Medical Missionaries of Mary first went to Honduras following the devastating Hurricane Mitch, which struck the country back in 1998.
Today, five MMM Sisters work in Honduras. They are Sisters Rene Duignan and Bernadette Heneghan from Ireland, Sister Rosalinda Gonzales from the Philippines, Sister Cleide da Silva from Brazil, and Sister Maria Gonzaga Namuyomba from Uganda.
Our first mission was established in the parish of Marcala in the west of the country. The parish has an excellent development plan, and the MMMs are involved in the healthcare component. This means providing workshops, training, and health monitoring over an extensive rural area.
An important aspect of the work is the production of low-cost remedies from local plants. We undertook this work at the request of the local people who have a rich tradition in local remedies, but feared it was being lost because the younger generation were not picking up the skills of the elders. "Please help us reclaim the knowledge our ancestors knew about plants that cure." That was the first request the people made to us.
It has been an exciting adventure since then, as we worked with the local people to develop parish health teams. With the young people and children we explore issues around low self-esteem. In the picture above, Sister Bernadette Henaghan leads them in exercises.
Our second mission is in Choloma, in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, where we have built Casa Visitación as a centre where clinics and therapies are available. Health committees have been established in seventeen villages, involving a lot of travel to these rural mountainous districts. Activities include training of health formators, supervision of home pharmacies, counselling and building self-esteem, complementary therapies, work with prisoners, and addressing domestic violence.
MMMs in Honduras are involved in:
- Women, children and youth groups: health education and human development
- Counselling services
- Pastoral care of sick and housebound and care of carers
- Assistance for people with chronic diseases
- HIV/AIDS programme; cancer prevention and early detection
- Training voluntary health workers and home pharmacists
- Mother and child care
- Complementary therapies
- Women's empowerment in Honduras
- Local collaboration on healthcare in Honduras
- Starting healthcare workshops at Choloma
- When Hurricane Felix hit Honduras
- New Center of Health and Therapy opened
- Vocation promotion in Honduras