Alabama Honduras Medical Educational Network
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Project Honduras and A.H.M.E.N. Part II

To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by
      -Thomas Jefferson

The "Snake Eaters"
I was talking to Dr. Tom Arnold the other day about the “Snake Eaters” – the team bringing world class medical care to isolated indigenous communities of Gracias a Dios – and their recent venture deep into the Rio Platano Bio Reserve. Tom recalled an evening this past August where, while snacking on a freshly-caught nutria deep into the backwoods of La Moskitia, the Snake Eaters came to the realization that it would be smart to attach a public health education aspect to next year's priorities. Well, at first, I didn't know what to be more excited about! Which was more exciting of a revelation...the fact that my step-dad has become a bushman, content with what food his Honduran friends provide in exchange for medical care unattainable any other time of the year...or the fact that the Snake Eaters figured out in three years what it took many of us over a decade to learn?!

In our 13th year as the diverse and united force that is the Alabama HondurasMedical Educational Network, we are striving to merge the medical and educational aspects of our mission so that both are part of a holistic approach to long-term sustainable development in Honduras. Looking back on the 2011 Project Honduras Conference, I notice similar responses from other humanitarian groups throughout the country.

5th Annual International Medical Seminar in Ciriboya

As we think about building stronger ties with other organizations in Honduras and maximizing A.H.M.E.N.'s effectiveness in helping empower Honduran communities, we cannot ignore other educational groups. Through greater communication with other NGOs and non-profits with educational foci we stand to see even greater successes come out of our woodworking schools, sewing schools, school for the deaf, library projects, and the AHMEN-SIFAT Initiative. Exchanging ideas with other groups is not giving away our secrets but building on our strengths!

Education is all a matter of building bridges.”
-Ralph Ellison

The following list includes names and website information for various individuals and groups supplementing the Honduran educational system:

Michael Strong of FLOW, Inc is a professional educator, speaker, and author. He believes educational programs in hierarchical cultures should foster independent thinking, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Stanley Marrder of Honduras Weekly moved his tech firm to his native Honduras based on the fact that Honduras has been quietly exporting high tech Internet applications to the U.S. and Euopre of the past five years. He emphasizes the need for innovation throughout the Honduran educational system.

Timothy Underwood of Hope With Love, Inc. helps recruit, train, equip, and mobilize business world professionals and industries with the intent to democratize expertise and specialized skill- sets.

Carol Brouwer of A Better World Canada applies an innovative school-based approach to teaching hygiene and nutrition and advancing education.

Jairo Funez runs the scholarship program at the Alison Bixby Stone School at Zamorano University. It is a non-profit bilingual elementary school working to build effective professional relationships with other non-profit schools in Honduras and Honduran public school teachers.

Alison Bixby Stone School located within Zamorano Agricultural University - the site of the 2012 Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit

Carson Rodeffer of Light and Life International incorporates educational programs into children's feeding centers while working to support other humanitarian groups.

Esther Bettney of Siguatepeque Bilingual Christian School works to develop a comprehensive English curriculum for K-11 students. She guides an international teaching staff through the hoops of working within a locally-run Honduran school.

Deborah Prieskop of Steel Pan Alley in Roatan founded a music school with the motto “The arts are what lift us above the subsistence level.”
Josh Balser of Bilingual Education for Central America in Cofradia has worked for ten years in Honduras developing effective teacher training and bilingual educational programs for low- income families.

These are but a few of the thousands of names working at the hundreds of different educational institutions across Honduras. Just because A.H.M.E.N. is not highly-concentrated in any of the areas where the preceding folks work does not mean we can't work together. We can, and there are many more partnerships to be made in and around A.H.M.E.N.'s base of operations. I challenge you to find the ones focused on your specific area of outreach!

By connecting NGOs and non-profits we can connect Hondurans. Connected Hondurans can be the transformation they hope to see in Honduras.

Educating is always a vocation rooted in hopefulness.”
-bell hooks

Together, we are the change.


  1. Great! We are moving forward to help the less fortunate, because this is what Christ would have us do!

  2. Thanks for your kind words....and of course, your keen insight. If we can pull this off, it will require the help of The Almighty. It's also a good sign that Mr Jefferson agrees. Keep up the good work.

  3. What does it mean to be an American?

    While attending the Projecto Honduras seminar in Copan, Honduras last week I was sitting at a table make up of an interesting group of people:
    One Brazilian
    One Honduran
    One Ex-patriot American raised in Chili
    Three Alabamians

    The question came up, what does it mean to be an American?
    Each of the people at the table considered themselves to be an American. As a matter of fact, several thought we Alabamians might be consider to a little presumptuous thinking only of ourselves as Americans.

    Interesting thought.

    Comment if you like

  4. After much effort and collaboration, hopefully one day we will be able to do God's work. The mission is already blessed...Now it's time to hold up our end of the bargain.

    @TC Great idea for discussion! It was really neat being a part of such a meaningful conversation with so many Americans (anyone from the western hemisphere?) represented. How can we say we are from the United States without acting as if we lay claim to the only part of "America" that counts?