STS News

13 Years Later

May 11, 2020     Honduras, just like the rest of the world, is struggling with the coronavirus.  The virus has had many unexpected negative consequences.  One of them is that Medical groups are currently not allowed into Honduras. StS’s Medical Brigades provide vital medical services in

The Borders Are Closed

The impact of the novel coronavirus is being felt around the whole world.  In Honduras, it is having many negative consequences.  Today, I will write about one aspect: The Borders Are Closed The micronutrient supplement that StS provides to almost 3,000 children is called Chispuditos.  It is

Year In Review–2019

We are coming to the close of a very successful year that featured continued success in Education, Nutrition and Brigades plus a number of smaller legacy programs. Finances The total cash on hand as of 12/30/19 is $280,199.  The program budgets for 2019 and 2020 are $281,645

Climbing for the Children of Intibuca

Climbing for the Children of Intibuca Written by Ronald Quintero Last intense training before I depart to Alaska for my May 14, 2019 Denali Expedition! Standing at 20,310 ft / 6,190 meters of elevation, Mount Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America and the third

Climbing Mt Denali to Nourish Children

Climbing Mt. Denali to Support Shoulder to Shoulder Written by Ronald Quintero On May 14, 2019 I will be embarking on my fourth summit climb in the Alaska range. Standing at 20,310 ft / 6,190 meters of elevation, Mount Denali is the highest mountain peak in North

The Robots and Kids are INSIDE — Thanks to YOU!!

New Meeting Space is Complete! Catholic Relief Services gave us a grant of $10,000 — to build a small kitchen and dining hall for our school.  But, our vision was to have a large space — where the children could eat, but where we could also host

Year in Review — 2018

In memory of Paul Manship FINANCES 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

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)

The "Marriage" between Brown, VCU, and Wingate Universities

Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, had never met the travelers from Brown, VCU, and Wingate Universities.  Two weeks ago, Shoulder to Shoulder did something that we had never done before – we merged travelers from THREE universities in order to create ONE

Matt and the MAHEC Brigade

MAHEC by Backpack Matt The first brigade I worked with as a Shoulder to Shoulder brigade coordinator was MAHEC. They arrived on February 10th and stayed until the 22nd. It was a group of ten people comprised of five doctors, a pharmacist, a pharmacy student, a medical student,

Change Comes with Relationships

Joanne Theobald, MSW, prepared this blog after the recent service trip of the University of Wyoming to Agua Salada, Concepcion, Intibuca. A lot of development work is two steps forward and one step back. But what keeps things going is the amazing synergy of relationships. Resources are

Old Dogs With New Tricks

Disclaimer: Analogies almost always hobble, limp, and may seem to express things that were unintended. Here, the term “old” should simply be interpreted as meaning experienced; veterans, if you will. The term “dogs” is an unfortunate accident of a well utilized adage that shifts understanding according to

Shoulder to Shoulder Connects Rural Honduran Communities to KA Lite

Written by Grace Twohig Grace is a long-term volunteer working with Shoulder to Shoulder’s CREE (Centro Regional para Excelencia en Educación or Regional Center for Excellence in Education) program. She has been amazing at extending our impact in assisting local schools. This blog was also published on

Here is Half a Sandwich

Jessica, an accomplished professional in the world of business, accepted an invitation to visit Honduras and see some of the work we do. She was having a great time visiting our bilingual school, playing with and meeting the children. But she didn’t know Spanish and had little

Who Heals Who?

We are always looking to receive new groups and individuals to visit us and share in the incredible work of Shoulder to Shoulder. Principle among the reasons for this is that people are the primary resource for development work. Shoulder to Shoulder is built upon the commitment

The Circus Comes to Town

Remember when you were a little kid and you went to the circus? The clowns were always special. The iconic representation of this is when a little, colorful car pulled out into the circus ring with bells, whistles and honks, stopped in the center, and someone opened

Thanks For the Visit

Laura and I always try to be as present as possible to the medical service trip groups that visit us. They are the backbone of this organization, embodying an ethos of compassionate and just service to those in the most desperate need. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible

Absolute Folly

Absolute folly! A complete waste of time and resources! A recipe for disaster! An olympic-style, Honduran robotic team, particularly one from the backwoods of Camasca and Concepción, Intibucá is equivalent to the Jamaican bobsled team. This was the reaction to the lame-brained idea of Shoulder to Shoulder

It Happened In The Rain

I have written a blog for every one of the brigade groups that have visited us in Honduras since Laura and I came to Shoulder to Shoulder almost three years ago. First, I think it is the least that we can do to celebrate and thank these

The Boys at the End of the Road

The boys had been there all day long; three scruffy looking kids, probably 9, 10, or 11, years old, inseparable, taking in all of the unique goings-on. The Americans had come to their small village of Matazanos and had set up their health clinic at their school.

