“I for you and you for me”

Garífuna ELAM graduates Wendy Pérez (l) and Luther Castillo (r), members of the group of students who founded “For the Health of our People¨, at the house where Cuban medical personnel live in Ciriboya. (Photo courtesy of Diane Appelbaum of MEDICC)

By Joanne Shansky

“¡Elsa!  ¿Cómo estás?” exclaimed Dr. Luther Castillo with a huge smile and a very warm hug.  In a rare relaxing moment during a recent whirlwind visit to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Castillo was reunited with a family friend from his Garífuna community on the northern coast of Honduras.

Dr. Castillo, founder of the first Garífuna hospital and head of the largest international team of physicians working in Haiti, was in town to share his experiences and speak on the topic of health care as a universal right.  He traveled with Dr. Juan Almendares, rector of the National University of Honduras, long-time human rights activist, and highly-respected leader of the resistance movement against the June, 2009 military coup.

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