Opinion: ACTS Honduras

Your thoughts about our Nicaraguan collaborators and the class visit with Michael Boudreau of Compas de Nicaragua. Consider some organizations that work in Nicaragua, such as Bridges to Community, Compas de Nicaragua, and the Fabretto Foundation, as well as other relevant service-learning organizations.

I participated in ACTS Honduras my sophomore spring break. I travelled as a medical translator for a Vermont doctor who was giving services in the small community of El Rosario. This trip was the first time that I was exposed to medical service trips, and it was a great learning experience. I travelled in a “mobile clinic” and visited neighboring communities to see chronically ill patients. During this trip, I recognized the important work that NGO’s like ACTS do to provide essential healthcare to people. Furthermore, it helped me think critically about the structural ways in which access to healthcare is barred from communities like El Rosario.

In comparison to other communities, El Rosario seemed to be more modern- most houses had transport, electricity and running water. Development in the community was accelerating every year- new schools were built, as well as a new dental clinic. That is part of the reason why I asked our presenter, who spoke about sustainable models for community development in El Rosario, if he ever sees El Rosario reaching a point where ACTS is no longer needed (on the basis that the community is self-sustaining and economically stable). His response surprised me, since he said that he does not see ACTS ever leaving El Rosario. Initially, I thought that a self-sustaining model of development would eventually mean that outside support from NGO’s like ACTS would no longer be needed at a point in time. I wish I could have followed up with him to engage his perspective, and why he thinks ACTS will always be El Rosario. Overall, I think it was a great presentation and a great service trip to be a part of.

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