Year in Review — 2018

In memory of Paul Manship


We ended 2018 on a solid financial basis.  All Programs were fully funded by donations.  Program budgets have been submitted for 2019.  We will need to continue a rigorous fundraising program in 2019, to full fund all of the programs.

Donations by Category:
2015 2016 2017 2018
Dental 33,539 19188 17,370 18,980
Scholarships 36,813 36,215 66,995 25,013
Nutrition 0 0 38,409 50,130
Bilingual School 15,067 26,871 17,135 19,425
Bilingual School Construction 0 21,039 21,250 4,775
Virtual Fiesta 21,142 9675 0 0
CREE (Tech & Robotics) 0 0 20,171 19,525
Undesignated Funds 43,512 52692 70,649 31,055
150,073 165,680 251,979 168,903


In 2018, we hosted 13 Brigade groups, for a total of 137 travelers.  Groups were affiliated with the following organizations:

Brown University

Wingate University

Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)

University of Maine

Virginia Commonwealth University

Ohio State University

Duke University

University of Chicago

Genessee Valley Presybyterian

Unidad Hospitaleria Movil Latino America (UMHLA)


We finished the 2018 school year on Nov 30th.  It was a very successful year.  We had 135 students enrolled – from Kindergarten to 5th grade.  In the next school year (2019), we will have 155 students, in grades Kindergarten to 6th grade.  We have finally, after 7 years, arrived at full capacity at the school.  That is really exciting!

Thanks to the generous $10,000 donation from Catholic Relief Services, and the addition of $10,000 from StS generous donors, we built our last building on the campus – a combined kitchen, dining hall, and meeting space.  It is beautiful!


Thanks to the donation of Alan Ostrow’s time, the Hondurans robotics team competed in in Mexico City.  The team was coached again by Daniel Marquez (high school math teacher) and Henglyns Lemus (High School Informatics teacher).   We came in 16th place, and received a Silver medal for design.  StS invested $15,000 to support this team, and send them to Mexico City.  It is expected that the 2019 competition will be in Canada.  We have not yet decided if we will have the funds available to send a team to the international competition.

However, the excitement from the International Robotics competition has led to the creation of local Legos Robotics teams.  We are supporting the startup of robotics clubs in Santa Lucia and Concepcion.  There are Legos teams in Honduras that compete in-country, and we are hoping that some of the teams from the Frontera will be able to participate in those competitions.  In late November, we held a local robotics competition, in which 6 teams participated.


The overall program (CREE) to provide technology based curriculum support is currently reaching 2300 children, used by 31 teachers in 12 schools.  By end of the 2019 school year, the plan is to cover 3750 children, and 68 teachers in 23 schools.  We utilize the Khan Academy in a local delivery vehicle called KA lite by  We won a $15,000 grant from Learning Equality.  This, coupled with a donation of 25 laptop computers, will support our expansion into seven middle schools and seven elementary schools.

In addition to our work directly in the schools, we supported the Math Olympics with tablets loaded with Khan Math lessons.  This year’s national finals were in La Esperanza.  The students from Intibucá did very well.

NUTRITION (Mani)                                                                                                        

We are providing micronutrient supplements to 2800 children in 3 municipalities.  The annual budget for this program is $100,000.  In June, the Mathile Foundation awarded us a grant of $50,000 to continue the program from September 2018 through August 2019.  We need to raise the remaining funds.  With  the recent donation of $12,000 from Tim Gunderman, our goal is to expand the end date of the program to the end of 2019.  We are currently about $20,000 short of that goal.

 SCHOLARSHIPS —for High School Students (and a few University students)

Fidelina Gehner  has created a very stable and self-sustaining program (successful due to her hard work on continually fund-raising for this program!).  The annual budget for this program is $50,000.

