Honduras 2010: Guinope

Monday was our first chance to visit Guinope. This town had never had a clinic come to see them, so it wasn’t just a first trip for us – it was the first time many of the people in this town had ever seen a doctor, period.

I wish I had taken pictures of the road to the town – it was the craziest road I’ve ever seen in Honduras (and that’s saying a lot). Dirt, ruts running everywhere from the heavy rains, huge potholes, you name it. It was a nice, 2 hour bumpy ride.


But even with the long drive and sore butts, it was worth the time to get here. This town was something special.

The people were so welcoming and thankful and it was one of those times where you feel you got SO much more from them than you could ever give.


We set up our clinic in some type of community center/administration building that worked out great for all our stations: doctors, pharmacy, glasses, temperature/blood pressure, waiting area.




This couple was amazing.

He was totally blind, and she could only see out of her right eye. They were also homeless and were only able to get food from the town once a month. Otherwise, they didn’t have anything. We ended up with some extra money in our group and a few of us were able to take them shopping, buy food and supplies and help them get to their make-shift shelter they were living in.

And yet, they were more thankful for the little bit we could offer them than I am for just about anything in a normal day.

It’s incredibly hard for me to write about this – I just can’t find the words to say exactly what I felt or how they affected all of us.

This is why I think it’s important to help and volunteer and get out of your comfort zone to do something for someone other than yourself.

Because things happen to you that you can’t explain. You come back changed and  there’s no way to describe it. You just know that you’re different when you get home.


Here’s the only way I can describe these trips.

I get home and everything seems normal except me.

I feel like I don’t fit in at home anymore.

It’s almost as if everything inside of me has been taken out, emptied, rearranged, put back in, and then filled up with love and peace and grace and joy. And I’m not the same person that lived in my house before the trip. I’m not the same person that was at work the week before I left. But I don’t know how to adjust to that because everything is the same at home. Does that make any sense? It’s like I’m a different version of myself and I have to find a way to make myself at home again.

Guinope touched all of our hearts that week, in ways that we may not even realize yet. There was something special about this town and I truly hope I get to go back.

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  1. Wow, I just started my day with tears. This is so moving. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Your explanation of how you feel when you come back from these trips makes so much sense to me! My college required us to participate in a 3 month study abroad program, which was amazing! I spent 3 months living and volunteering in the Dominican Republic and when I came home everything seemed so strange. I really felt different but my surroundings were the same. And then it was hard when I lost touch with those feelings and found myself falling back into my same patterns of privilege. Thank you for reminding me of people and experiences that have changed who I am, too!

  3. Helping abroad will never make you feel the same here. You can appreciate all you ahve much more when you see the little others have. Thanks you for reminding those of us who haven’t traveled in a while.

  4. so amazing! i love reading all these recaps and am so happy you are sharing just how wonderful it is to volunteer – not only to give to others but to give to yourself. for when we put others first, we reap innumerable rewards.

    love you!

    and congrats on winning the food + wine contest – look forward to seeing more recipes :)

    happy weekend!!!

  5. Bran- I know the feeling. :) I have experienced it myself several times, and see it every day with the students I work with. They never expect even a brief international experience can change their lives forever, but it does.

    Amazing, isn’t it?

  6. it’s so amazing what you’ve done for those people….i remember i used to feel this same way when i’d get back from youth missions trips with our church…each time i prayed that the passion would continue throughout the whole year!

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