The Vida Nueva (The New Life) Prosthetic Clinic in Choluteca, Honduras officially opened on February 20, 2003 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a blessing from the local clergy. Three board members from Grapes for Humanity were in attendance – Arlene Willis, Sam Sarick and Nancy Mulvihill. The official attendees included members from the Canadian and U.S. Embassies in Honduras, the Governor of Choluteca, the Mayor, Police Chief and Clergy as well as the television, radio and print media. More importantly about one hundred members of the Cholutecan community attended and through their hospitable and open-hearted reception, they demonstrated their appreciation of Grapes for Humanity. The speeches in general reflected on the partnership of private and government sector, co-operative efforts to fill a need in the most needy of communities.
The advantage of private sector organizations such as Grapes for Humanity becoming involved is that they have direct contact with local communities, which helps to ensure that every dollar contributed will have a direct and immediate impact.
The actual clinic is a modest, single-story cement-block / stucco structure in the heart of Choluteca on an unpaved street. At this point the clinic has a few rooms in operation for measurement and fitting, however most of the rooms remain empty until equipment and furniture can be supplied. A courtyard is at the heart of the clinic and will likely be used in future for exercise and recreational purposes.
There are uncounted numbers of individuals waiting to be served by the clinic and they will be addressed once the facility is fully operational. Although only three people have been served with prosthetics, the demand is evident and once established the numbers will grow dramatically.
The Polus Centre from the U.S. will oversee the clinic and ensure accountability on an on-going basis. However, the true emphasis for the success of the clinic lies with the Cholutecan community to ensure that this facility will be a shining example of their hard work and spirit of co-operation.