I have traveled the world with Project HOPE.
I have seen many of the world’s health challenges first hand. But
today, I did something I’ve never done before in my life. I made a
What does making a tortilla have to do with global health? Well, I made the tortilla with a new friend Candida. Candida is a grandmother and member of Project HOPE’s Village Health Banks, our micro-lending program. Like some of the women I introduced you to in yesterday’s blog, Candida’s life and health have changed because of the generosity of Joe and Teresa Long – major supporters of HOPE’s program in Honduras.
Candida is one of the hardest working women I know. She rises every day at 5:30 a.m. and makes more than 1,000 tortillas each day… seven days a week… 365 days a year. The math is easy. That’s more than 365,000 tortillas a year. In between making tortillas, Candida attends the health training provided by HOPE and makes sure her family and other women in her community benefit from her training.
Speaking of friends, today I met a courageous young man who is battling testicular cancer at the Emma Romero de Callejas National Cancer Center. Diego was in the last year of medical school when he was diagnosed with cancer. Diego is studying to be a pediatrician and shares my passion to help children through education and access to care. We made a promise that when Diego defeats his cancer, he will visit me at Project HOPE, and together we will make plans to help the children of Honduras.
While at the Cancer Center, I also met Dr. Flora Duarte who told me about a quiet crisis afflicting women in Honduras. Cervical cancer accounts for more than 23 percent of all cancers – the highest prevalence of any cancer in country. I was distressed by this information, but inspired by Dr. Duarte’s dedication to address the challenge. I assured Dr. Duarte that HOPE would explore intersections of interest among our many corporate partners to assist her in her efforts to make a difference in the lives of Honduran women.
During my visit to Honduras, I have been impressed by the dedication and determination of the country’s health professionals. Dr. Duarte and Dr. Hugo Godoy, the Hospital Director at Hospital Maria, a soon-to-be 178-bed children’s hospital on a hill overlooking Tegucigalpa, with whom I met today, both received advanced medical training in the United States. Yet both chose to return to Honduras to improve the lives of thousands in their home country. It is with dedicated health professionals like Drs. Duarte and Godoy that HOPE will be working with in the future to enhance health education and care for the people of Honduras.
Check back for more tomorrow,
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