Wyoming, Home Away From Home

It’s been a particular long and challenging brigade season. From January 7 through March 26, 2017 we have given welcome to six separate medical teams onto the Frontera. Apart from these official medical brigades, we have also hosted two groups traveling with our board president, Wayne Waite,

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, No It's OSU

We were so pleased a couple of weeks back to welcome Ohio State University and Buckeyes Without Borders to the Frontera of Intibucá for the first time. It seemed a bit strange that it was their first time here on a brigade in as much as Shoulder

As the Crow Flies

“As the crow flies…” is a great expression, probably a little bit overused in the US.  We don’t hear the expression here in Honduras very much. Primarily, I guess, because we don’t have too many crows. We do have vultures, “zopilotes” we call them, and they fly

A Gentle Breeze

We’re in the midst of our brigade season. We started February with UHMLA’s tremendously successful surgery brigade in La Esperanza. At the same time we welcomed the Brown / Wingate team to their clinic in Guachipilincito. Dr. Harris came a week early for that trip, and Dr.

Is it a Miracle?

The UHMLA (Unidad Hospitalaria Móvil Latino América) has completed its second, successful surgery brigade in La Esperanza, working collaboratively with Shoulder to Shoulder and the hospital HEAC (Hospital Enrique Aguilar Cerrato). They’ve made me think about miracles. At least initially, my consideration of miracles had nothing to

Bringing About Health

Like most people, I know very little about medicine and the intricacies of my physiology. I probably should know a lot more. I’ve certainly been sick or injured enough times during the course of my life, and often dependent on the services of medical professionals. They always

Robots and Transcendence

  You might think robots are a fairly new invention. Oddly, on January 25 of this year, they celebrate 96 years of imaginative and real existence when they first debuted on a Prague stage in Karel Capek’s controversial Sci-Fi play R. U. R. (Rossumovi Univerzáini Roboti –


The first challenge for the University of Wyoming medical and service team that recently came and visited the small community of Agua Salada (translated “Salt Water” – really interesting since you would need to cross all of El Salvador to find saltwater) is getting them there. The

Deep Roots and New Branches

Laura and I are in our fourth year in Honduras and have been with Shoulder to Shoulder just over two. We’ve seen many changes in that short period of time in Honduras, on the Frontera of Intibucá, and even in Shoulder to Shoulder. We look at our

Fun and Fulfilling

Over the course of twenty-six years, thousands of individuals and hundreds of professional and academic associations have shouldered the mission of improving the quality of life on the Frontera by visiting Honduras on service trips. They have paved the way for the ongoing provision of quality health

Open Wide

Laura and I at an earlier time in our Honduran experience used to frequently walk by a dental clinic. The dentist there was very friendly and would wave and say hello as we walked by. We’d sometimes see patients going in or coming out. We thought it


Laura and I love living in Honduras; we couldn’t be happier. Still, the differences between us and Hondurans, culturally, linguistically, and even physically, are sometimes highlighted. They are mostly simple things to note and they don’t present challenges, but sometimes they can remind you that you are


Writers are dependent on muses who are often fickle and unreliable. Sometimes, after a medical mission trip, I suffer through the anxiety of not finding inspiration. On other occasions, I simply find myself too busy to dedicate the time to writing up an article. Both problems haunted

Happy Birthday, Estados Unidos

Feliz cumpleaños, Estados Unidos! On Monday, July 4th, the American volunteers (Matt, Kate, Ben and Mr. Yon) thought that a lesson on U.S. independence was in order. Accordingly, the four of us spent the day going from class to class offering special lessons on why the United

The Unexpected

As I am writing this, Laura and I are on vacation in the US. We have, as always, an incredibly packed agenda. We started out in Denver, three days, in order to visit Laura’s son Gregory, my cousin Kevin and his wife Dolores, and their son Alex,

What Sacrifice Yields

In the two and a half years Laura and I have lived in Honduras, I’ve become accustomed to being led around. That’s understandable. It’s not my country, and at least initially, everything is unfamiliar. The positives to being led around are that you build relationships of trust

Bienvenidos, Mr. Ben y Mr. Yon!

