in order to provide recommendations to the current water council. The team first noticed that the community plumber was not centrally chlorinating the water and that few community members were treating their water at home either.

TOMATÍN’S WATER SOLUTION:

The Engineering and Water Team gave suggestions to the Tomatín Water Council about maintaining their water system, but they also understood that some of the most important changes would be behavioral. Working in conjunction with the Public Health team, the Water Team recognized that community education was one of the most important tasks for Tomatín to advance in water and sanitation. Public Health Brigaders and Global Brigades Staff trained community members on the importance of treating all drinking water in addition to other hygiene and sanitation topics. Now, community members have taken out loans to buy public health products in order to invest in their own health. Water filters are some of the most popular products in Tomatín because they guarantee clean drinking water without relying on central chlorination.

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

TOMATÍN’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

When Global Brigades first met Tomatín they learned about their reliance on sugar cane season in order to sustain themselves financially. Most men in the community worked as day workers for the sugar cane companies, and when the season was over they were always looking for other jobs. Their number one identified community need was sources of employment. Many community members in Tomatín also rely on harvesting corn and beans on their own land. In the past few years, drought has caused low profits on harvest, and farmers have to pay high costs for extra fertilizer in order to help growth. Some community members also move to more mountainous communities during coffee season in order to harvest coffee.

143

Brigade Volunteers

38

Loans Disbursed

2

Community Businesses

$6,300

Capital Investment

TOMATÍN’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

Global Brigades first partnered with the existing community bank in Tomatín to expand their impact. Tomatín’s rural bank started offering more loans for agriculture so that farmers could grow enough of their own crops to sell. They also built a new building for the bank and started a grain store there so that farmers could buy and sell their own grain at fair prices instead of having to travel to the closest town.  Not only was Global Brigades working to strengthen the bank to help with agriculture, but also to help prepare them to offer public health loans. 

TOMATÍN’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 community pharmacy, led by Community Health Workers that the Global Brigades Medical Team trained in 2016. Not only do these CHWs promote health and offer consultations with all community members, but they are opening the pharmacy to be able to sell basic medications at a fair price. This means community members won’t have to travel to the nearest town to buy medication.

BUSINESS BRIGADES IN TOMATÍN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Yale & UPENN January 2012 11 Indiana University March 2012 17
Wellsley July 2013 10 Arizona State University May 2013 14
UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine June 2014 10 William and Mary March 2015 36
Sunny New Paltz May 2015 17 UCL, UC Riverside June 2015 14
Mt Allison University February 2016 10

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

TOMATÍN’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

Many community members in Tomatín lacked the resources needed to improve their homes and prevent disease caused by unsafe living environments.  Some of the most common illnesses in Tomatín are respiratory diseases, caused by indoor air pollution. One of the other top health concerns was the lack of importance placed on drinking treated water. Despite the complete water system, no one was centrally chlorinating the water, and families did not treat the water in their homes either.

190

Brigade Volunteers

13

Eco-Stoves Constructed

22

Latrines Constructed

22

Water Storage Unites Constructed

TOMATÍN’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Most members of Tomatín usually cannot afford to buy their own latrines or other public health projects. However, thanks to the establishment of the community bank in the Tomatín, the Public Health team was able to offer latrines, eco-stoves, and water filters with a loan so that each household could make the long-term investment. 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 BRIGADES IN TOMATÍN:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Mount Allison University February 2016 16 Montreal February 2016 5
Brandeis University February 2016 31 Vanderbilt & Penn State March 2016 26
Central Michigan University March 2016 50 College of William & Mary & Michigan State March 2016 24
UC San Diego March 2016 24  Memorial University of Newfoundland  July 2016  14

Local Reference Points

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

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