Empowered Community

Congratulations El Zurzular!

926

Brigade Volunteers

2547

Medical Patient Consultations

261

Dental Patient Consultations

507

People with Access to Clean Water

523

Loans Disbursed

84

Eco-Stoves Constructed

85

Latrines Constructed

28

Trained Community Leaders

El Zurzular

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

Overview

El Zurzular is a community located high in the mountains near the municipality of Cantarranas in Fransico Morazan. Due to its remote location, El Zurzular has a smaller health center called a CESAR. El Zurzular was officially inaugurated as a holistic community in 2011. After working with Global Brigades staff and volunteers, the community has established strong leadership in continuing both health and development initiatives in their community.  El Zurzular has a newly constructed community health center with staff, community health workers, a basic sanitation committee, a community bank, and a strong micro-enterprise.

 

Municipality: Cantarranas

Department: Francisco Morazán

Homes : 100
Population : 600
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : In Community
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 90%
Eduaction : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 1 hour 30 min

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Due to its remote location, 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.

117

Brigade Volunteers

2547

Patient Consultations

283

Pap Smears Performed

1621

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

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.  There are a total of 11 CHWs currently working in El Zurzular. El Zurzular is a part of a larger area that includes 4 smaller communities, with El Zurzular being the centralized location. Therefore, these 11 Community Health Workers reach 4 different communities. The Community Health Workers help to provide basic medical attention in the absence of the nurse in the Community Health Center.

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

As the health center is located next to the local school, both facilities are used to hold a medical brigade. 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.

261

Patient Consultations

358

Fluoride Treatments

116

Fillings Performed

20

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION:

Dental 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: 87
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

EL ZURZULAR’S ENGINEERING CHALLENGE:

A community gravity water system was built in 1985 by the government in El Zurzular. At the time the system was designed to provide water for only 30 homes and in June 2009 was only connected to 54 of the 87 homes in the community. Those people without a water connection were using water from streams and springs nearby which they carried to their homes in buckets other plastic containers. Due to small piping diameters and a lack of control and cleaning valves in the system, only 12 gallons/minute was entering the storage tank, an insufficient quantity for the population.

NA

Brigade Volunteers

507

Beneficiaries

9

Kilometers of Pipeline Designed

NA

Average Community Volunteers

EL ZURZULAR’S ENGINEERING SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from four different universities worked in El Zurzular between August and December 2009. During that time, those volunteers worked with community members to install a filter and control valve at the water source, replace all piping in the conduction line with larger diameter pipes and cleaning and air valves, repair the chlorination system at the storage tank, construct an entirely new distribution network, install water connections at all previously unconnected homes, and 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. El Zurzular was the first full-scale water system completed by Water Brigades and was a great success. Community participation was incredible with over 90 community members working on the project every day. Once completed 38 gallons/minute enter the storage tank, 100% of the homes in the community are connected to the water system, and zero cases of diarrhea in children under 5 years old were reported in the first 6 months after the completion of the project.

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ZURZULAR’S WATER CHALLENGE:

A community gravity water system was built in 1985 by the government in El Zurzular. At the time the system was designed to provide water for only 30 homes and in June 2009 was only connected to 54 of the 87 homes in the community. Those people without a water connection were using water from streams and springs nearby which they carried to their homes in buckets other plastic containers. Due to small piping diameters and a lack of control and cleaning valves in the system, only 12 gallons/minute was entering the storage tank, an insufficient quantity for the population.

49

Brigade Volunteers

507

Project Beneficiaries

9

Kilometers of Pipeline Installed

5000

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

EL ZURZULAR’S WATER SOLUTION:

Water Brigaders from four different universities worked in El Zurzular between August and December 2009. During that time, those volunteers worked with community members to install a filter and control valve at the water source,replace all piping in the conduction line with larger diameter pipes and cleaning and air valves, repair the chlorination system at the storage tank, construct an entirely new distribution network, install water connections at all previously unconnected homes, and 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. El Zurzular was the first full scale water system completed by Water Brigades and was a great success. Community participation was incredible with over 90 community members working on the project every day. Once completed 38 gallons/minute enter the storage tank, 100% of the homes in the community are connected to the water system, and zero cases of diarrhea in children under 5 years old were reported in the first 6 months after the completion of the project.