We all, in our formative years, have that epiphanic experience that hurtles us on the trajectory to our field of study and eventual career. My such experience took place when I accompanied my Dad, Dr. Bruce Gebhardt, on a Shoulder to Shoulder brigade to Santa Lucia in

Cultural Exchanges

What does a three year old have to tell us about the complexity and importance of cultural exchange? A great deal more than you would think. Jonathan Waite, three years old, is the grandson of Wayne Waite, the Board President of Shoulder to Shoulder, and his wife


Most of my life I’ve kind of hung around at the same altitude, give or take about 1000 feet. I suspect that is mostly the case for anyone living in the US. Our elevations don’t vary tremendously from day to day or hour to hour. That is

The Character Of Service

The character of each brigade team that travels here to shoulder with us is unique. Some of them are much more seasoned than others and they know what to expect. Others are new to the game and they can be timid and uncertain. The seasoned groups are

Quantity vs. Quality

Linda Johnson, NP, the leader of the University of Wyoming brigade experience in Agua Salada, has just been recognized by the university in the reception of the Faculty Award for Internationalization. Congratulations Linda!!  Read about it at   Wyoming University has been coming to the small


Over the last couple of months Shoulder to Shoulder has a lot to be proud about in terms of the quality of medical services that we have provided to an isolated, and often neglected, people. We do this regularly, of course, by the contractual agreement we maintain

Never To Be The Same

If you follow these blogs you will know that the last blog featured MAHEC’s five person brigade in the small community of Camasca. They did excellent work, but their presence was subtle. Shortly after they left, Dr. Brent Burkey and the brigade he put together from Cleveland

Don't Mind Us, We're Fine

Did you ever feel like you were getting lost in the shuffle?  Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) must have felt that way while they were visiting Camasca on their brigade a few weeks ago. They were here for two full weeks, doing amazing work, but we

Extracting Pain vs. Inserting Wellbeing

Long before our arrival at Shoulder to Shoulder when Laura and I were contemplating living and working in Honduras, we took a few exploratory trips to discern where we might find a site. We attended a conference in Copan Ruinas for NGOs serving in Honduras. At this


Eleven years ago over Christmas I was feeling ill in my stomach. I had to be convinced to go to an emergency room. I drove myself up there. Seven hours later I was waking up in an operating recovery room with the loss of about sixteen inches

What A View!!

It is certainly one of the most spectacular vistas in all of Honduras, if not the world. Sitting outside the clinic at Pinares, or at the school where Virginia Commonwealth University and Fairfax Family Practice Centers house their brigades, one looks northwest toward the expansive Honduran mountain


by Candace Kugel, FNP, CNM editor’s note Ed Zuroweste, his wife Candace Kugel, and staff and students from Johns Hopkins University have been coming to Honduras with Shoulder to Shoulder for many years.  They hoped to form a medical brigade this year, but unfortunately did not encounter

Familiarity Breeds…

Aesop is credited with the first use of the idiom ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ as the moral in the fable The Fox and the Lion. This past week I pondered that adage as each morning I drove out to the small village of Guachipilincito to pick up a

February Not Quite Like You Remembered It

February Not Quite Like You Remembered It For the majority of my life living in the States, I absolutely loathed February. This is indeed my personal bias, but I’ll state my arguments anyway. Being a New Englander, it is very cold and raw in February. It just

Celebrations of Success

Click Below For Season of Hope         Celebrations of Success It’s a time of celebrating around the world. The celebrations are different according to where you are.  Thanksgivings are a bit difficult here as it is just another Thursday. Still, we celebrated it on the

Not According to Plan

Click Below For Season of Hope         Not According to Plan   From the beginning, the Wyoming brigade did not seem to follow the normal course. I wanted to meet my young cousin Alex’s friend who was on the brigade with University of Wyoming. Generally

