Officers, Advisors, and Ambassadors
Helen Kornblum, M.D., President, and Executive Director in the U.S.
Raquel Ortez, S.S.N.D., Vice President, and Executive Director in Honduras
Liz Carter, Financial Operations Manager
AMIGA Advisors and Ambassadors:
“Most people know who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but does anyone know who laid the floor? “
Angie Braithwaite, N.P., Manager of Brigade Pharmacy
Katie Herrera, R.N., Manager of Brigade Operations
Melanie Kornblum, O.T., Manager of Fundraising
Ellie M. Cantù, OLPH AMIGA Ministry Coordinator
Rene Robleda Matute
Ingris Amaya Martell
Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) in Selma TX, Annual Shipment
St. Alban Roe (SAR) in Wildwood MO Pharmacy support
As I reflect on years of service to Honduras through AMIGA, beginning with my first trip in 2005, I feel grateful and blessed. What is the magnet that led me to develop and grow AMIGA and the energy of this ministry all these years? The answer is quite simple. It starts with answering a call, under Direction from God, which requires complete trust and follows with an unfathomable fulfillment that motivates me to continue this amazing journey. God’s light and love fuel this ministry through many people all year round.
In the words of a wise Honduran man we once met along the road; “Oh what an amazing privilege it is to have been blessed with so much that you are able to give so much”. God is working through AMIGA, and through many amigas and amigos of AMIGA. Through this amazing mission in God’s amor, eyes and hearts are opened to the Presence of God that is in each of us. Each experience and every person that is touched through AMIGA keeps the focus on this beautiful light that penetrates darkness, and our critical need for this in every moment.
I see AMIGA as an instrument from God to bring hope to my people of
Honduras. All the people that become part of AMIGA affirm to Hondurans that they are not alone, that they have brother and sisters in the states that do not forget them.
My involvement in AMIGA started in 2014. I was attracted to AMIGA via my
High School friend, Helen, and her passion for the cause. As I continue to work with AMIGA and meet the truly dedicated volunteers across the US, I am humbled by their talents and ability to make a difference in Honduras. The stories from the Honduran medical brigades are enlightening and inspire me to continue to volunteer my time tracking and reporting AMIGA’s financial activity. My thanks to Dr. Helena, Sr. Raquel, and the many volunteers for allowing me to be part of this amazing organization.
AMIGA is God’s love shown through the work of many hands. After many years of work and leadership in a neonatal ICU, I felt a calling to do something more. I got involved with various organizations and God led me to AMIGA. On my first trip many years ago, I felt “at home” and connected with women who became my sisters. I have gone every time since then. AMIGA is part of who I am. I look forward to every trip – bringing many suitcases full of much needed things to leave (from shoes to adult diapers) and then filled with coffee to bring home! This ministry is indeed a labor of love. It is a lot of work and a lot of blessings.
AMIGA is so dear to me and truly has changed my life. It is difficult to sum up
what I love most about it. Top of list: the opportunity to serve those most in
need and making connections within so many beautiful communities.
On my first trip to Honduras with AMIGA in 2010, I immediately fell in
love with the incredible people. Their compassion and generosity is truly
inspiring. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in
serving the amazing Honduran community. As Saint Teresa of
Calcutta put it so beautifully, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can
do small things with great love.”
Before my oldest daughter went on her first brigade ten years ago, I had the
opportunity to meet Doctora Helena and Sister Raquel. I was immediately drawn to their passion, joy, and commitment to the mission of AMIGA. The following year, I was able to experience a brigade with both of my daughters, creating an enduring relationship with AMIGA and the many people we met in Honduras. Since then, my entire family has been involved. We are so grateful for AMIGA being a conduit in connecting numerous medical providers to share love and care for those struggling daily with extreme poverty.
Who would have dreamed that such a humble beginning would grow to affect so many lives? Certainly not me. But it sure has. I am so proud of the dozens of people who have made Amiga what it has become. My hat is off to everyone who has built this. God surely is good. Mark
I would not be able to do this without Mark and all he does to make this
possible for me. He is with me in my heart on every trip. Helen
AMIGA is a labor of love. We don’t have to help; we GET to serve our brothers and sisters in Honduras. It is a blessing and a privilege to be able to donate our various talents, time and treasures to an organization rooted in love and dedicated to the service of others.
I was inspired by Juan and his son Christian, the young man who received the wheelchair from AMIGA that we met in June. It was incredibly moving to hear Juan say that it’s not a burden to care for his son, but that he is blessed to get to care for him every day. An empty boat sits under their home, a constant reminder of the reality of recurrent flooding from which they have to flee. No complaints, just gratitude for every day. A lesson for us all.
Humbled and Fulfilled are two words I use to describe my feelings after each Amiga brigade. To serve and learn from the people that touch our lives there is amazing. You learn that family is everything and possessions are not very important. Our work there hopefully makes the people of Honduras feel better and gives them hope for a better life.
AMIGA has become my second family. Every time I get off the plane in Honduras I am greeted by the most beautiful people and know that I am home.
Those people are what bring me back. It’s not just throwing supplies and medications at them, but forging relationships that will continue through the years. Every year when I see the sweet young man above my heart grows a few sizes. His joy and thankful attitude reminds me why I joined the medical field.
Whenever I hear of an upcoming brigade it is not a question of if I am going, but how I am going to make it happen. There is no other place I would rather be!
In 2009 and 2014 my daughters and I participated in an AMIGA medical
mission trip. Our eye-opening experiences have had a lasting impact
on all of our lives. Although the mission trip was a great opportunity to medically serve some of the poorest and least fortunate families in Honduras, my best memories are of the people in the communities I worked with. They made my experience so much more than just medicine. I met some truly inspiring people who made me want to be a better person. I will always look back and think how lucky I was to be a part of this amazing organization and be truly grateful for this experience.
Being part of AMIGA at OLPH in Texas brings unbridled fellowship and community as we strive together to support the AMIGA mission in Honduras.
This enthusiasm naturally spreads to and permeates the overall ministry effort at OLPH, with the parish community experiencing a connection to Honduras through donations and time, bringing fulfillment to their service commitment to God’s community. Serving on the AMIGA missions to Honduras has brought me everlasting friendships, memories and fulfillment. Bringing hope and love in the form of medical attention to our poorer brothers and sisters in Honduras is tremendously uplifting. In return, they share their rich culture, deep gratitude and a graciousness that fills me up. AMIGA has highlighted my service life for many years and is bedrock in my spiritual life. Michael Schramm
Amiga OLPH ministry has been a great opportunity for me to be active in our church community. It feels like a family helping each other accomplish different tasks. For the greater good of the Amigas Mission in Honduras. I have been able to learn a lot from both aspects by helping, listening, and learning about our culture compared to the Hondurans. I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful ministry and Mission. Ellie M. Cantú
SAR is a parish that is rich in ministries, living the call from Christ to be His
hands and feet. The SAR basement sale and the great generosity of this parish
family supplements the high cost of our “pharmacy” for our medical brigades,
providing much needed medications. Teams from SAR have also joined us in
Honduras bringing much of God’s Love to many we are privileged to serve. In
addition, they have helped to collect whatever is needed from vitamins to
firehoses to saxophones!