In 2018, the scholarships were distributed as follows:

  • San Antonio: $3,500 (20 students)
  • Camasca: $4,500 (50 students)
  • Concepcion: $4,200 (23 students)
  • Santa Lucia: $3,500 (20 students)
  • Magdalena: $3,500 (20 students)
  • University students: $23,500 (donor designated funds for 8 students)


Drs. Larry and Jan Tepe have completed the transition of the StS Dental practices into two private practice dental centers.   Both dentists are seeing more patients that ever, making more money than their previous salaries. Idalia Ramos has private dental practice, drawing patients from La Esperanza.   Dr. Floricia (Flor) Amaya attends the University in Tegucigalpa during the week; she sees patients from Friday through Monday, and is fully scheduled.

The Tepes  have continued to raise funds, to support StS’s dental services in the Frontera.


  • Paul Manship: Executive Director.  Passed away in March 2018.
  • Laura Manship: Executive Director.  Working from MA, with trips to Honduras 3 times/year.
  • Mariela Rodriguez: Assistant Director.  Living in Honduras.  Contract July 2018 –  June 2020.
  • Edel Andino: Technology Coordinator.  Contract June 2018 through May 2020.
  • Damaris Quintero: Scholarship Coordinator.  Full time employee since June 2015.
  • Gisela Ramos and Sandra Diaz: MANI Coordinators.  Full time employees since June 2016.
  • Gustavo Meza: Brigade Coordinator.  Full time employee since August 2017.
  • Iris Giron: Community Development Coordinator (funded by VCU and Brown Universities).  Full time employee since September 2017.
  • Nely Vasquez: Recent graduate from the Leadership Center, working as a teacher’s aide in the Bilingual School.  Full time employee, started September 2018.
  • Iris Villanueva: Position is “Promotion and Community Relations” for the Bilingual School.  She is charged with finding students to enroll, especially from other municipalities, and providing mentoring to the Director and Teachers at the school.
  • Volunteers for 2019Grace Twohig, Maddie McKennaAsa Kaylor; Henry Lathrop; Antonio Peraza; Elizabeth Morris.


Report prepared by:  Laura Failla Manship, LICSW, MBA,

Executive Director



Honduras Spends 80% Less Than the Rest of the World on Health Care

Status of Healthcare in Honduras 

The Archivos de Medicina published an article on the situation of health care in Honduras.  The article was published in Spanish in 2016.  In 2017, it was translated into English, and published in Archives of Medicine.  (links to the articles are below)

Some stricking facts from the study are:

Per Person Spending on Health Care

Honduras spends $101 per person per year on health care. ***

The average in Latin American and the Caribbean is $392 per person.

World average is $628 per person.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations spend $2,880 per person.

*** Shoulder to Shoulder, under its contract with the Honduran government, receives $19 per person per year to provide medical care.

Availability of Medical Providers

The capital city (Tegucigalpa) had 23.8 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants.

The Department of Intibuca (where Shoulder to Shoulder provides services) has 2 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants.

None of the 18 departments in Honduras meet the minimum indicator of 25 physicians per 10,000 inhabitants as indicated by the regional human resources target.

The unemployment rate among registered doctors is 46%.


  • Honduras suffers from a nondefined public health policy;
  • Epidemiological surveillance systems are almost non-existent;
  • State payments to decentralized entities are not timely, (there are delays of up to one or two years);
  • Medical fees have been frozen for more than ten years;
  • There is corruption by government and private managers; and
  • The economic deficit of the public network of Hospitals exceeded 600 million Euros (33,000 medical centers, laboratories and hospitals run the risk of disappearing).

Links to the articles:

Situación del Sistema de Salud en Honduras y el Nuevo Modelo de Salud Propuesto

Situation of the Health System in Honduras and the New Proposed Health Model (English version)


Every month, the Shoulder to Shoulder Coordinator of Healthcare Services — Dr. Gloria Castro — sends a report to the Ministry of Health which details the Health Services provided in the previous month. StS provides healthcare to over 70,000 people, in seven (7) municipalities.  The amount we receive from the government is not sufficient.  Receiving only $19 per person leaves us with a huge deficit each year. 

