Jennifer Smith was our guest speaker today to update the Club on the work of the Community Health Partnership in Honduras.
Jennifer recently retired as a Captain from the Eastham Fire Department and is now working in the prison system outside of Boston. She has been a volunteer with Cape Cares for 17 years now – a secular organization providing medical and dental care in Honduras. She and her husband have been trying to develop a more sustainable way of maintaining the work that they do there and that is how Community Health Partnership came to be. 
The Honduras clinic is 6 hours from the boarder of El Salvador – it is very beautiful but very poor there. The population is 8 million people, and 70% live in poverty and are on subsistance living. Corruption is prevalent and very severe. But people are rising up against this – marches are held nightly. The government has bankrupted the social security system; no medicine getting in. The Partnership is effective in helping to bring medicine in and help the medical professionals work in teams. 
The people of the region are at risk of murder, extortion but in spite of this they are very warm and hard working. The Partnership has 2 local directors who are in their 30’s and are dental surgeons plus 2 medical directors that helps to sustain the program. They work under the national health program and with the local clinic staff. In May 2015 1,129 patients were attended: 367 children in dental where 100 fillings and 326 extractions were performed.
Volunteers, who travel to Honduras twice a year (May and November), pay $700 each for the trip. The organization tries to save as much money as possible and the Honduran community contributes in-kind to the program.