U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is slated to attend Honduran president-select Juan Orlando Hernández's swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. Hernández won both his party's primary and the general elections through massive fraud and has overseen the total militarization of Honduran public space through his military police force and related initiatives. In the weeks leading up to the elections, the Honduran Congress has privatized the national energy and telecom companies—with devastating implications for labor—with Hernández's full support.
I have been waiting to get some pictures before posting about the last few days of our brigade to Ciriboya. Those posts are still pending. A huge thanks to everyone who donated money, to the UNAH for donating transportation (including Marco Tulio, our wonderful driver), to the people of Ciriboya who opened their homes (and in some cases their veins) to us and the wonderful mayor of Iriona, Aníbal Duarte, for covering hotel costs for the students.
My article today in The Conversation (UK). In which I introduce my theory that lactation rooms are capitalism's menstrual huts (and I mean that in both the good and the bad ways).
By Adrienne Pine, American University
[Note- I am back from the brigade, and only now catching up on these posts. I fell behind due to a combination of a nasty cold, no electricity, and two days in the field spent designing, printing and collecting signatures for brigade diplomas to satisfy the Honduran official paper & stamp fetish. More to come!]
Our second day of work started out with an egg run to Iriona so Mirna could make baleadas for breakfast. I went to get the car at the Cubans' house and found Dr Valcárcel at the gate talking with two men whose truck was parked outside. One was bleeding profusely from the hand, and Valcárcel was having a look at it. He insisted we come in for Cuban coffee instead of buying eggs and gave me the Cubans' eggs to take across the street. But Mirna sent me back with orders to buy more eggs—23 wouldn't be enough—and 5 lbs of cheese as well, because you can't make baleadas without cheese.
Please donate. We're close, but haven't quite covered our costs yet and need your help! And spread the word. THANK YOU.
There was some confusion getting out of Ceiba on Wednesday morning. My nursing students got up at 4am to take turns in the bathroom and leave at 5, while the med students in their house across town were preparing for a later departure. So we had more time to drink our coffee. We all left a little after 7 planning to be in Tocoa for breakfast by 9—the students in the UNAH bus and me, Luther's brother who generously dropped all his previous obligations to help us on the journey, Dr. Valcárcel, Dr. Marilyn and Carolina (the sibling team responsible for all the photographs here) in the car. But after the rains the night before, the zone was in red alert, and it quickly became clear that there was good reason for that. Trees were downed what seemed like every few dozen meters, although local people were collecting them almost as fast as they had been felled for firewood. It's a very efficient highway maintenance system.
Just one of the things we saw on the trip to Ciriboya two days ago. Full posts coming soon! (Photos courtesy Carolina and Dr. Marilyn Pereira)
A photo-essay of the January 2014 nurse/med student brigade to Ciriboya. With half a dozen detours due to rained-out roads and bridges (adding up to many extra hours of travel and a about 35 hungry passengers), and thanks to the super-human driving talents of Marcos, our bus driver (I promised to acquire him chains for the trip back), and to the resourcefulness of the students in a few sticky spots, we completed our voyage to Ciriboya.
This is my first post about the UNAH nursing and medical student brigade I am helping to coordinate to Ciriboya. Please donate to the First Garifuna Hospital at Ciriboya to support our trip, and more importantly, the Garífuna community and the radical model for healthcare justice they are creating (any additional funds go directly to the hospital). And THANK YOU to you folks who have already donated.