Greetings to CAMO Nutrition Program supporters

Greetings to CAMO Nutrition Program supporters


Deb Marino and Joe Marino

We cannot express enough the gratitude we feel toward all of you for providing your support to this vital program of Central American Medical Outreach. Over the years this program serves the people of western Honduras by providing essential nutritional assessments, education, medical foods and supplements to individuals, families, schools and communities, as well as training to health personnel, hospital staff and community leaders. Time and again we witness stories of individuals and families recovering from crises with the help of nutritional aid coupled with other CAMO resources.

We have recently returned from our 13th trip to Honduras with CAMO. In Santa Rosa de Copan we accompanied Bianca, the CAMO nutritionist, in the CAMO nutrition clinic where individuals seek help for malnutrition and other nutrition related ailments. We made visits with her to an infant nutrition recuperation center, child day care center and a nursing home for abandoned seniors, where Bianca monitors the progress of patients and gives guidance on diet and supplements. We also gave a class on medical diets to hospital staff.

Once again it was an instructive and emotional experience. Every vulnerable child and adult we see has a heartbreaking story – we could speak at length about Deris, Abel, Jairo, Efrain, and many others. We saw firsthand that the services provided are essential, impactful and life-changing, and begin to fill a need for hope. And we also witnessed how the interaction between Honduran and US counterparts continues to build bridges between our USA and Honduran communities, and recognize that our fates are intertwined.

In 2024 we have the good fortune to welcome an additional member to our US based nutrition team. Wendy Anderson, a WIC dietitian for many years, joined us in Santa Rosa de Copan. She adds her years of experience with WIC and as a lactation consultant, as well as her many personal gifts.

As with CAMO’s other health and community programs, the nutrition program is founded on the principles of identification of essential needs by local leaders, collaborative partnership between Honduran and USA based counterparts, and sustainability of services. However, we constantly grapple with the challenge of how to make the nutrition program sustainable. We are repeatedly humbled by the generosity of spirit that we witness in Honduras. This spirit of giving and mutual collaboration is fostered by the CAMO model.

But we have come to understand that financial sustainability in the area of nutrition is an elusive goal. This is due to the unescapable fact that those who present to CAMO in nutritional crisis are the very same who lack the most basic resources of food and money. Keep in mind that while Honduras does offer significant public health benefits, these are woefully inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of its citizens. Unlike our experience in the US, there are no public social programs to support individuals and families facing homelessness, joblessness, injury, illness or theft. There is no WIC food assistance program. There are no public housing supports, workers compensation benefits, or reliable social security system upon which one rely.

So, we do rely on the generous donations of people like you to help cover the costs of personnel, equipment, medical foods, transportation and supplies. Know that your contributions matter, and through them you are helping many individuals, from the tiniest infants to vulnerable adults, find health and hope in their futures.

Thank you

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