Many people coming to Roatan are eager to help the island in some way, and often will message me before their trip asking what they can do or bring to help. Today I’d like to highlight Clinica Esperanza, more commonly known on the island as Ms. Peggy’s Clinic, which is just one of many deserving organizations on the island that can always use a little help.
Clinica Esperanza provides low-cost/no-cost medical care to the island, including pediatric care, dentistry, walk-in care and women’s health. No one is turned away for the inability to pay, and those with more funds are able to pay to be seen sooner. I felt kind of guilty the first time I paid to jump the line, but everyone reminded me that the money to run the clinic and supplies has to come from somewhere, and at least my fees were going to support a place for people who don’t have the means.
From their website:
The clinic has volunteer nurses and nursing students from around the world to help the facility operate while gaining valuable life and nursing experience. I have several friends who are nurses at the clinic, and let me tell you, they see it ALL, and deal with people with such compassion and care it is unbelievable. And after seeing the inside of the public hospital, which is horrifically underfunded and understaffed, I decided that I would have to seek private care for any medical incidents I had on the island.
One thing that I love about Clinica Esperanza is their focus on women’s health. On an island where many women are having 5+ kids (way more than they often want, or have the means to properly care for), the clinic provides a women’s health doctor to work specifically with women. Taking prenatal classes at the clinic is a requirement for using the clinic’s birthing center, which is another thing that is often beyond the means of many local women.
The doctors, nurses, and support staff at Clinica Esperanza provide a desperately-needed service on this island and help maintain health for many locals who could not otherwise retain care. They treat their patients with dignity and a high level of care, no matter who is accessing the service.
How You Can Help
There are a few ways you can help Clinica Esperanza to continue to provide health services on Roatan. Please check out their Take Action page for various ways to support the clinic, either financially, with supplies (there’s a request list here), or by volunteering.
For tourists coming from Canada, please get in touch with Not Just Tourists if you’ve got the ability to take extra luggage – Not Just Tourists provides suitcases full of much-needed donated medical supplies, but they need people to fly down with it!
Finally, Clinica Esperanza has their annual Sundae by the Sea fundraiser coming up on Roatan, which is a ton of fun – and even if you’re not here, you can still participate in the online auction! Great for anyone planning to travel down at some point in time in the future, as you’ll have some gift certificates to use when you get here. How it works: various businesses donate things like resort stays, restaurant gift certificates, diving, fishing charters, spa certificates, etc., which are bid on, and all the proceeds go to the clinic. The main event is on October 4, 2015 and will be held Caribe Tesoro in West Bay. The cost is $30/ticket ($35/ at the door, kids half price). The event includes some food and music. At the event, there’s a silent auction and live auction. For people on and off island, there’s also an on-line auction for many things at www.roatanauctions.com.