Katie Geise, program chair for the day, introduced Katie Castro, a Bemus Point native, who lives in Honduras with her husband and two daughters, Zoey and Lucy.  Mrs. Castro took a mission trip to Honduras annually with her church in her high school years; at 17, she spent summers there to teach English as a Second Language.  She then led trips for college students, and at age 21, moved there, and founded a non-profit organization to help at-risk youth in Honduras.
Mrs. Castro’s second child died in Honduras because of the lack of quality Honduran maternal care in that country.  First, her baby Lily was born with severe birth defects that were missed during her prenatal care; she had operations and did better, but suffered brain damage due to a nurse waiting twenty minutes for a doctor to help resuscitate Lily when she stopped breathing.  Finally, despite the fact that someone flew the family to Texas Children’s Hospital for no charge, the doctors there found that Lily could never breathe on her own.  She died at five days old.
This experience led the Castros to ask Honduran doctors what they could do to be sure nothing like this happened to other families.  They were shown units for babies in Honduras where 44 babies occupied seven incubators. Parents were sobbing as 53% of newborns there are dying because of lack of room and lack of numbers of medical help.  A hospital built to serve 7,000 births a year, actually treats 16,563 a year. The Castros decided to help by serving as a voice for newborns.  In 2014, they established a non-profit here called Angels of Hope to raise money for an addition to the hospital in the capitol city of Honduras; they have raised $35,000 toward the $350,000 goal.  A long-term goal is to build a hospital for mothers and children to prevent this high rate of fatalities.  Mrs. Castro, who is only 27, still lives in Honduras and returns periodically to Bemus Point.
After a touching and inspiring program, members adjourned.
Bemus Point native Katie Castro spoke before the Jamestown Rotary Club on November 9 regarding "Angels of Hope," a non-profit she founded to improve maternal and newborn care in Honduras where she resides with her husband and two daughters.  She is pictured with Rotary Program Committee Member Katie Geise, left, and Rotary Program Committee Chair Mark Baldwin.