Childbirth Education

by Cassandra West

Fellow volunteer Zoe and myself have been running Dar a Luz birth education workshops for pregnant women in Santa Rosa. There were 30 women at the first workshop we did. In order to help break the ice and foster a warm atmosphere we started with a raffle where people won prizes of baby clothes. This went down well and caused many smiles. We then prayed together, something that deeply resonates with Honduran women here. It was really beautiful. The workshop felt really valuable and provided information that not all of these women were aware of. Some did not know what a placenta was, for example. Having such knowledge helps prevent shock and fear during labor! It was a wonderful experience and we look forward to running the workshop again next week. A wonderful consequence of this work, too, was that some of the women we ran workshops with also ended up being in hospital while we were there. We had already developed a relationship with them and this helped them during labour, fostering a more comforting atmosphere. Such beautiful work Dar a Luz supports here.

Rural Birth Work

bdscn1009y Griet Vandamme

My name is Griet, a midwife from Belgium who spent 7 weeks working for Dar a Luz in Honduras.

I contacted Silvia whilst volunteering in another project in Guatemala. Within a month everything was arranged and I stepped out of the bus in La Ceiba, my first stop.

I am very grateful to Silvia for making it possible to do a lot of different things for Dar A Luz. I worked in a public city hospital as a doula in La Ceiba, I worked in the small mountain village Yarucca training local midwives. I also spent some time in a maternal-infant clinic and healthcare centre close to Copan Ruinás giving information to pregnant girls and women. In between I was able to explore the beautiful Honduras a little more.

But for me the most impressive experience was working and staying for two weeks in La Moskitia, Honduras’ tropical rainforest that also covers a part of Nicaragua. The Miskitos own this beautiful part of Honduras and with their own language Miskito and their cultural habits they try to make the best of their lives. There is no access to basic needs like electricity and running water. This part of Honduras can only be reached by taking a boatride after a long and adventurous ride in a jeep.

The village of Ibans has a centro de salud which became my home for 2 weeks. Continue reading

Thanks to Jenna!

Jenna, thank you so much for all your wonderful support!

Thousands thanks yo your community for all the wonderful donations you brought with you!

Thanks to the lady, which donated a lot of gently used children shoes for unprotected children feet here in Honduras!

Thanks for your judge fundraising action and for all the wonderful materials you purchased for us, as fetoscopes, pinards, blood pressure cuffs, essential oils, for bringing down two heavy extra suitcase.

Thanks for all the ring slings, the fabric, the sawing materials, for EVERYTHING!

And overall, thank you for coming to Honduras, to join us here, for your big heart and for being a doula for a lot of women in one of the public hospitals of Honduras!

Thanks for donating your time! Thanks to all the people , which supported your trip!

Compassion and Respect

by Virginia Mccabe

I have been working as a doula/ birth companion for the birthing mothers. My responsibilities are to comfort and support the women throughout their labor. The job is very rewarding! The women are not allowed to have family members in the labor ward so having someone to talk to, hold their hand and comfort is very appreciated by the women.


Lottery at the Childbirth education Class

During my time here I have been a part of a great hands-on birthing class, hosted by Silva. We had a wide range of experienced to new mothers, even a nurse joined us. I thought the information was very informative, the women gained very useful knowledge on birth and were all very grateful.

Working for Dar a Luz is very flexible. You can take a few days off in order to enjoy the beautiful islands around Honduras. Or you can work in different areas.

For me, my time and experience here has been invaluable. I came here wanting to help these women because they don’t have the same birthing luxuries as in my country but deserve the same compassion and respect. Although we speak a different language love and kindness transcends any language barrier. Coming away from this I now know that birth is what I want to study, to become a midwife.

Thanks to Emily and Christianna!

Christianna and Emliy

Christianna,Doula and Nurse Midwife from the United States, and Emily, Doula from England.

Out of my heart a big thanks to you Christianna and Emliy! You came both at the same time! You did an amazing job!  It has been amazing to have you here! And I am looking forward to see you again! Thank you for supporting so many women in the hospital for participating in the childbirth educationc and supporting the seminar for respectful birth! Thanks for all your good ideas and deep understanding of the aims of the project!

Thanks to you Christanna for doing placenta models, preparing and holding an RCP for newborn workshop, for all the donations you brought along with you and you organized! Thanks to you Emily for supporting office work, and your wonderful initiative and ideas to support breastfeeding  in the hospital!

All the best wishes from Honduras!


Another Thanks!



Hi Ashleigh! It has been so amazing to have you here. Thanks so much for being a loving and caring doula in the hospital. I know you supported so many women and worked long shifts. Thanks especially for the amazing office work you did, and for contributing your excellent skills to our project! Thanks for supporting our project from home and for wanting to come back next year!

