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Ciriboya Hospital
Hospital in Ciriboya, from

Hospital Comunitario Garifuna de Ciriboya


In Venezuela a Garifuna Student Studies Medicine and Revolution 12/31/2015 teleSUR: "Of the 27 Hondurans in the program, she is the only Garifuna student. Among her class are students selected from: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Gambia, St. Vincent, Dominica, Ecuador, Panama and Bolivia Arzu began her studies in Venezuela a month before the coup d’etat against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya June 28 2009. In this exclusive interview with writer Jeanette Charles, she speaks to her appreciation of the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian Revolution, learning from Cuban and Venezuelan revolutionaries whose only weapon is a stethoscope, her path to becoming a doctor and a mother as well as the plans she to return to practice medicine in Honduras as a medical profession whose experience prioritizes people over profits. This is her story."

This One Tiny Hospital Gives the Power of Healthcare to Thousands  12/23/2015 Next City: "When Luther Castillo Harry left his Honduran homeland for medical school in Cuba, he was breaking new ground as one of the first few members of his ethnicity, the Garifuna people of Honduras, to ever become a doctor. As one of the first few Garifuna students at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Harry helped initiate a project that has become First Garifuna Hospital, a hospital built and run by the community of Ciriboya, Honduras, which formerly had no healthcare facilities. I recently spoke with Harry, who’s the focus of the documentary film “Revolutionary Medicine.”"

Days six to ten of the Ciriboya UNAH nurse/med student brigade 2/6/2014 Quotha: "While the students were in the community, I had to go buy gas and supplies with Dr. Valcárcel and some of the Cubans. We ran into the man who'd been at the Cubans' house days earlier profusely bleeding from a cut tendon. They'd operated on him at the hospital that same morning (after coffee) and now, just days later, he was already well on his way to being healed. Dr. Valcárcel fixed him a sling with a cloth he had handy while the others bought food inside."

Garifuna Hospital promo video  1/10/2014 YouTube 


Honduran activist tours Wisconsin  3/30/2012 Workers' World: "Dr. Luther Castillo, a Garifuna doctor from Honduras and a member of the National Resistance movement there, traveled throughout Wisconsin March 14 through 18 as part of a national tour sponsored by the Honduras Solidarity Network. Castillo, a graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, spoke not only on the fight for health care as a human right, but also informed audiences about the Honduran resistance movement that is waging a fierce, ongoing struggle against U.S. imperialism and its puppets in Honduras."

Presentation: Dr. Luther Castillo & Prof. Ariel Reyes in Pillsbury  3/25/2012 YouTube: "Dr. Luther Castillo Harry is a specialist in familiar medicine and public health."

Dr. Luther Castillo and the struggles of the Garifuna people of Honduras  3/21/2012 SF Examiner: "Given the American State Department’s ambivalence about things Cuban and the medical profession’s general misgivings about alternative medicine, Dr. Castillo’s exploits have been under-publicized. Labeled “Public Enemy #1” by the Honduran military, Dr. Castillo “finds it difficult to leave the struggle” because as a humanitarian and voice for the Garifuna people, he feels “we have the right to dream, too.”"

Declaraciones del Dr. Luther Castillo  12/18/2009 OFRANEH - YouTube 

Dr. Luther Castillo, voice of the voiceless in Honduras, gets rousing reception in San Francisco  11/3/2009 SF Bay View 

Allanado hospital garífuna de Ciriboya  10/8/2009 CubaDebate: "El día de ayer a las cinco de la mañana, fue allanado el Hospital Garífuna de Ciriboya, por elementos de la policía Preventiva y soldados los que irrumpieron al recinto a través de una ventana. En el operativo participaron aproximadamente quince elementos, los cuales adujeron estar participando en un operativo antinarcóticos. El Hospital de Ciriboya es la sede del proyecto Luagu Hatuadi Waduhenu, primer hospital popular garífuna, el cual es un modelo de atención médica en Honduras, atendidos por médicos egresados de la ELAM (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina) con sede en Cuba."