These reports are now posted on the STS website.

Click HERE to read them.    
Every donation matters  – no matter how small.  

Little by Little, with your help, we’ll make a difference in the world.    

Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc.   3445 South Dixie Drive, Ste 200 Dayton, OH  45439 or contact us at:  

The Other Side of the Mountain

By Jan Tepe, DDS – Dentist who has traveled to Honduras for 20 years

Note:  Even though Dr. Jan Tepe is writing about DENTAL services — the children she writes about are the same children who are in StS’s nutrition program.

It was a trip I’d wanted to do for nearly ten years. We had heard about a community in the area of San Marcos de Sierra that was “the poorest of the poor”. We’d already established school dental health programs in Santa Lucia and Concepcion and wondered what could be next. I mentioned the possibility of visiting this community, the poorest of the poor, called Delicias, to Laura Manship some months ago. She herself had made the hike and cautiously discouraged us from trying to get there. It’s a long and difficult hike, up one side of a mountain and then down the other side. We discussed the obstacles of the hike with our group – two dental hygienists, the Honduran dentist and her assistant, a public health dentist, and our two drivers/guides. Everyone agreed to the plan. The trek began at 4:00 am when the truck arrived to meet us near the square in Concepcion. After a half hour or so on the main road we turned onto the dirt road. For the next hour we bumped and bounced over ruts and rocks, up hills so steep I didn’t think it was possible for a vehicle to climb. So this is what four wheel drive is for! In 20 years of travel to Honduras, these roads were as bad as any I’d ever seen.

Eventually, the road ended and the two trucks were tucked in close to an embankment. We donned our backpacks filled with dental supplies and water and set out. The path up begins somewhat wide with sharp drop-offs to the valley. Ahead of us was a Honduran woman in a dress and sandals carrying a box that was held by a nylon net looped over her forehead and hanging down her back. Our group spread out, each of us stopping as necessary to catch our breath and admire the spectacular scenery. The sun had come up and it was a beautiful day. The woman disappeared from sight and presumably took a shortcut too steep for us, but we later saw her on the other side of the mountain. Up, up, up, through a narrow ridge with scrubby foliage where the terrain fell off on both sides.

After 2 hours we were rewarded with the sight of the village. This isn’t your normal village. We saw three buildings – a public health clinic, a school, and a small pulperia. People in this area live tucked away, far from one another. We set up our supplies outside the school and waited until the children and their parents arrived. There is no electricity in Delicias and little contact with the outside world. The people are neat and clean with little girls wearing dresses and mothers wearing homemade dresses and sandals. Dra. Idalia gave a talk, discussing how to brush teeth, why we brush teeth, diet, and what we planned to do.

And what exactly did we plan? Well, after each child had brushed their teeth, we examined their teeth and applied a material called silver diamine fluoride (SDF) to areas of decay. SDR kills the bacteria in the cavity and stops the decay. Sometimes this require two or three applications. The downside is that the areas of decay turn black. The upside is it is painless, requires no injection, and the teeth are saved. This material in gaining popularity, especially in developing countries. After seeing first hand the difficulties in simply getting to this community, we understood why these people cannot come to our clinic and also why it would be impossible to get portable equipment to them.

The kids and parents were great. Of the 50 or so children that we saw, only one little guy about 4 years old screamed his head off. The others patiently waited in line and then compliantly opened their mouths while we strange looking, tall, pale people dabbed stuff on their teeth.

Shortly before noon we left Delicias to do the hike in reverse. If up the mountain was strenuous, down the mountain was scary, with steep switchbacks every 15 feet or so and loose scree. Walking on marbles, down a playground slide would describe it. The way back was no easier, but somehow the way home always seems shorter. We have a new appreciation for the lives of the people on the other side of the moutain.

Jan Tepe, DDS, in Delicias, Intibuca, Honduras

Jan Tepe, DDS, in Delicias, Intibuca, Honduras

Delicias, Intibuca, Honduras

Delicias, Intibuca, Honduras