A Road to Travel

  CLICK BELOW TO JOIN FIESTA         A Road to Travel One of the things I often find quite humorous living on the Frontera, where there are no paved roads, is asking for driving directions. One typical answer might go something like this: “Once

Vacationing, But Not So Far Away

    CLICK BELOW TO JOIN FIESTA           Vacationing, But Not So Far Away   Laura and I are on vacation now.  We are on the tropical island of Roatan, off the North Coast of Honduras.  I guess I would have to say

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Click Below to Join the Fiesta                 Rock, Paper, Scissors Rock, Paper, Scissors. You might remember this game, also called Roshambo, from your childhood, or perhaps you still play it to decide who gets to take out the garbage. Depending

Respect Yields Healthy Living

Laura and I do not depend on stocking up on food and household supplies in Concepción.  There is a market on Saturdays in Concepción where we can find some of what we need.  The items are always more expensive, and it is not always clear just how

Something Given, Something Gained

They descended upon the Ipsan Nah Hotel (perhaps the title is taken from “Itzam Na,” the supreme deity in the Mayan pantheon, but I’m not certain of this), about twenty young professionals, twenty and thirty somethings:  pre-med students, med students, pharmacy students, pharmacists, doctors, and other professional

So Close, Yet So Far Away

Brown University built and operates the clinic at Guachipilincito, the small community about an hour’s walk or an hour’s drive from Concepcion.  That sounds strange to say to those of us that are accustomed to cars driving along well paved roads, or distances that can be measured

Recording Hope

Jens sits at our dining room table, our only table, in La Esperanza, as Laura and I explain to him the particular water challenges we face here in Intibucá.  Jens, a 17 year old, US born citizen of German heritage, living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is visiting with

A Child's Valuable Lesson

His name is Valentino (yes just like the bygone, heart throb, movie idol).  These days, he’s hanging out with the second graders at the Good Shepherd Bilingual School.  He’s only six and the other children in the second grade classroom are seven or eight.  But he’s tall

Pickups and Bubbles: An Elusive Measure

Let’s see.  Twenty-three participants, eleven translators (four were leaving on that day, so there were four extra in the morning), two brigade coordinators, and two drivers, I think that is thirty eight.  Okay so maybe it was thirty-seven or thirty nine, I didn’t actually count.  The Virginia

A Complicated Jigsaw

The most recent brigade team at Colomoncagua was certainly cause for great anxiety.  It was our inaugural brigade for our new Honduran Brigade Team.  Half of the team, Laura and Paul, were in the States for a brief vacation.  The brigade itself was completely new to Shoulder

Tangrams and University of Rochester

What does an ancient Chinese game called Tangram, the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, the University of Rochester, and thirty primary school educators have to do with sustainable development in the rural, isolated communities of San Marcos de la Sierra?  Everything. No one knows how many millennia

Culture and Convenio

Many years ago, I ran cultural exchange programs in Puerto Rico. Carmen Judith Nine Curt, a Puerto Rican educator who specialized in cultural, non-verbal communication, often offered training in cultural differences. One afternoon, I sat next to a team leader. At a particular point in the presentation,

It Was the Best of Times….

Some English guy, Dickies, or Dicksburg, I guess it was Dickens, wrote this book that I read in High School.  In high school, most of us were stupefied by the oxymoronic opening line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,…”  It is

Secret Mission

Attorney Wayne E. Waite, President of the Shoulder to Shoulder Board, and Dwight Armstrong, Secretary for the Shoulder to Shoulder Board and CEO of Future Farmers of America (FFA), bopped around the Frontera this week with a maddening schedule.  Everyone wants to get the ear of the

Doing Good

April 9, 2015 The University of Wyoming saw over 300 persons at their clinic in Agua Salada last week.  Being Holy Week we had some concern that they might not have as many patients as they would on a normal week.  But, Wyoming’s clinic is well established

Holy Week

April 3, 2015 Every brigade arriving here brings particular gifts as individuals and a particular dynamic as a group. Baylor College of Medicine has been here during this Holy Week under the direction of Dr. Sandra Williams. Laura and I present ourselves to brigade groups as advocates,

