Less than ten days after my return from a semester abroad in Italy, I was off on another journey. This time it was to Honduras for a Global Brigade where students participated in a medical and dental brigade to provide health care to rural communities. Global Brigades goal is to allow volunteers to help resolve global health and economic disparities in under-resourced communities to improve the quality of life.

Throughout the trip, the 45 other students and I assisted in patient triage, pharmaceuticals, dental, health education, and shadowed local doctors during consultations. From the airport in Tegucigalpa, we took a brigade bus to our compound in San Lorenzo. This journey ended up taking about 6 hours (2.5 without road construction). We then ate dinner, packed medications and health bags, and had our first introductory meeting.

For the following three days we had the medical and dental portion of the brigade. Each morning, we would travel for about an hour and a half to a rural community and set up a clinic for the people living there. When we arrived, there was always a huge line that wrapped around the entire elementary school. For most of these people, the nearest hospital or clinic is many miles away and the cost is often too expensive. We rotated through the 6 different stations: data informatics, triage, consultation, gynecology (only for the female brigaders), dental, pharmacy and charla. On the final day, we had the public health day where we built eco-stoves for many households.

In 4 days, we helped over 600 patients. We are truly blessed and we don’t deserve as much as we have. I thank God for keeping us safe and giving me the opportunity to make a difference. Although school can be tough at times, by helping that one person makes it all worth it.