I have lived here on the North Coast of Honduras since Jan 2001. I am a semi-retired US internist who decided to come here to work with the very poor.
I am single; a Honduran family, Alberto Zuniga Hernandez and their son, David Alberto, born in Nov 2002 live with me.
I am not a missionary. The only qualification for a person to be seen by me is that they be "concerned about their health or that of a family member." (They do not even need to be sick!)
I provide services "gratis." Patients who "can pay," pay for ONLY my "out of pocket" expenses for their meds.
Since I work in the same group of small villages each week, I have become quite able, with the help of another independent community development worker, Peter Johnson, to determine those who cannot. Those medicines are provided free.
Our effort has been dedicated over the last several years to helping some very poor people in Honduras. They aren't all sad, or depressed. In general, they are are reasonably happy people, who manage to cope with conditions most of us Americans would shudder at. But their lives can be short, and painful. For many there's little chance of moving beyond the subsistence farming and hand to mouth existence that leaves them hungry and vulnerable when meager crops fail or a parent or provider isn't there any more.
Sometimes I'm asked, "Why care?" My personal answer is "I just do. I always have." The way we try to care best is to use medical training to directly help people with basic medical care for chronic conditions that would otherwise disable, cripple, or kill them. When a provider falters, there's often no one left to help the ones left behind. When people can afford to pay even a small amount to reimburse the cost of medicine or medical supplies, we ask for payment so that those who really can't pay at all can have medicine too. And we act as liaison for medical resources that we can tap into either here in Honduras or in the US.