VERDAD, JUSTICIA Y REPARACION - Asaltado el hospital Garífuna por elementos de la Fuerza Armada  10/7/2009 OFRANEH: "La ayuda de la comunidad internacional hermana han aportado una mano amiga para construir un sistema de salud propio del Pueblo garifuna (Hospital Garífuna de Mañali) y que en este momento está siendo amenazado por este gobierno de facto, dado el día 6 de octubre fue asaltado el hospital Garífuna por elementos de la fuerza Armada rompiendo puertas y ventanas. Este atentado ha sido considerado por la comunidad Afrohondureña como un crimen en contra de la salubridad y la educación de Pueblo Garífuna, que sufren el arraigado del abandono miserable por varios siglos por parte del sistema de Salud del  Gobierno de Honduras."

DECLARATION - THREAT TO AND SYSTEMATIC DESTRUCTION OF THE BLACK GARIFUNA PEOPLES—DECLARED BY UNESCO A CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY  10/3/2009 Quotha: "The change in the clause also is intended to destroy the health system of the Afro-Honduran people, which is protected under the ILO Convention 169. People have the distinct ability, through the Convention, to direct their own policies according to their own interests and cosmological perspectives and develop the positive aspects, strengths and significant contributions of the Afro-Honduran Community to human development. Currently, the Black person is being treated as folkloric object, exposed to ridicule and denigration through pejorative images and the use of journalistic language with racist and xenophobic connotations. The de facto government of Honduras in particular has undertaken a political and racial prosecution of Afro-Honduran, organized civil society."

Threat to and Systematic Destruction of Garifuna Peoples  10/3/2009 Quotha: "Drafted by Representatives of the Association of Garifuna Municipalities, Iriona Municipality (Colon Department), Luagu Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation, the First Public Garifuna Hospital in Honduras, and OFRANEH (National Black Fraternal Organization)"

TODAY: event at Congress with Dr. Luther Castillo  9/29/2009 Quotha 

Racist coup government: Shut down the Garífuna Community Hospital of Ciriboya  9/18/2009 Honduras Resists: "This report was written by the National Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), the largest organization of Afro-Hondurans and an important force within the resistance to the coup d'etat. The Garífuna doctor who spearheaded the creation of the hospital, Dr. Luther Castillo has been faced with ongoing threats to his life and freedom as a result of the coup."

Golpistas racistas: cierre del Hospital Comunitario garífuna de Ciriboya  9/18/2009 Honduras Resists: "En los útlimos días se viene haciendo efectiva la amenaza de la conversión del Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya en un simple centro de salud, descalificando la enorme labor de apoyo efectuada por los médicos garífunas graduado en la ELAM y las brigadas cubanas. Las razones que motivan al régimen de facto a tomar la determinación de destruir el trabajo efectuado por el Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya, radica en el racismo de los funcionarios estatales que se han incorporado a la pesadilla orquestada por Micheletti, y al desprecio por la visión social de los médicos educados en Cuba, versus a la mentalidad capitalista de la mayoría de los médicos egresados de las escuelas locales."

Honduran Garifuna Culture Threatened by Coup  9/4/2009 New American Media: by Willie Thompson - "The Honduran de facto coup government under Roberto Micheletti plans to eliminate the Honduran Garifuna people and culture. Micheletti has rescinded the Manuel Zelaya authorization to teach in the Garifuna language in school and to teach the language itself. All scholarships to Garifuna students have been eliminated. Now, Micheletti, with no opposition from the U.S. State Department, has set Sept. 1, 2009, to take over the Garifuna built and operated hospital and fire its Latin American Medical School (ELAM) trained Garifuna physicians, including Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, its founder. Dr. Castillo Harry has been targeted for assassination in order to decapitate the Garifuna leadership. The original open assassination strategy has been revised to arrest and imprison Castillo Harry and have him killed in jail as a way of covering his assassination."

