While most of us tried to keep warm, Alaina Zappas and her brigades worked in warm San Lorenzo, Valle, Honduras alongside community members of el Junguillo- focusing on medicine and dentistry.
Sophomore BBH student Kelly Aksu traveled on the brigade and tells us about how this first brigade experience changed her expectations...
KA: Honduras was an awesome experience! During my brigade, I met so many people who were
grateful for our help. I did not realize the abundant medical need in rural Honduras until I
witnessed it with my own eyes. So many people were living in environments where disease and
bacteria thrived. People lined up early in the morning before we arrived to receive medical
help. They were so happy to receive materials we all take for granted such as toothbrushes, and
generic painkillers. It was a great feeling watching the relieved reactions of mothers as we
handed their child acetaminophen for their fever, or headache. Something so simple and easy
for us, but so meaningful for others. As a hybrid medical and water brigade, we were able to
treat the immediate medical needs of people, while also demolishing the medical problems at
the source by digging trenches for fresh water. Although it was grueling digging trenches in the
90-degree weather, it was so satisfying to work with the community to improve their homes
and create a better future for their families. I learned so much from this experience. People of
rural Honduras taught me the value of family and community. Everyone in the community was
willing to help their neighbors and community members in need. They shared everything from
kitchens to drinking wells to help each other survive. In just one week in Honduras I felt like I
made an impact. I also learned about the holistic model of Global Brigades and went to a
holistic community in Honduras. This enabled me to see the sustainable environment Global
Brigades is creating for communities. Overall, this trip opened my eyes to vast problems in the
world. It made me appreciate the lifestyle I live, while motivating my drive to change the life of
All photos are courtesy of Joseph Clark's Instagram account, @fullmanchu
About the Author
My name is Alana Mazzei and I'm the Webmaster for the Campus Council Eboard! I am assisted by Joseph Clark who also is the Social/PR chairperson of Medical/Dental, and the GB photographer, Harvey Li. We would love to hear about your experiences with Global Brigades at Penn State!