A Note about the Honduran Political Crisis, December 2017

Dear Friends of Honduras,

The Board of the Washington Overseas Mission wants to make certain that all of our friends and supporters are aware of our plans for ongoing activity in Honduras in light of the recent political crisis and violence.

Perhaps many of you have seen the scenes of the violence near San Pedro Sula, along the highway between the airport and in Choloma. Individual lives and livelihoods have been placed in great danger. Pimienta, where Dr. Raul lives, has experienced more peaceful protests. Dr. Raul was re-elected with 86% of his community supporting him. He is a point of local stability for his community. However, the frustration that boils over when people feel that they do not have a say in their future destiny has been evident. Irregularities in the electoral process are being reviewed by the Honduran election board, the Organization of American states and other impartial oversight organizations from around the world. All attempts are being made to validate the election of the next president of Honduras, but final results may not be known until after Christmas. He will face the enormous task of bringing calm and order and establishing trust in his administration. We are a volunteer organization dedicated to serving the needy of Honduras. I believe our job will be to continue to be of service.
The Board of the Overseas Mission recently met to discuss the current political and social instability and it’s potential effect on our work. We made the decision to continue with our plan to send a container of humanitarian aid via our container program on December 28th. That shipment will deliver not only our team supplies but much needed medications. After consultation with Dr. Raul and our community leader in San Antonio Yoro (Carmencita), we have elected to continue with ongoing planning for our March visit to Honduras. The communities that we serve are in very rural areas and have not been directly touched by scenes of violence. However, because the safety of our volunteers is paramount, our plan is to monitor the situation in Honduras very closely over the coming weeks. If we do not feel it is safe for our volunteers to travel, then the Mission trip in March 2018 will be delayed. We continue to plan for our August 2018 Mission trip.
We are so very fortunate in the United States that, in spite of our own political differences and our own long history of electoral irregularities, our political institutions have been strong enough that we have largely been able to avoid the violent and dangerous political eruptions that are now plaguing Honduras. Please keep the people of Honduras in your thoughts and prayers as they go through these very dangerous transitions. Those who seem to suffer the most are those who have the least resources to endure. The Washington Overseas Mission will continue to offer support and hope to these most vulnerable people.
Tim Long MD –Pres. Washington Overseas Mission

2018 Brigade to Honduras

The Washington Overseas 2018 Brigade to Honduras will be March 16 to March 25, 2018 (some will depart March 18). The locations will probably be Victoria in the Yoro department and a location in Cortes to be named later. The cost for the 2018 trip is approximately $2,200, which includes all transportation, food and lodging (except recreational trip at the end of the brigade), emergency evacuation insurance, and exit fees. If you are interested in an experience of helping people who are in extreme need, please contact the WOM Board at washingtonoverseas@gmail.com.

Personal Packing Checklist for 2018 Brigade Trip to Honduras:

Trunks are not recommended because they have typically been the airline’s choice to hold when there is an overload. You should pack one scrub suit, a set of underwear, toothbrush, personal meds, etc. in your carry-on.  We will have someone to do laundry during your stay.  We suggest that whatever clothing you send out, you would not mind losing as items do not always return.  At the end of the trip group members often leave for others their personal clothing worn in the villages. ALL clothing should have your name with permanent marker.

    • Passport (preferably always in neck pouch, or money belt)
    • Credit card
    • Money-U.S.
    • Fannie pack, waist pack or camera vest (for money, passport, personal items)
    • Personal medicines including Chloraquin for two weeks if needed
    • Back pack or day pack or small carry-on for use on possible village overnights
    • Scrubs (3 sets) (Medical/Dental teams)
    • Toiletries (with only the essential, scentless toiletry items best)
    • Feminine Hygiene needs (not easy to find in the country)
    • Toilet paper (one roll should do)
    • Towels (lightweight-good to have two, old or cheap ones dry faster), washcloths
    • Slacks or skirts (one pair-usually for travel to and from home in winter)
    • Shorts- (walking short length to wear unless at resort, gym shorts for going to and from shower or around the group)
    • T-shirts, blouses (at least 5)
    • Underwear (5 days worth should be sufficient), socks
    • Nice outfit for wear in case of group event during rural stay or for the resort
    • Paper-towelettes (wipes)-handy for use in water shortages
    • Small packets of tissues (to keep in fanny pack in case of T.P. absence)
    • Suntan lotion (a must)
    • Glasses (bring your spare pair)
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat or ball cap (for sunburn prevention)
    • Headband or handkerchief
    • Chap Stick
    • Water bottle or canteen-optional. Can purchase bottles of purified water in country and reuse. Flavor packets to add when you are tired of warm water.
    • Water filter, optional.
    • Travel mirror
    • Plastic bags (Wal-Mart style)- they come in handy and can share for trash containers throughout the trip.
    • Insect repellent a must. No aerosol cans due to airline regulations. Citronella candles might be helpful.
    • Camera, extra memory, batteries.
    • Flashlight, extra batteries, (flashlight that lights an area is nice)
    • Pocket knife (optional, must be in checked luggage)
    • Sleeping mattress, sleeping bag (usually too hot)- depends on location
    • Sheets-2       (suggest one flannel sheet, can be used on bottom or top depending on temperature)
    • Pillow case (can stuff with clothing for a pillow) or small pillow.
    • Laundry bag (mesh, nice to have), a few clothespins (optional)
    • Bathing suit (important for fun or for stream bathing)
    • Rain gear (optional, small lightweight poncho nice to have)
    • Ear plugs (keeps rooster, burro, group member snoring noise to a dull roar)
    • Snacks (granola bars, p-nut butter, cracker packs, dried fruit only, nuts, beef jerky in sealed packs, etc.).
    • Jacket (lightweight for cool evenings)
    • Shoes- (tennis shoes or walking shoes-old ones best, sandals for evenings)
    • Shower shoes or water shoes
    • Candle and matches (optional)
    • Mosquito netting or lightweight mosquito tent depending upon location
    • Journal
    • Spanish dictionary
    • Detergent       (optional-just in case you need to hand wash some clothing)
    • Book for pleasure reading
    • Zip-Lock bags (for protecting key items from dust, humidity, some people pack clothing in Zip-Locks)
    • I-Pod (OK if you wish-be aware that things do disappear occasionally)
    • Watch (optional, rugged inexpensive is best)
    • Travel alarm
    • Small gift items, optional. Many members enjoy bringing small toys, scarfs, lotion, etc. to give to people who help the team or to give to a child at the end of the trip or day in a village.
    • Dentists-Bring instruments.
      • Lock if staying at the Bodega
      • Travel coffee mug if you wish
    • Nurses and Doctors-Bring stethoscopes, BP Cuffs, Otoscope, if possible