Dr. Valerie Colby is an optometrist working for His Eyes, a medical clinic ministry located in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. She and her husband Felipe moved there 23 years ago where she is the only American on staff at the busy clinic.
“They are Honduran doctors, nurses, staff members,” she says of her fellow clinic workers. “So it's been a great opportunity to grow not only in my Spanish language capacity but also as a doctor to work in a foreign field, where there is lots of need and lots of areas where I can help."
His Eyes currently occupies a 4,000-square-foot building, where a second floor is being built, after beginning in a rented house. The clinic offers general medicine, dentistry, pediatric and OBGYN care, as well as optometry.
The average annual salary in Honduras is about $2,700, where three-quarters of the country’s 10 million people live in poverty.
Because she has been at work for almost a quarter-century, Colby is seeing the results of her years of work. She recently talked with a man, now an attorney, who had been helped at the clinic 15 years ago. She also remembers him selling tamales to the staff.
“And I thought, wow, how amazing is that,” she says, “that seeing kids grow up and be able to go to school, help their families, and become something in life, is pretty amazing."