Many Thanks!

by Nouf Bazaz

Silvia would like to thank Jenni Steinke, who returned to volunteer with Dar a Luz for a second time. Jenni is a labor and delivery nurse from the United States with considerable experience working in a hospital that specialized in high-risk pregnancies. Jenni spent two and a half months with Dar a Luz supporting and sharing her love with birthing women in La Ceiba.

Thank you to Donna Mitchell, a wonderful midwife Continue reading

My Journey through Honduras

by Maj Østerbye (November 2011)

Midwife Maj Østerbye with nurses in the Hospital of Tela

Midwife Maj Østerbye with nurses in the Hospital of Tela

Having worked in Denmark as a midwife for five years, I decided to take a break for a couple of years, pursuing my dream to travel through Latin America in search of traditional midwives and inspiration. In Denmark midwifery is a recognized university degree and the midwives attend births in the hospitals as well as in the home of the woman when desired.

About half a year through my travels, having met and studied with many traditional midwives, I felt a deep longing to work again and to get the possibility to apply both old and newfound technics.

In this very moment a friend from Denmark gave me a hint about the existence of “Dar a Luz Honduras” and fortunately I was accepted into the project.
For a little longer than a month I’ve been working here in Honduras, in three hospitals with different ways of practice, each representing their own culture.
My job has first of all been to give support to the women through labour and by doing so to demonstrate other technics to the staff here. Continue reading

There is such a great need!

by Pamela Gaw in May 2011

I found Silvia’s blog in February and immediately felt called to help.  Silvia is an amazing woman, so devoted and full of love.

A couple of things we did:

Medical Interns: We invited the Medical Interns over for dinner and to watch some birth videos. The students were very open-minded and were discussing  the freedom of movement and water births.

Workshop:  Silvia and I had a great workshop with 7 of the labor & delivery nurses. We spoke on relaxation techniques, positions during labor, massage techniques (which the nurses loved!), the Dar a Luz Honduras project and about doulas. I am so excited to hear that so many doulas are interested in coming to Honduras.  I just got back today and can’t wait to return.  There is such a great need for help in Honduras. Continue reading

My Experience in Honduras

Emma Dorsey and Carmen BarcelonaEmma Dorsey and Carmen Barcelona

I trained to become a doula with Brooklyn Young mother’s collective in September 2010.  At that time I had no intent on offering my doula services in Honduras but as the months passed I researched my Summer options.  Out of curiosity I wondered if there were any doulas in Honduras.  My internet search led me to Dar a Luz headed by a bold and ever so loving, Silvia Bahr.

I immediately emailed her and expressed my interest in working with her organization.

Although, I had trained for several months with BYMC, this would be my first time assisting
women in labor.  Needless to say I was nervous when I headed towards Doña Dunia’s home in La Ceiba.  I arrived around 9 and I knew that later that same day I would be heading to the newly constructed hospital to assist women in labor.  I was told that Emma, the other doula, who was also staying with la Doña would be there waiting for me.  Meeting Emma was more than reassuring.  We already had quite a few things in common which made for easy conversation.  She eased my nerves by simply being a cool woman to be around.

At the hospital, Continue reading

My Experience at Hospital Atlantida, La Ceiba, Honduras

by Gail Ward, 27.July 2011

  I spent the first week of July as a volunteer doula at Hospital Atlantida in La Ceiba, Honduras.  Although my husband Wade and I had worked in the Tegucigalpa area several times in years past (on construction projects, with medicalclinics, and teaching English, Sociology, and Art classes), branching out into a new work in an unfamiliar part of the country felt both intimidating and exciting.  But Silvia’s assurances and encouragement set me at ease. Continue reading

Valle de Copan

by Emma Dorsey

Hogar Materno La Entrada

Hogar Materno La Entrada

This past week, we went to El Valle de Copan, where we visited four clinics in total. Thanks to a generous grant from the Muellers in Germany, we were able to bring education materials to each clinic, as well as to the ‘’hogares materno’’ or  ‘’mothers’ waiting centers.’’

For me,stepping out of La Ceiba was an opportunity to gain perspective on the work in the hospital here. I witnessed a beautifully-managed birth in Santa Rita de Copan that gave me hope for improving the conditions in the Hospital Atlantida in La Ceiba. The clinicians at Atlantida tend to be younger and more experienced. In a sense, they are ‘’practicing’’ for their later work, which will likely be with private clients. This can be painful to watch, but I also find that many of these clinicians are more open to outside input than they might be later on in their careers. I hold onto my faith that the culture surrounding birth can be changed.

One night, I felt like I made a real impact on the birth of a woman named Zoe. Continue reading

Thanks to Carmen!

Carmen Barcelona

Carmen Barcelona

by Emma Dorsey

What a stroke of luck that Carmen Barcelona showed up at my door (or more accurately, Doña Dunia’s door)!  More than luck, it feels like fate.  Within a few minutes of her arrival, we realized that we live hardly a 20 minutes train ride from one another.  Not only that, I found out that she works for The Brooklyn Young Mothers’ Collective, an organization I have admired for a long time!

I first became interested in doula work when I attended a panel at the Barnard Center for Research on Women.  The panel was about the role of doulas as feminists, and representatives from The Doula Project, radicaldoula.com, and The Brooklyn Young Mothers´ Collective were present.  I immediately knew that this was work that I wanted to do.  I eventually joined The Doula Project, and underwent their additional training not long before heading down south.  My time in Honduras has been extremely important to me both personally and professionally, and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that a doula from BYMC appeared down here, too.  It seems like a little nod from the world that I’m on the right path.

Besides all of this fate silliness, it was a total joy to have Carmen stay in Doña Dunia’s house with me.  The three of us had some sassy lady time together, eating baleadas and chatting.  I was also so pleased to be able to chat about all things birth and Brooklyn, and to meet your mom on her way through La Ceiba.  Carmen– your stay was too short!  I hope we can reconnect in Brooklyn.

by Silvia …. Thanks from my side too, Carmen for spending in two days over 18 hours in the hospital, it was wonderful to have your presence there!!!!