Photo by Corey Petrick
By Shea Parton
Even though we are in Honduras, we can sense the Super Bowl in the air. Our American roots and invites to local Super Bowl parties made it official—sports are the universal language! We broke through the defense and survived the tourism of La Ceiba (174k population) and then took a ferry to the 37-mile long island of Roatán (90k population). When we arrived, my long-time friend and mentor, Curt Hamann, was there to welcome us. My mother met Curt’s wife, Beth, on an airplane 20+ years ago and that fateful interaction evolved into a lifelong friendship between our families. Curt received his M.D. from Loma Linda in 1987 and today is the father of six phenomenal kids, a successful entrepreneur in the global medical industry, a certified diver, and a leader that I respect more than he probably knows. Curt was drawn to Honduras fifteen years ago and immediately began bringing medical teams to rural Siguatepeque. What I love most about Curt’s story is that throug his consistent visits he met a local doctor named Enrique who enlightened him in the ways of rural community development. Enrique believes the key is to empower Honduran doctors who truly have a heart for their country. Curt truly understood this key to development when he realized he was problem solving with American-style quick fixes and large budget solutions that Enrique patiently explained were well intended, but unsustainable. Enrique’s resourceful style and sincere heart to see gradual progress in Honduras inspired Curt and continues to be their vision for the country. These early discussions slowly led to the concept of a coffee plantation with the goal of utilizing the fertile agriculture of Siguatepeque to sustain a local hospital. We are privileged to partner with this coffee plantation to expand their struggling output market, sustainably support a local hospital, and develop a new division of Apolis.
Curt rushed us to the Gloriamaris sailboat to get acquainted with his 14 friends, some locals, and others on vacation. We were welcomed aboard with Captain Tom and his wife Lilianna announcing the Super Bowl pre-game feast had already begun (love it!). We then painfully spent the afternoon relaxing and free-diving Roatan’s Turtle Crossing dive site. We finished the day over dinner with Curt, while our waiter insisted we order the Super Bowl special platter. It's always so nice to find a home a way from home! Tomorrow brings an early rise and a long trip to Siguatepeque where all the fun begins.