Youth the World Over

March24,2015 Coming to Honduras for the first time, many things might make you feel uneasy because they are different from the environment your body and brain are accustomed to. But the consciousness of that, just what is different and why it makes you uneasy, lags behind the

Getting There

March 9, 2015 It’s hard to imagine which is more mysterious and challenging, the terrain or the persons who inhabit it. Joshua Back, a fourth year medical student at University of Rochester, has taken nine months off from purely academic pursuits to live and volunteer among the

Just and Caring

March 3, 2015 It is not so much that there is a fine line between poverty and injustice, in a more apt metaphor, they are two sides of the same coin.  Where there is poverty, there is some level of injustice contributing to it.  And where there


February 27, 2015 Dr. Hans Rausch was our family physician until I was seven or eight and he retired.  I have a lousy memory for things of my childhood, but I well remember this man.  He was short and chubby, wore oddly tailored and color clashing clothing,

Laughter and Song

February 21, 2015 The brigades do amazing work while they’re here and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is no exception.  This VCU brigade arrived with a substantial group of residents and doctors from Fairfax Family Practice Centers (FFPC), the primary supporting organization for this brigade.  The clinic in

Sing a New Song

February 11, 2015 Girls from families of limited resources between the ages of eleven and fifteen living in the frontier region of Intibucá, Honduras, hear a chorus of “You can’t” messages.  You can’t escape the generational poverty in which you were born.  You can’t go to school

Not in Wisconsin Anymore…

February 2, 2015 My bias toward Wisconsonian culture is primarily based on the limiting view of crazed Green Bay Packers fans wearing cheese wedge slices as hats.  Additionally, as a haughty, New England, right coaster, I lump Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota together.  It’s really, really, really cold

Dentists and Dinosaurs

January 29, 2015 I can fairly well remember my first experience as a child visiting the dentist.  Like the experience for most kids, mine held the potential to be a traumatizing event.  He was an older, unfamiliar man who seemed way too anxious about becoming my friend. 

Taking Interest

January 24, 2015 From what I heard, Buffalo, NY had about a thousand feet of snow this year.  I would assume the nine graduate students and one professor from the University of Buffalo, School of Pharmacology experienced quite a shock last Monday when they arrived here in

25 Years: The Dignity of Working Shoulder to Shoulder

January 15, 2015 The 1969 war between Salvador and Honduras, sometimes referred to as the Soccer Wars or the Hundred Hours War, left many parts of Honduras bordering El Salvador isolated, with shortages of basic services and infrastructure.  These effects last into the present day where, in

Scaling Mountains in San Marcos

December 3, 2014 My wife Laura and I spent yesterday mountain climbing. It wasn’t intentional. We were visiting San Marcos de la Sierra. From where the bus dropped us off we walked straight down, probably 1500 feet to the town center. A little later in the day

Educate a Child and Change the World

November 24, 2014 Shoulder to Shoulder is pleased and proud to introduce the Good Shepherd Bilingual School Sponsorship Program to advance our mission in the frontier region of Intibucá, Honduras.  Why Education? The river story, often attributed to the social reformer Saul Alinsky, recounts a scene along

Rude Roosters and Patty Cake

November 22, 2014 She hasn’t had a good night sleep since coming to Honduras.  It isn’t sleeping in a tent on a concrete floor under the stars.  The tent, after all, is placed over a semi soft mattress.  It’s not the time change, only an hour’s difference. 

Yo Puedo Retreat 2014

November 19, 2014 This past weekend, a phenomenal event occurred for the Yo Puedo (I Am Able) girls. Yo Puedo is a peer empowerment program for girls in the fifth and sixth grade. In peer reinforced education, they are empowered to learn skills, become responsible, grow in

Hope and Pride

November 16, 2014 No one from my family had ever been to college.  My dad was a truck driver who never finished high school.  I recall vividly my father’s beaming expression, a mixture of hope and pride, the day he dropped me off at the University of

Communication and Development

November 1, 2014 Laura and Paul Manship are pleased to begin their new position as Director of Communications and Development for Shoulder to Shoulder.  They have been in Honduras since September of 2013 and have volunteered at two NGOs.  They began at Montaña de Luz en Morecelí,