Los hechos hablan  9/3/2009 ALAI Net: "Ese es el gran ejemplo que nos da la comunidad garífuna de Iriona que demanda, en forma urgente, la solidaridad del pueblo hondureño para que el hospital que fue construido con los esfuerzos de todos sus miembros, no les sea arrebatado para encadenarlo a un sistema estatal que no garantiza la permanencia de los beneficios médicos con que actualmente cuenta, especialmente los que ofrecen los profesionales garífunas, compatriotas graduados en Cuba."

Takeover imminent of Honduras’ Garifuna Community Hospital  9/1/2009 SF Bay View: by Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC)

OFRANEH: Golpistas racistas cierran Hospital Comunitario Garifuna de Ciriboya  8/31/2009 Honduras Solidarity: "En los útlimos días se viene haciendo efectiva la amenaza de la conversión del Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya en un simple centro de salud, descalificando la enorme labor de apoyo efectuada por los médicos garífunas graduado en la ELAM y las brigadas cubanas. Las razones que motivan al régimen de facto a tomar la determinación de destruir el trabajo efectuado por el Hospital Comunitario de Ciriboya, radica en el racismo de los funcionarios estatales que se han incorporado a la pesadilla orquestada por Micheletti, y al desprecio por la visión social de los médicos educados en Cuba, versus a la mentalidad capitalista de la mayoría de los médicos egresados de las escuelas locales. La labor efectuada tanto por las brigadas cubanas como por los médicos garífunas, ha servido de paradigma al igual que la construcción con recursos propios de un hospital modelo, único en Honduras y ejemplo para los demás pueblos indígenas."

“Los cubanos médicos llegan a cualquier sitio y atienden a la gente como lo que es”  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson 

HOSPITAL GARIFUNA: Cuba y Estados Unidos trabajan juntos en Honduras  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "Entrevista a John Garamendi, Vicegobernador del Estado de California en Estados Unidos durante la inauguración de una clínica en Ciraboya."

HOSPITAL GARIFUNA: LA LUCHA POR LA SALUD DEL PUEBLO GARIFUNA EN HONDURAS  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: Expresión de la solidaridad internacionalista de la Revolución Cubana - Reportaje, audio y fotos de Dick Emanuelsson - Trascripción Adriana D'Ambrosio, la Juventud (Montevideo) - "Transcurrieron 116 años, entre que se fundó la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Autónoma de Honduras hasta que se pudo graduar el primer médico garifuna en esa Facultad. Sin embargo, entre 2005 y 2007 ya han sido graduados en la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicinas (ELAM), en Cuba, 32 médicos garifunas y están por graduarse varias decenas más de esta etnia hondureña. Es con este panorama comenzamos este reportaje divididos en cinco partes."

HOSPITAL GARIFUNA: Diálogo con el Dr. Luther Castillo Harry, motor de la lucha del pueblo garifuna  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "LUTHER: Primero que nada agradecer profundamente a ti, compañero Dick, por esta oportunidad. Vale aclarar que los verdaderos motores de este proyecto son Fidel, el pueblo cubano y el pueblo garífuna, que creemos son engranajes muy importantes. Fidel por la concepción de este proyecto que es la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, que nos permite a nosotros los pobres, los afrodescendientes de Honduras, e hijos de campesinos, de obreros y diferentes grupos étnicos, formarnos en esta noble carrera que es la de Medicina. El pueblo cubano por el apoyo y ese soporte que ha dado a estos ideales. Y el pueblo garífuna por el compromiso que hemos tenido en la lucha por muchos años y es la que nos mantiene ahí firmes para crear este proyecto, que es la idea con la que fue concebida la ELAM."

