Accommodations (4)

Where is the ranch located?

The NPH home is located one hour’s drive northeast of the capital, Tegucigalpa, and is out in the countryside amongst rolling hills at 3,500 feet elevation.  The scenery looks a bit like Colorado with the pine trees and hills.  There is a great running path through the 2,000 acre Ranch and some good swimming in the creek and large water reservoir on the property if you are adventurous.

How do we get to the ranch?

NPH visitor coordinators will pick up and drop off participants at the airport. We will be taking the NPH bus to and from the airport. It is an hour drive to the Ranch, which is located high up in the mountains.

What are accommodations like on the ranch?

Volunteer housing is on-site at the NPH ranch. You may be assigned to a large bunk room or a semi-private room with single or double beds. Each room has bathrooms attached. There is running water and electricity. Bathrooms are equipped with flushable toilets. Shower stalls are equipped with water heaters. We are in the process of building new accommodations. Facilities should be completed by late 2016.

What food is available?

Meals typically consist of:

Breakfast: granola bars, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, or pancakes

Lunch: same meals that the NPH kids eat: Honduran meals (lots of chicken, rice, beans), pasta, soup

Dinner: hearty Honduran and Italian meals

Snacks will be available in the break room at the Holy Family Surgery Center. If you have specific dietary restrictions, please let us know. We will try to accommodate, but please consider bringing your own food to supplement what is being provided. Filtered water is provided throughout your stay. Please do not drink the tap water or use it to brush your teeth.

Background (7)

What is relationship between Holy Family Surgery Center, SCA Medical Missions, and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos?

The Holy Family Surgery Center (HFSC) is a world class ambulatory surgery center founded by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter Daly, his wife LuLu, and Reinhart Koehler (Interim President of NPH International). The surgery center was newly renovated in 2014 and includes 3 operating rooms, 7 overnight recovery rooms, dental clinic and eye clinic. Between 2009-2015, the HFSC has provided over 12,000 consultations and 1,700 surgeries. The surgery center sits on the grounds of the NPH Honduras home.

SCA Medical Missions is a U.S. based organization that coordinates medical mission trips and support fundraising on behalf of the Holy Family Surgery Center. It was formed through the support of Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) in late 2014.

Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) Honduras was founded in 1985 and is home to over 500 kids living and learning in a loving environment with the support of 168 dedicated staff members. NPH provides a permanent family and home for orphaned, abandoned and other at-risk children who live in conditions of extreme poverty. Holy Family Surgery Center is located on the NPH Honduras property, Rancho Santa Fe (also known as “the ranch”).

What do non-clinical volunteers do during a medical brigade?

Nonclinical volunteers will rotate between different roles and projects in the surgery center and on the ranch. In the surgery center, nonclinical volunteers can help with turnover, laundry, and instrument processing. On the ranch, nonclinical volunteers can help with cooking, gardening/farming, and participating in activities with the NPH kids, among other projects. If you have a special skill (i.e. photography, construction, IT) that you would like to contribute during the brigade, we can arrange a special role or project for you if you let us know in advance.

What is a surgical medical missions brigade?

A surgical medical missions brigade is a one-week trip to Holy Family Surgery Center. A team of up to 60 medical and nonmedical volunteers from all over the US come together to provide low-cost, life-changing surgeries to Hondurans who otherwise would not receive surgical care.

What is a typical day like during a surgical brigade?

Surgeries are performed Monday-Friday. The doors open at Holy Family Surgery Center at 5:00 am and close by 6:00 pm. The first surgery is scheduled to begin at 7:00 am and the last surgery is scheduled at 3:00 pm. Volunteers arrive at the surgery center at various times depending on their assigned position. Breaks and meals are provided throughout the day. Volunteers gather for dinner and presentations or other events in the evenings.

What do brigade volunteers do on days when there are no operations scheduled?

On the Saturday and Sunday before surgeries, volunteers tour the ranch and surgery center, have a surgery center orientation, get to know fellow brigade participants, interact with the kids and staff at NPH, and have some time to explore the ranch. Participants will also help with cleaning, stocking, organizing and preparing the surgery center for surgeries. The day after surgeries are complete is set aside for cleaning, taking inventory, re-stocking, and organizing materials. Any free time can be used to explore and enjoy the ranch.

Is there free time during brigades?

