Local volunteers help thousands in Honduras

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - A number of volunteers recently headed to Honduras for ten days with their goal to help as many people as they could.

Christian Worldwide Medical Brigades began when Sarahi Montoya and her husband had a dream to take their medical education and put it to good use.

In a remote region of Honduras, with 60 volunteers and 10 days they worked to provide health care to those who need it most-but don't have access to it.

They prepared for the hundreds of people who would come from miles away to get medical attention.

"People even walked for four hours up from the mountains just to come see us and you know people wait all day just to get treated," says Sarahi Montoya, founder of Christian Worldwide Medical Brigades.

"By the time we got to the clinic there were already a couple hundred people lined up, so you had to be ready to go from the start," says Freddy Vazquez, a volunteer.

The group treated everyone from patients 15-months-old to the elderly all because there was nowhere else close enough to get the medical help they needed.

"They are just very strong willed it is incredible. They are living with all these chronic illnesses and they have zero care for that," says Vazquez.

The volunteers handled an assembly line of patient after patient, performing surgeries and providing spiritual guidance for those who could not be helped.

"When they get to your clinic, and you can't give them any medicine they thank you, they say thank you for taking your time trying to help me," recalls Vazquez.

For those the group was able to help, words weren't necessary.

"As far as seeing the smile on their face. or them giving you a hug was just priceless," says Danielle Lavigne, a volunteer.

In those ten days, the volunteers also focused on educating their patients.

"So when we leave, they are able to continue teaching the community and doing prevention so people who have chronic illnesses or malnutrition they are aware of what their conditions are," says Montoya.

"It is just amazing what they can do with so little, they will be able to go anywhere they want to go with just this one basic principal of just giving," says Brant Dumford, a volunteer.

This is the fourth time a group from southern Illinois has gone to Honduras to treat patients.

They are now in the process of building a clinic that will offer medical care year round.

Montoya says if everything goes as planned it will be functioning by January of next year when she and another group plan to make another trip.

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