Garifunas: La lucha por el derecho a salud para el pueblo garifuna  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "El 27 de febrero del 1999 llegaron los primeros estudiantes latinoamericanos para comenzar sus estudios en la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, ELAM, una institución que fue inaugurada por Fidel Castro el 15 de noviembre del mismo año cuando se celebraba la Cumbre de los Jefes de los paises Iberoamericanos. Desde el inicio estuvo al frente Eladio Valcárcel, vicerrector de la ELAM con lo cual conversamos en esta entrevista exclusiva."

GARIFUNAS: “El capitalismo que existe en Honduras nos ha destruido”  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "Diálogo con Arnulfo Mejias Zelaya, el Alcalde del muncipio de Iriona y de la Comunidad Garífuna que subraya que “antes que llegaran los médicos cubanos en Iriona sólo había un médico”"

“Los médicos cubanos curamos, prevenimos, y no hablamos de dinero, así nos formamos”  8/29/2009 Dick Emanuelsson: "Hace 16 meses llegó la primera Brigada Médica Cubana a Ciriboya, una aldea del municipio de Iriona. Ganó inmediatamente el cariño y el amor de la población garifuna. Trabajaron los cubanos un año y fueron reemplazados por un nuevo contingente. Con ellos conversé cuando solo faltaba un mes antes de que inaugurara un hermoso hospital de dos pisos el 8 de diciembre. Los tres cubanos con que conversamos son la Licenciada en Enfermería LOYNA CARIDAD MILANES ALDAZABAL, la especialista en Medicina Integral (MGI) KENYA FERNÁNDEZ MORA y el Estomatólogo, JORGE LUÍS CHIVAS."

Honduras government takes over the only Garifuna hospital in the country  8/19/2009 Caribbean Net News: "This unrest in Honduras, if it continues, could lead to many of these Garifuna people leaving Honduras to go and join their relatives in Belize and the United States. This action on the part of the current Honduran government could be considered a gross violation of the Garifuna people’s human rights. The act of forcefully closing down a hospital that takes care of the sick and needy by the military is not one that falls into good behavior with any humanitarian government or agency throughout this world. As a Garifuna from Belize who has relatives all over Honduras, like many other Garifuna people from Nicaragua, Guatemala and Belize, I call on all Garifuna people throughout Central America and the world to file a complaint with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, the United States, other countries and international agencies to condemn this outrageous act. The Garifuna people who are seeking treatment for their diseases and are currently on medication may not be able to survive while this unrest is ongoing."

Honduran Coup Government Continues Attack on the Poor with Plan to Seize Indigenous Hospital  8/7/2009 Huffington Post: "As MEDICC explains, the Garifuna Community Hospital opened in December of 2007 under an agreement with the government of President Zelaya and in accordance with an International Labor Organization covenant that supports locally-managed health services for indigenous and tribal peoples. According to Dr. Castillo, the hospital has treated 175,000 cases since that time, providing such services as birthing, surgeries, hospitalization, dental care, laboratory tests and other outreach and prevention services. Now, the de facto Honduran government is threatening the lives of the poor in the Ionia coastal department and surrounding area by its move to oust the staff of this hospital."

Honduras coup is more bloody than bloodless  8/2/2009 NY Daily News: "But Vallejo Soriano wasn't the first victim of "golpista" violence according to Dr. Luther Castillo, 33, director of the Luaga Hatuadi Waduheñu Foundation, a group that brings vital health services to isolated indigenous coastal communities. He left Honduras eight days ago with five other community leaders to "educate the world about 'el golpe.'" "We have denounced many extrajudicial executions," said Castillo. According to Castillo, in addition to Isis Murillo, a teenager killed July 5 at the airport waiting for Zelaya's return, there have been other deaths that can be directly attributed to the Micheletti regime. "On July 2, Gabriel Pino Noriega, from San Juan Puebla, was murdered; on Saturday, July 11, Roger Iván Báez, was shot while entering his home in San Pedro Sula; July 12, Ramón García, a 'campesino' leader, was also killed. And there are many more," he said. Castillo says it is ironic that Micheletti claims Zelaya's return would cause a bloodbath. "The bloodbath is already going on courtesy of the military," he said."