Shoulder to Shoulder's Partnership with Salud Mesoamérica 2015

March 22, 2014 In 2012, Shoulder to Shoulder was selected by the Ministry of Health has a representative for the Mesoamérica Health Initiative. Mesoamérica Health 2015 is a 5-year, public-private partnership initiative to reduce health equity gaps in Mesoamérica faced by those living in extreme poverty. The initiative

Our Position on Safety and Security

October 27, 2013 The Shoulder to Shoulder community was saddened to learn of Mayor Fredy Lemus’ passing on Saturday, September 14, 2013. We have worked closely with Mayor Lemus for many years and extend our sympathy to his family. We have dedicated resources and staff to learn

Bilingual School Graduation

In this part of Honduras, every accomplishment is worthy of celebration. On May 18, fourteen kindergarten students received their diplomas in the first graduation ceremony for the Frontier Bilingual School of Intibucá in Camasca, Honduras. In just its first year, the bilingual school has received accolades from

Brigade Update: VCU

Between June 11 and 22, a medical brigade from Virginia Commonwealth University joined Shoulder to Shoulder in the Pinares area of San Marcos de la Sierra. Since 2006, VCU has regularly visited this area. They visit three times annually, and generally include medical students, family medicine residents,

Brigade Update: Johns Hopkins

Led by Dr. Ed Zuroweste, Drs. Laurel Pellegrino, Lila Worden, Brett Wanamaker, three Johns Hopkins fourth-year residents, Dr. Mish Mizrahi, a family practice attending physician from UCLA, and Mike Piorunski, an Environmental and Occupational Health Program Associate with the Migrant Clinicians Network, the Johns Hopkins brigade spent two weeks immersed in

Research Project Provides Essential Neonatal Resuscitation Education for Resource-Limited Environments

For the last year, Kathryn Taylor (Ohio State B.S. ’12; Harvard M.D. ’17) has been training Shoulder to Shoulder’s physicians, nurses, and local midwives how to save babies’ lives. Based at our Santa Lucia clinic, Kathryn has trained and evaluated our staff for basic neonatal resuscitation techniques

National Vaccination Campaign

Between April 22 and May 3, we vaccinated every scheduled child, elderly adult, and high risk individual for measles, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, pneumonia, rotavirus, hepatitis B, and Vitamin A. We are still compiling the final numbers for Concepción (pop: 10,758) and San Marcos de

Community Clothing Drive for Newborns

This month, our local comites, our local community Hombro a Hombro committees,  are organizing a clothing drive for newborns who are delivered at Hombro a Hombro clinics. Many of our community members cannot afford even the most basic necessities for their children. They arrive from the campo without blankets,

A Word on Brigades

In November 2012, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for parts of Honduras, including the states where Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are located. Intibucá was not named in the travel warning. On February 19, 2013, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Lisa Kubiske tweeted: “Proud to

Hombro a Hombro Expands Services

We’ve just finished our winter meetings with the Ministry of Health and are excited to announce changes and additions to Shoulder to Shoulder/Hombro a Hombro’s coverage in Intibucá. First and foremost, we have added the municipality of San Marcos de Sierra to our catchment area, which includes

Shoulder to Shoulder's Health Promoters

Health promoters form the backbone of our public health mission in the frontera. Each day, they travel by truck, moto, and foot into the rural Intibucá communities. Shoulder to Shoulder em- ploys a staff of 24 promoters, who reach each of our five municipalities every week. Promoters

"Part of their world"

This is a song written by one of the Dayton brigade members: To Disney’s “Part of Your World” 21 July 2012, Dayton Ohio HS Brigade Look at our lives; aren’t they neat?   (But) Somehow or other they’re not quite complete Looking around here you’d say, Sure,

Dayton High School: Guachi (July 13-23)

Dayton high school had a great time on their very first brigade in Guachi. Even though they weren’t a traditional medical brigade, they had just as big of an impact working. They spent their mornings playing with the kids in both the grade school and the kindergarten

VCU at Pinares from June 12 to 23, 2012

We had a successful two weeks. We had a large group of 35 people in total and we visited several communities around Pinares, held daily clinics in Pinares, did a CHI in each of the surrounding towns and also checked up on water filters and stoves, tested

