Summit’s helping hands reach Honduras | SummitDaily.com

Summit’s helping hands reach Honduras

NICOLE FORMOSAsummit daily news

Special to tle Daily/Greg Wright

Ducayet shared her excitement with her church in Breckenridge, St. John the Baptist Episcopal, which had been searching for an appropriate project since it received a large donation at the end of 2004 for outreach purposes.A few months later, Ducayet returned to Honduras with Greg Wright, the outreach coordinator for the church, to attend an annual conference for charitable organizations heading up projects to help Hondurans.The two heard about the conference from Doc PJ, a local family practitioner who has made dozens of medical trips to the poverty-stricken country.

While in Honduras, Ducayet and Wright partnered with a tiny Episcopal church in the small village of Sula, which is tucked in the mountains between the metropolis of San Pedro Sula and the tourist town of Copán Ruinas.Sula is a stop off the highway, with a tire shop and a restaurant visible from the roadway, but the true character of the area lies beyond the main drag.”You get 50 feet off the highway and people are living in mud houses,” Wright said.Wright and Ducayet decided the impoverished village with its population of about 500 people would be an ideal location for their efforts.

Since the two returned from Central America more than two months ago, they’ve organized a medical mission to Sula through the church to take place in October.The group, which already consists of two dozen mostly local volunteers, will travel south to provide people across the countryside with basic vaccinations, worming medication for parasites, and simple over-the-counter remedies, such as baby Tylenol, pain killers and medications for stomach and respiratory problems.The team will staff a three-day medical clinic, but when that time is up, the leftover supplies will have to be locked up because no one in the area is properly trained to dispense even the most basic medicines, Ducayet said.She hopes to change that by partnering with a nearby doctor who is willing to be trained to continue administering medicine and providing first aid between the church’s trips.

Within five to eight years, Ducayet hopes Sula will be self-sustaining with its own clinic. The goal is to empower the locals to take charge of their lives by getting healthy, Ducayet said.Future church missions could expand outside the realm of medicine and into developing methods for locals to use their skills in crafts or native crops to earn money and break the cycle of poverty, she said.”It’s trying to find channels to help them help themselves,” Ducayet said.The church group continues to seek volunteers for both the trip to Honduras and to help support the team from Breckenridge, as well as financial assistance.

Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 13625, or at nformosa@summitdaily.com