Under Threat is the Life of Honduran Activist Luther Castillo  7/12/2009 CAN: "If Luther is captured and resists the arrest, the military have orders to shoot him, the last we heard from him was a phone call to his sister Tania, who he requested, in her garifuna language, not to tell names since phone communications were being intercepted by coup perpetrators, she assured."

Preocupa en Honduras la vida de Luther Castillo  7/6/2009 CubaDebate: “Informa a los compas que denuncien que mi nombre está en el listado del ejército para captura y hay orden de dispararme si me resisto”. Por lo tanto, nosotros exigimos las garantías de integridad física de nuestros compañeros, así como también alzamos la voz de protesta y lucha del pueblo Hondureño."

Preocupa en Honduras la vida de Luther Castillo  7/6/2009 Ahora: "Un comunicado enviado por los Movimientos Sociales en Honduras a Cubadebate, alerta sobre el peligro que corre la vida del doctor Luther Castillo, coordinador de la resistencia en ese país. Luther Castillo es uno de los jóvenes médicos graduados en la Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina en Cuba y uno de los fundadores del hospital para el pueblo garífuna de Honduras, que abrió el gobierno de Zelaya el 8 de octubre de 2007."

Correction: Honduran Presidential Candidate Is Still Alive  6/28/2009 NarcoNews: "Luther Castillo, coordinator of Honduran social movements, in an interview with the Cuban television program Mesa Redonda, denied that the leader of the Democratic Unification Party, Cesar Ham, has been assassinated. Castillo also denied that Ham has been detained and said that he remains in a secure location, faced with the possibility of repression by the coup leaders."

Dr. Luther Castillo and Diane Appelbaum Bring ¡SALUD! To Town  2/21/2008 Santa Barbara Independent: ¡SALUD! is an award-winning film about Cuba’s medical outreach programs to the developing world. Produced and directed by Connie Field, of The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter documentary fame, the film-beautifully shot in Cuba, South Africa, Gambia, Honduras, and Venezuela-traces the conflicting agendas that mark the quest for global health. It examines the remarkable case of Cuba, a poor country with what the BBC calls “one of the world’s best health systems” and an outreach program to other countries that former president Jimmy Carter claims is “unequaled anywhere.”

People in the Film -- Dr. Luther Castillo  12/1/2004 Salud!: "Since graduating from the Latin American Medical School [Cuba] in August 2005, Dr Luther Castillo has been collaborating with other graduates, non-governmental partners, labor leaders, community members, and international and local volunteers to finalize the construction and equipping of the Ciriboya Community Hospital in the Honduran Mosquitia (see Innovative Project Brings Permanent Medical Services to Honduran Mosquitia). This community-based initiative, addressing the specific health needs of the Garifunas, represents the first sustainable source of care for the 18,000 people living in Ironia Municipalty, Dr Castillo´s home region."

Garifuna protest environmental destruction in Iriona, Colon  7/29/2002 Honduras This Week: "In a public denouncement made July 25, Garifuna organizations are strongly protesting environmental destruction of watersheds caused by the construction of a road in the Municipality of Iriona in the Department of Colon. According to said documents, the road between Sico-Ciriboya was illegally built using Soptravi (Secretary of Public Works) machinery in the year 2000 despite numerous formal protests to pertinent government authorities —the National Forestry Agency - COHDEDOR, the Ethnic District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Protected Areas -PROBAP, and the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources - SERNA— by local authorities, patronatos and other community organizations; and without an environmental impact study having been realized. Construction and the now existing road has contaminated the Los Naranjos River watershed which supplies five Garifuna communities with water that since 2000 has been laden with sedimentation, unfit for human consumption."




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