University of Wyoming: Agua Salada June 30 – July 8

The University of Wyoming had a blast on the 2nd of their three yearly trips. They camped out, for the first time, in their newly finished Clinic in Agua Salada. The brigade came down in full force with 20 members ranging from Spanish majors and social workers

Dental Brigade: June 18th – June 27th

The Tepe’s dental brigade flew by with 4 work-filled workdays and a weekend full of meetings. Dr. Larry and Dr. Jan Tepe made their first of 2 visits this year bringing with them a dental surgeon and a father and daughter team of a dentist and his

University of Rochester: San Jose (May 6 – 19)

The University of Rochester kept busy on their 1stof 2 yearly visits to the small town of San Jose. They spent 10 days enjoying the amazing views and doing everything from sex- education to pulling teeth. They were a well-equipped team of 11; 2 attendings, 1 dentist

University of Cincinnati Family Medicine brigade (April 9 -20)

Santa Lucia was happy to welcome their first brigade of the year… this large group of over 30 people came from University of Cincinnati accompanied by translators from the bilingual school in La Ceiba. They were made up of 3 attendings, 6 residents, 6 medical students, 1 pharmacist,

What We Learned in Honduras

A few words from the University of Wyoming brigade members and what they learned during their trip to the frontera: 1)     A very small part of a beautiful language 2)     The rule of unintended consequence 3)     A view into a brand new culture 4)     I can somewhat

University of Wyoming (March 8-19th, 2012)

Completing the first of their tri-annual trips to the frontera, the University of Wyoming left the snow and cold to come to their affiliate community of Agua Salada during the heat of the dry season. The brigade was comprised of 1 attending doctor, 2 residents, 1 nurse,

Johns Hopkins in Santa Lucia (Nov 5 – Nov 19)

Two fourth year medical students from Johns Hopkins were accompanied by Dr. Zuroweste and a translator for a two week stay in Santa Lucia.  During their time here they saw 173 patients during daily paquete basicos and made ten house calls.  They also met with 37 patients

University of Wyoming Brigade (Nov. 12th- 20th, 2011)

The University of Wyoming was a multidisciplinary group composed of nursing students, nurse practioners, a doctor, family medicine residents, pharmacy students, social workers, and engineers. They traveled to their community affiliate of Agua Salada, a community named for the spring of salty water that once emerged from the ground in the “city

MONTANA BRIGADE (November 5th-17th, 2011)

The Montana Brigade of 15 members was comprised of 2 instructors, an advanced nursing student and 12 undergraduate nurses in their final semester. The group was comprised of members from different satellite campuses of Montana State University College of Nursing. They brought with them enthusiasm and energy

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) @ Pinares (Oct 29 – Nov 10)

The Virginia Commonwealth Brigade made its tri-annual (or ‘tranual’) journey to the frontera town of Pinares – approximately one hour from La Esperanza, Intibucá. The brigade was comprised of thirteen fourth year medical students, three third year residents and two family medicine attending physicians. In addition, we

University of Rochester (Oct. 21st- Nov. 4th, 2011)

The University of Rochester brigade was comprised of 2 attendings, 7 residents, 2 medical students, and 1 social worker. They spent their two weeks stationed in their affiliate community of San Jose, San Marcos. Through furthering their relationships with the community, they also oversaw many projects. Several

UC-Family Med/USC Brigade (October 8th-20th, 2011)

This was a diverse brigade comprised of residents, attendings, an opthamologist, and nursing and medical students.  There were also ten translators from La Ceiba who were excellent at their job and added lots of fun and energy to the group.  Despite non-stop rain beginning the first workday,

MAHEC/Lancaster, PA Brigade (August 6-18, 2011)

The MAHEC/Lancaster Brigade came to Shoulder to Shoulder as a collaborative effort from programs in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Ashville, North Carolina. Full of diversity, the brigade was comprised of physicians, residents, medical students, pharmacists, one financial consultant and one nutritionist, as well as three younger students. The

Ohio State/Tepe Dental Brigade (Sept. 5-18, 2011)

The Dental Brigade came to us from the beautiful state of Ohio. They were a fun and energetic group compiled of six Ohio State University dental students, Dr. Burns and Mrs. Burns and Dr. Larry Tepe and Dr. Jan Tepe. During the short time they were here

