Volunteer profile - Honduras Red Cross

Published: 11 December 2015 0:08 CET

For 43 years, Rosario Fernandez, a Honduras Red Cross volunteer with a warm smile, has spent countless hours providing humanitarian relief to those in need. Even when rain floods the streets, or violence is everywhere, Rosario is on duty: “is my passion, it is a moral mandate that I have.”

In these long years of volunteer work, Rosario has seen everything – from the destruction left in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch, to the aftermath of a terrible revolt in one of Honduras’ prisons, which left 300 prisoners dead.

In the past 20 years Honduras has experienced a number of social challenges. The World Health Organization has classified it as the most violent country in the Americas, with 103.9 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Rosario’s biggest concern is for the effect on the country’s youth: “Young people are not seeing any other future than to become part of a gang. We have an obligation to show them other ways, and for me that is my Red Cross mission.”

Rosario’s family has accepted her vocation, to the point that her children are now also Red Cross volunteers. “Friends are my challenge – they ask me, ‘why are you doing this?’ And I said, because it is my passion. I feel confident because I wear my Red Cross everywhere.

“For as long as I can, I will volunteer, she said, with tears in her eyes. “Undoubtedly, I receive more than I give.”