Honduras

Medical Missionaries of Mary first went to Honduras following the devastating Hurricane Mitch, which struck the country back in 1998. Today, MMM Sisters from Ireland, the Philippines, Brazil and Uganda work in two places there.  

Our first mission was established in Marcala, in the west of the country. We providing workshops and training in health care and did health monitoring over an extensive rural area. The first request the people made was to help in the production of low-cost remedies from local plants. They had a rich tradition in local remedies, but feared it was being lost because the younger generation was not picking up the skills of the elders.  They said, ‘Please help us reclaim the knowledge our ancestors had about plants that cure.’ We developed parish health teams, and with the young people and children explored issues around low self-esteem.

In 2015, facing issues of consolidation MMM made a decision to hand over our programmes in Marcala and move closer to our Sisters in Choloma. In March that year, two Sisters arrived in Siguatepeque, later joined by a third. Working with social and Eucharistic ministers they reach out to the sick and elderly in their homes in the parish of Nuestra Señora del Carme. They provide medical, social and emotional support and bring Communion to the housebound. With a part-time counterpart, they visit families in eight communities. People say, ‘Thanks very much. When you come to visit me, my pain goes away for that moment we spent together.’

Our other mission, in Choloma, is in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, where we have built Casa Visitación. Using preventive, curative and alternative approaches this centre provides basic integrated health care, principally to poor and marginalized people. The ministries are incorporated with the pastoral social ministry of the diocese and that of two local parishes. The MMMs meet frequently with various health committees, giving priority to supervision and capacity building. They visit the sick at home and monitor home pharmacies, enabling them to discern and respond to the immediate needs of the people. Active involvement in the parishes and diocesan health and pastoral activities helped in recognizing health-related problems such as domestic violence, learning difficulties, etc.

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

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