A Life Changing Experience

Reflections from a brigade member: “Back now from Santa Lucia and Concepcion for almost three weeks and still taking cold showers, conserving water, and sitting down at the table to eat my meals (with my family!). The inner peace I brought home with me from Honduras is

The Brown University Brigade (July 23rd-July 31st, 2011)

The Brown University Brigade came to us from different areas mostly concentrated in the Northeast region of the United States. They were a diverse and energetic group that came together to partner with the Guachipilincito community. During the short time they were here for they accomplished many

The Good Shepherd Brigade (July 31-Aug. 7, 2011)

The Good Shepherd Brigade came to us from Cincinnati, OH. They were a group from a large and lively Catholic Church who has generously decided to help build a bilingual school in Camasca, a community between Santa Lucia and Concepcion. The main focus of their visit was

Honduras Trip Reflections

“I always think of an old adage when faced by seemingly impossible odds of success like the current socioeconomic status of this area of Honduras. It’s the question—How do you eat an elephant, does anyone know how to do that? You simply eat an elephant ‘one bite


Shoulder to shoulder is an incredible adventure. The smiles and the gratitude of the patients we treated was a humbling experience. These people struggle with very few basic human needs met and we come from a country with so much! It was a complete pleasure to provide


To me Should to Shoulder is life altering and faith affirming. Living in the United States and, especially for me, in a city and around suburbs, you think you have an idea of what poor means. Before this trip poor to me included those people living in


Shoulder to Shoulder is pioneering the future of sustainable healthcare delivery to third world countries…   -Alex

More than a job

Shoulder to Shoulder is more than just a job, it’s an adventure!” Mo Ranz Jennings, Director of Development, STS


To me Shoulder to Shoulder is healthcare, education, hope, fun and full of friends.  It allowed me to practice nursing, practice my Spanish, explore a new area and make new friends.  I saw how hard everyone was working to bring health care and education to Honduras and

Proven Record

Shoulder to Shoulder, Hombro a Hombro, has been a positive experience in my life….All of us learned, some were frustrated because of the immense poverty and big problems. I kept saying, Rome was not built in a day…” STS is a proven record…you will never be sorry

Integrating people and numbers

Shoulder to Shoulder is development with a heart and a head, making data-driven decisions without forgetting the people and the lives behind the numbers.  – Brett Jennings, Assistant Coordinator, Medical Brigades, STS


Shoulder to Shoulder is versatile, and their stance in the southwestern corner of Honduras is committed. Community respect for the organization shows through the people you meet. In participation with an educational brigade through UNCA, I was able to interact with faculty and students in small primary

Tireless staff

Shoulder to Shoulder is full of incredible people tirelessly working together towards the same goal:  To improve the lives of people in Intibucá.” Ben Ranz, Director of Operations, STS

Acedemics and Epidemiology

Academically, STS offers a great venue to expose U.S. students to a systematic manner for value-added data collection on rural public health. Epidemiologically, the data can be used in the present, reviewed retrospectively for high caliber work because of the high quality of reliability in STS’s survey


Shoulder to Shoulder exemplifies passion for helping the residents of Southwestern Honduras achieve their goals and greatest desired potential and empowers through encouragement and support for a healthy tomorrow. STS is life, love, and laughter!” Jessica Olingy, Nurse Practitioner


Shoulder to Shoulder is an unlikely partnership of Hondurans and gringos who work to elevate a community’s health status and wellbeing – having fun and many laughs in the process. Residing here at the Santa Lucia clinic has all the solidarity, fun, friendship, and communal living that


Being a witness to Shoulder to Shoulder and their efforts and their progress in Pinares has been one of the great blessing of my life.” – Mary Jean Russ

Well tuned Vehicle

Shoulder to Shoulder is a well tuned vehicle for offering both cultural immersion experiences to health care practitioners, as well as an opportunity for service and partnership in health care for the Honduran people. The experience is as profound as it can be challenging – and for


Shoulder to Shoulder is a blessing bestowed upon the people of Intibuca. – anonymous

7 year old in Honduras

This was my 14th brigade to Honduras.  It was truly amazing to share this with Trevor.  He was just amazing, effortlessly fitting in with the group – always raising his hand with a question or comment.  He bravely walked off to school everyday with backpack and canteen