Antonio Martinez cured from TB with the help of our generous donors!
Our good friend Antonio Martinez was deathly ill this past year, and with limited resources, the doctors in Copan had diagnosed him with terminal lung cancer. As a father of 8 children, and the sole provider for his family, we were very worried about this family.
We asked for donations so that he could receive better care, and we are so grateful for the generous donors who came forward and supported this family. Antonio’s brave daughter Grecia, one of our latest scholarship graduates, took him on a very long trip to the capital where he could be properly diagnosed at a large public hospital. The trip from Copan is about 9 hours one way, and it was Grecia’s first time travelling that far, with the added hardship of caring for her frail father during the journey.
We were hopeful to hear that he was diagnosed with TB, not cancer, so he had a better chance of recovery. He was very weak, however, and the need to journey back to the hospital four more times, an 18 hr round trip. The journey was very hard for him, and also a very expensive undertaking. The cost of travel, accommodation, hospital bills and medication added up quickly. The entire family needed to be treated for TB, and so the cost of the many rounds of medicine was very high.
This was only made possible by the generous donors who paid for his entire recovery process. It also underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive TB testing and treatment program in Copan, where there is an epidemic. Healthy Villages is now working with local health providers, headed by Clinica Ixchel, to build a TB program in Copan.
We are so happy to announce that the Lord has healed Antonio; he was given a clean bill of health at his last visit. He is still extremely frail, but his TB has been cured. He will be able to attend Grecia’s upcoming wedding this year! Please give generously to help us build a TB program in Copan. We are also raising the funds to fix the Martinez family’s crumbling adobe home, as it is rainy season in Copan and Antonio needs a dry and warm environment to gain full health.
Our latest scholarship graduate-and now a nurse at Clinica Ixchel.
We are so proud of our eldest scholarship student, Grecia Martinez! She has graduated from nursing school after many years of hard work. Grecia spent her high school years working on weekdays to help pay for her schooling and attended school on the weekends.
Thanks to generous donors, we have been able to help Grecia with her high school and then nursing school costs for the past few years. Generous donors also helped Grecia to buy the new nursing uniform she is wearing in these photos, and to be able to attend her graduation with her family last week.
Healthy Villages has now pledged to continue supporting Grecia by paying her monthly salary as a nurse at Clinica Ixchel, where she is now working full time. The clinic offers many programs to the community, and Healthy Villages has partnered with the clinic to support these programs in a variety of ways. Grecia will be helping to run our new Mayan Community Health Program!
The first Mayan girls to graduate from high school in Copan and the first graduates from our program
We are proud to announce the first graduates from our scholarship fund, twin sisters Dora Nohemi and Irma Suyapa Lopez Arias. They are not only the first graduates from our program, but they are the first Maya Chorti girls that we know of in Copan to graduate from high school!
Dora and Irma are wonderful examples to the other youth in their village. They have studied hard and received good grades in high school, and have also developed into strong leaders in their community.
During their last two years of high school they designed and taught adult literacy classes to 24 adults in their village for six months in the evenings, in addition to their regular studies and homework. They also headed a school business project with a team of other students where they started their own successful fast food stand in town.
Irma and Dora have also worked part time at a local hotel for over ten years, as well as helping their mother in a community restaurant in their village. All of this, in addition to serving as leaders in their church and helping with their eight younger brothers and sisters. They are shining examples of female leaders in their community and will definitely go far in life. Dora and Irma were able to fulfill their potential because generous donors cared enough to support these girls with their education!