Lots of Babies

Christianna and Emliy

Midwife Chrsitianna and Doula Emily

by Emily Housman

Being in Honduras is a wonderful thing to do. There’s loads of fresh fruit, smiling la Ceiba faces, happy honking taxis, gorgeous islands and stunning mountains that look awesome when the clouds at the top light up with the golden light. There are also many people without much money, random power-cuts, plastic bags in the streets, mangos falling from trees, and lots and lots of babies being born.

It’s been so wonderful to spend my days here being with women who go to the local hospital to be cared for as they bring their kid into this world. About 20 expectants mums find themselves there each day. They are incredible. Having a baby can be really difficult when conditions aren’t conducive. There’s a real humbling feeling that settles in when I’m with them, and be there with them through it all. Some of them are really quite young, in their teens. I usually only go home when I’m out of energy, because I would prefer just to be there with them. They all have such big hearts.

I’ve been really delighted that all the women I’ve asked have wanted to breastfeed their babies. The truth is that lots don’t, despite their hopes, especially when there’s a long time to wait for their baby after the birth. I encourage them that they truly do have enough milk, at first they aren’t so sure. It’s heartwarming when I show pictures of the babies to the families waiting outside.

I feel so grateful to be here for this time to share with the women and support them in having a more loving birth experience.

Today was awesome because a campaign began here at the hospital all about Respecting Birth. Presentations by Silvia and a well-respected local gynecologist covered issues from benefits of delayed cord clamping and skin to skin, to why not to do so many episiotomies and Kristeller maneuvers. Let’s protect the perineum. Posters have gone up in the delivery room and ward. It’s another step towards a better experience for each laboring mum.

Next week I‘ll be spending some time on a island not too far from here where there are beautiful underwater reefs and fish, and I’m sure lots of coconut trees. There are also fancy hotels where people come from all over the world to enjoy cocktails and the ocean views, and around the corners are lots of shanty homes, busy streets, and meandering tourists. There is also a hospital, and lots of babies being born.

Krista’s First Month

by Krista Blakelock

Krista and Doña Dunias Dogs

Doula Krista and seven new puppies

Krista and Ashleigh

Doula Krista and Doula Ashleigh

I am surprised that it has already been one month since I arrived in La Ceiba, Honduras. The time has gone by so fast and I am excited to continue working for Dar A Luz in Santa Rosa de Copan.  For the month of June I will work in a public hospital, as well as in a hogar materno teaching child birth education and prenatal yoga.

Working in the public hospital of La Ceiba  at least five days a week for six or more hours each day, I was able to support more 50 women during their labour and see 36 babies come into the world. Some days were incredibly draining: emotionally, physically and mentally but every morning I woke up with the desire to return.

At first I was nervous because I couldn’t speak Spanish very well, and thought that without words I would not be able to connect with the women as I do in Canada. I learned very quickly that there is immense value to simply holding a hand, offering a hair elastic, bringing a clean hospital gown or saying over and over again “usted es muy fuerte.”

I have seen a lot very upsetting practices that I never imagined could happen in a hospital but, I have also been able to marvel at the strength and courage of all the women and girls who come into the labour room and persevere. It has been very rewarding to learn about Honduran culture, gender roles, social issues as well as sample different foods, watch people dance in the streets and learn spanish.






My time in Honduras

by Nancy Bettis

In October 2013, I travelled to Honduras to volunteer as a birthing partner for the organisation Dar A Luz which is run by Sylvia Bahr. Whilst there I witnessed her devotion and the incredible support she gives to the women of La Ceiba (and other locations in Honduras). Sylvia selflessly dedicates her own time to supporting and equally importantly educating women and teenagers of La Ceiba teaching them what to expect in pregnancy and child birth. Her work is invaluable and I was humbled to spend time in her presence. Sylvia also runs workshops for doctors and midwives. Above other topics one important is teaching them how a more compassionate, supportive Continue reading

Wonderful Midwife Support


Rhonda teaching in San Ignacio


Rhonda and tradional midwife Juanita


Some of San Ignacios Midwives

by Kristi Macaulay

A warm thank you goes out to Rhonda Lee Grantham.
Rhonda is an experienced midwife and doula in Olympia, Washington. (Wild Rose Midwifery). She is a homebirth and a hospital midwife. With a lot of international experience, she deeply understands the role of a doula and midwife in a country like Honduras.

During her stay in Honduras, Rhonda volunteered as a Doula in 3 different hospitals throughout the country. Her midwife skills were put to use in San Ignacio during a 5 midwife training seminar, where together with Silvia, Rhonda prepared the curriculim. This was the first ever intense training seminar facilitated by Dar a Luz.  Rhonda also hold a one day midwife seminar in the mountains of La Ceiba. Her talents also extended into the office, where she was a great help with administration and public relations for Dar a Luz.

Rhonda is an open minded midwife. Her empathy, compassion and intuition was invaluable. Thank you Rhonda!