When I first arrived in Roatan, Honduras, I stopped by the Clinica Esperanza in Sandy Bay. My friend, Kelly, is working there and I wanted to check out their program. It is AMAZING what they do on a daily basis. There are two other main hospitals on the island, one public (very limited resources) and one private (very expensive consults and treatment). Clinica Esperanza is a private licensed hospital but they offer affordable consults and all prescribed meds are free! The clinic sometimes even pays for transport to and treatments on the mainland that they aren’t able to provide here in Roatan.
The Clinica began almost by accident. Ms Peggy Stranges moved to Roatan in 2001 after working for years as a nurse in the States. Her housekeeper knew she was a nurse, and after a while she started bringing people over who needed basic help – a few sutures or a basic consultation. Peggy helped out here and there, and eventually ended up converting her downstairs into a clinic while the upstairs part of the house remained her own living space. Now, 11 years later, the Clinica is in its own building along the main road, close to a very poor neighborhood. Peggy has a staff of volunteers, temporary interns, and a few permanent employees. My friend Kelly is their new Development Director, so look out for Clinica Esperanza to be on your donation radar soon, she’s that good!
People start lining up at the clinic by 6am just to get in at some point that day. The nurses and doctors there see 60-80 patients per day, charging only 70 lempiras per visit – that’s about US $3.50 per person. And if someone can’t pay, that’s ok; nobody is turned away from the clinic. They cater to women and children primarily, with gynecological services, infant and pediatric services, as well as family planning information and education. They also offer dental care, basic triage, and they have a full pharmacy on site. What Peggy has been able to do thus far is astounding, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Clinica Esperanza…I know it will continue to grow and improve healthcare for residents of Roatan for years to come.
Check out Clinica Esperanza’s website for more info or to donate. They are always in need of supplies so if you’re visiting Roatan be sure to take a look at their list and see what you can bring with you. It’s easy for you to pack a few extra items, but it could make a huge impact on someone’s health.