“One of the greatest gifts about learning another language is that it provides key insights and perspective into one’s culture. For example, dar a luz, (literal translation “to give light”) is the expression used in Spanish when referring to a woman giving birth. What an exemplary phrase to describe one of the most precious moments in a woman’s life!” Anna Blankenberger
History of Dar a Luz
In 2007 Silvia Bahr began to volunteer in the maternity ward of the old public hospital in La Ceiba, Honduras. Conditions in the hospital were difficult, where eight to ten women labored at once in the same room and hospital rules are very restricted. She has spent many hours at the hospital; on weekends and all through the night and supported around 11000 women during childbirth.
Her work gave her insight into the health care and hospital systems of Honduras; their norms, hierarchies, potential for change, and lacks. As her work in La Ceiba progressed, she began to widen her scope. She worked on providing general and childbirth education to women, and creating and distributing educational materials to health care centers, hospitals and traditional midwives.
In 2009, she founded an association in Germany with the goal of improving maternal health care in Honduras. Besides to work on to increase the presence of labor support in public Honduran hospitals, where there is a immense need, there are many other projects as providing sexual, childbirth and general education in hospitals, health centers and hogares maternos (or ”maternal homes”). Silvia is collaborating with traditional midwives, organizing donations of needed materials to midwives and underfunded hospitals, and working in the education sector to organizing workshops and training to student nurses and doctors. To multiply and sustain these effort there is now a program known as Dar a Luz Honduras. Dar a Luz has many local friends and collaborators, and tens of volunteers each year including midwives, nurses, doulas, social workers, educators and other birth advocates.