Free time varies from day to day. There is scheduled free time before and after dinner on surgical days. There is no scheduled free time for sightseeing outside of the Ranch.

Will I be able to be interact with the children living at NPH?

Yes. Normally, children will be in school and/or working in the workshops during the day. We’ll have dinner and participate in activities with the children throughout the week.

Costs/Donations/Gifts (5)

Do you offer scholarships for flight costs or the program fee?

We are unable to offer scholarships for flight costs or the program fee. We encourage individuals to fundraise their program fee and flight costs. Please feel free reach out to us for ideas and suggestions.

Please note that we are only able to provide receipts for tax purposes to donors who make a contribution towards your program fee. We are unable to provide tax receipts for contributions made towards flights, as those funds are not received by Holy Family Surgery Center or SCA Medical Missions.

How much does it cost to participate in a brigade?

A program fee of $1,000 is required to participate in a brigade. Program fees for additional family members who wish to attend are as follows:

  • Family members 18 years of age and older (including spouses): $500
  • Family members 17 years of age and younger: $250

Every participant is also responsible for the cost of his/her own airfare.  Flight costs can range between $600 and $1200, depending on your departure city, the time of year, and when you book your flights.

For more information, please visit the Cost page.

How is HFSC sustained financially?

HFSC is sustained financially through donations and brigade program fees.  For more information about donating to HFSC, please visit our Donations page.

Do you have a medical equipment/materials wish-list?

We are always seeking medication equipment/materials donations. Please visit our donations page for more information. If you would like to donate medical equipment or materials, please contact scamedicalmissions@scasurgery.com to confirm that the medical equipment/materials can be used at the surgery center and to arrange logistics. Mail service in Honduras is unreliable, so please don’t ship equipment or supplies directly to Holy Family Surgery Center.

Are donations tax deductible?

General donations to Holy Family Surgery Center, payments made towards brigade program fees, and in-kind donations are tax deductible.

How to Apply (3)

How are volunteers chosen to participate in surgical brigades?

Volunteer applications are confirmed on a first come first served basis. Brigade roles have varying capacities depending on surgery center needs, so some roles will fill more quickly than others. We encourage you to apply well in advance of your desired brigade.

Can my family come with me on a brigade?

Yes, we encourage families to experience HFSC together! Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Medical personnel with children under 13 should bring a spouse or another adult who can help supervise children during surgery days. Children will participate in general volunteer projects with nonclinical volunteers.

Do I need to have a medical background to participate in a brigade?

No. Clinical and nonclinical roles are available.

Other (1)

How can I stay involved after the trip?

  • Apply for a future brigade
  • Help us recruit additional brigade participants
  • Host a fundraiser on behalf of the Holy Family Surgery Center
  • Make a donation to support the Holy Family Surgery Center
  • Help the Holy Family Surgery Center identify medical supply donations

Travel (5)

What type of currency is used in Honduras?

The national currency of Honduras is Lempiras. Please check XE for the most current exchange rate. There is little need for cash while on-site in Honduras and souvenirs can be purchased with USD.

What’s the weather like in Honduras?

Honduras is hot and humid almost year-round. Temperatures vary by altitude rather than season. The average high temperature nationwide is 90°F and the average low is 68°F. Temperatures are coolest in mountain areas-where HFSC is located. June through November is considered the Rainy Season. December to May is considered the Dry Season.

How safe is NPH Honduras?

Holy Family Surgery Center and SCA Medical Missions do not take visitors to countries if they perceive that the visitors or staff will be in danger.  We cannot guarantee anyone’s safety beyond factors that are within our own control.  Visitors assume all risks associated with the trip.  If you wish to learn more, please visit the State Department’s travel warning website on Honduras.

How long is the flight to Honduras?

This will depend on your city of origin.  Flights from the United States to Tegucigalpa originate out of Houston (United Airlines), Atlanta (Delta Airlines), and Miami (American Airlines). The flight to Honduras from any one of these cities is about 2 to 3 hours.

What time zone is Tegucigalpa, Honduras?

Honduras is in the Central Time zone but does not observe daylight savings time. This means that when the US advances the clock one hour in the spring (March 13, 2016), Honduras is one hour behind US Central Time. When the US turns back the clock an hour in the fall (November 6, 2016), Honduras is one hour ahead of US Central Time.