I have SO much to fill you all in on from my spring break trip! This year I went to Honduras for spring break on a medical brigade, and I went with Michigan State University. This was definitely one of my favorite trips I have ever taken, and hands down, the most rewarding one.
My group and I (there were about 40 of us) all stayed at La Posada, which was an amazing compound on the side of a mountain. This place had one of the best views I could ever ask for with the valley close by and the endless mountains reaching far out into the distance. We even had hammocks to lie in on our porch to take in the breathtaking view!
The town that I was working in was called, La Cebita Sabana Grande. It was only 60 miles away, but because of the rough roads and terrain, it took us about three hours to get to our community each day. At our community we set up a clinic that we ran for three days. All of the services and medicine that we provide to the patients were free. All of the citizens really appreciated this because the average income for families in the town was about $5 a day, meaning that they normally could not afford these types of services.
We (the students) pretty much ran the show at the clinic. We did patient intake where we would ask the patients what was wrong, ask for family histories, and then take their vitals. This was a great experience to use my Spanish as well! In consult, we got to assist the doctors with their exams, and we got to see all of the interesting cases that came through. In the dental office, we got to assist with teeth extractions and fillings. We also ran a pharmacy and a charla (Spanish for “chat”), where we taught the children how to brush their teeth.
I was extremely nervous at first because I was going with no one I knew to a country that I had heard was extremely dangerous, but I have never had such an amazing experience. This trip really reassured me that studying medicine and Spanish is what I want to do. It really opened my eyes to an entirely different part of the world I had never thought about before. Now, all I can think about is when I get to go back.
And now I’m back at school, trying to get back into the swing of things. I hope you all have an amazing week!
Cristen (second in from right) and some friends from the trip working in the dental office
Cristen with a few of the kids from the community where her clinic was
View from the compound