Donations from Canada and Thank you Carmen!

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Carmen and Silvia

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Beautiful and much needed Donations

by Kristi Macaulay

Dar a Luz would like to extend a big thank you to Carmen Wiebe.
During her stay in Honduras, Carmen volunteered in two different hospitals supporting women in labour and delivery.  She also kindly helped with public relations and administration. Her assistance also extend prior to her stay in Honduras with the help and support of her community in Canada, where Carmen collected and donated  much needed items for use of Dar a Luz initiatives, including Canadian handmade and store bought baby clothes, as well as sewing kits for the Breast Feeding Pillow Project.

The project in Roatan, Experience

by Lori Berkermer

I am a Nurse Practitioner, Childbirth Educator and Doula from the US. I recently had an incredible opportunity, thanks to Dar a Luz Honduras, to spend 10 days volunteering as a doula in the public hospital on Roatan in the beautiful Bay Islands in Honduras. I supported 10 women during their labor and delivery while I was there and felt very privileged to share in their birth experiences. Life is not easy for these women. They deliver at the public hospital because they do not have health insurance or the means to pay for private care. The hospital, as with all the public health facilities in Honduras, is in need of repair and lacks many basic medical supplies. The laboring women are not allowed to have any partner or family member at their bedside during labor. So that’s where the volunteer doulas come in. I was able to give comfort in anyway I could…a back massage, holding their hand or letting them squeeze my arm. The nurses and doctors were watching my every move. That’s a good thing. I was trying to set an example on how easy it is to show a kindness. Building relationships with the nurses and doctors allowed me to talk with them about the benefits to the laboring women of changing positions during labor, walking and even taking sips of fluids.  Much education is still needed and protocols change very slowly in Honduras but with each volunteer a little knowledge is left behind.

Thanks again Silvia for this opportunity. Hopefully I can return someday. Keep up the great work!

Tinas Experience in German

Ich freue mich die Erfahrung in Honduras mit Dar a Luz gemacht zu haben und würde gerne auch alle, die Interesse haben daran teilhaben lassen.

Ich bin 22 Jahre alt und im 3. Semester der Gesundheits- und Kinderkrankenpflege- Ausbildung in Deutschland. Von meiner Ausbildungsstätte bekam ich die Erlaubnis ein Auslandspraktikum zu machen. Voller Begeisterung machte ich mich auf die Suche nach dem passenden und habe dann die Internetseite von Dar a Luz entdeckt. So viel zum Thema wer bin ich und was mach ich J

Hier angekommen bin ich am 1.07.2012. Nach einem langen Flug und einer ebenso langen Busfahrt kam ich dann völlig erschöpft in La Ceiba an. Dort ging es dann erst richtig los. Continue reading

Thanks to Alanah!

Above photo: Alanah after a workshop held by Silvia for student nurses in Hospital Atlantida.

Dar a Luz would like to thank Alanah Roy, Doula and Apprentice Midwife from New York City, for her work in Honduras. Alanah worked for three months serving Honduran women and supporting them throughout their labor. For the first month she was in a small clinic in Copan (with an average of 4 births a day) and spent the last two months in the busy Hospital Atlantida in La Ceiba (average of 18 births a day) dedicating her time through out the week and weekends while taking regular Spanish classes. In Hospital Atlantida, Alanah often used a birth ball (donated by Dar a Luz) with pregnant women, which introduced more of its benefits to hospital staff. This is a great development as women usually are not permitted to move around during labor.

Silvia would like to thank her for her dedication and all of the time and love that she devoted to the project.

My time in Copan

by Alanah Roy

Alanah Roy in El Jarral

Alanah Roy in El Jarral

I arrived in Honduras in January, spending my first month based out of Copan Ruinas. There I lived with a wonderful family while trying to balance my work with the Spanish classes Silvia organized for me. Every day I would take a collectivo to the Materno-Infantil Clinica in nearby El Jaral for work. In Copan, women with the means to do so secure transportation to the larger hospitals of Santa Rosa or nearby Guatemala or occasionally have a private doctor. The vast majority of the women who come into this clinic are from impoverished villages in the mountains. Continue reading

First Day Birth Ball Used at La Ceiba Hospital

by Nouf Bazaz

Yesterday, February 29th (on the day of a leap year!), Hospital Atlantida in La Ceiba closed out the month with the first day that the birth ball was used by a pregnant woman in the maternity unit! Typically in Hospital Atlantida, a woman is confined to her bed without pillows, lying on her back or side, even in the early stages of labor. Yesterday, one woman was three centimeters dilated and experiencing considerable discomfort (frequently screaming out in pain) after lying on her back in bed alone for several hours. Continue reading

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