WATER BRIGADES IN EL ZURZULAR:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Texas at Arlington August 2009 10 New York University August 2009 9
University of Washington August 2009  11  DePaul University  December 2009  19

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ZURZULAR’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

In El Zurzular, the majority of the community members rely on agricultural work to support themselves and their families. The primary crop is coffee. During the planting and harvest seasons, many workers who have their own land sell their coffee through intermediaries. During planting season, farmers often do not have the necessary income to be able to support their families and pay for pesticides, fertilizers, and other products that are needed to cultivate their crops. Intermediaries offer the workers high interest rate loans at the beginning of the season for their crops, but it leaves the workers with a low profit and often a significant amount of debt. Other than intermediaries, there is often no other access to credit or savings in rural areas like Zurzular. Community banks (cajas rurales) have been formed throughout Honduras to provide savings and loans with an affordable interest rate in rural areas and also capital to support other community projects.

122

Brigade Volunteers

523

Loans Disbursed

98

Savings Accounts Opened

$17,728

Capital Investment

EL ZURZULAR’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

The Microfinance Brigades in-counrty team and Brigaders from eight different universities have worked in El Zurzular from November 2010 until February 2013.  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.

EL ZURZULAR’S BUSINESS SOLUTION

El Zurzular is a community of coffee growers who have developed best practices and techniques. Global Brigades has partnered with community leaders to create El Zurzular’s coffee cooperative. El Zurzular sells their coffee in two ways; one, by selling dry coffee to domestic partners such as Santa Rosa de Copan; and two, by selling roasted coffee to students on brigade in Honduras. In 2015, the microenterprise leaders earned 100,000 lempiras (around $4300 USD) on roasted coffee and 800,000 lempiras or over $35,000 USD on their dried coffee sales.

El Zurzular has been able to expand their business thanks to their investments such as a delivery truck. One of the biggest challenges faced by El Zurzular was the inability to transport their coffee,  making them rely on “coyotes” who would use their transportation advantage to charge unfair prices. El Zurzular now pays for a delivery service at a low and affordable price. Other investment made by the business include: six solar dryers, a wet mill, a manual roaster, a scale hygrometer, a labels, a washer, and a manual dehusker.

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
Mount Allison February 2015 11 Penn State University March 2016 15
UCONN & USC  March 2015  36 University of Calgalry  March 2016 11
University of Calgary  May 2015  12

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL ZURZULAR’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

Many community members in El Zurzular 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 very few homes had hygiene stations, cement floors, or 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 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.

638

Brigade Volunteers

84

Eco-Stoves Constructed

85

Latrines Constructed

191

Floors Laid

EL ZURZULAR’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Public Health Brigaders from several different universities and the Public Health Brigades in-country team worked in El Zurzular from December 2010 – September 2011. 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 84 eco-stoves, 85 latrines, 66 water storage units, and 191 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 EL ZURZULAR:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
DePaul University December 2010 17 USC Graduates December 2010 23
University of Southern California January 2011 16 Pennsylvania State January 2011 16
Boston University January 2011 9 St. Louis University January 2011 12
Washington University in St. Louis January 2011 10 Columbia University January 2011 5
UC Berkeley January 2011 17 San Francisco State January 2011 14
UC Berkeley Post-Docs January 2011 10 Johns Hopkins University January 2011 7
University of Victoria February 2011 20 Mt. Allison University February 2011 13
University of North Carolina March 2011 14 Wake Forest University March 2011 12
Indiana University March 2011 24 Marquette University March 2011 20
UC Irvine March 2011 28 UC San Diego March 2011 26
Athletico April 2011 20 University of Pennsylvania May 2011 5
University of Southern California May 2011 6 Boston University May 2011 10
Arizona State University  May 2011  16 University of Nottingham May 2011 25
Soka University May 2011 8 Illinois Wesleyan College May 2011 10
Johns Hopkins University May 2011 6 University of Michigan June 2011 20
Chapman University June 2011 8 Arizona State University June 2011 17
University of Virginia June 2011 13 UC Berkeley June 2011 12
UC Davis June 2011  12 UCLA June 2011 6
UC Santa Barbara June 2011 19 University of Washington June 2011 8
DePaul University June 2011 20 UC Riverside June 2011  4
University of Birmingham July 2011 22 Marshall University July 2011 8
Emory University August 2011 7 University of Tampa August 2011 14
Lower Columbia College August 2011 6 Northwestern University August 2011  7
Imperial College August 2011 12

Local Reference Points

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

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