Laura Daigle, RN, is a nurse in Labor and Delivery at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Daigle joined our ministry before she graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2016 by participating in the Accelerated Clinical Experience program that allows nursing students to shadow nurses before they graduate. Upon graduating in 2016, Daigle worked in the medicine unit for 19 months before transferring to Labor and Delivery.
“I did this program in 2015 and fell in love with this ministry and what it represents,” Daigle says.
Daigle was born and raised in La Ceiba, Honduras, a small coastal city in the northern part of the country. When it came time to pursue a higher education, she decided to follow in the footsteps of her older siblings and forge a new life in America.
Her sister moved to the U.S. in 2003 to attend the University of Central Arkansas and become a registered nurse. Two years later, her brother went to the University of New Orleans to study mechanical engineering. Daigle followed and started school at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2012. Daigle has happily remained in Lafayette to this day.
“I fell head-over-heels in love with Lafayette and vowed to never leave,” Daigle says.
Daigle may have moved away from Honduras, but she is proud of her ancestry and is making it a point to pass down and share her heritage whenever she can.
“Living in the United States, I have learned to acclimate to the American way of life and still keep my culture and heritage with me,” Daigle says. “As a new mom, it is really important to instill this culture in my son, so he can grow up knowing and loving the country where his blood and ancestors are from. I am teaching my son and husband (who is American) to speak Spanish, as well as eating Honduran foods and celebrating national holidays like our Independence Day on September 15th. I keep two Honduran flags in my home for every visitor to know that we are proud Hondurans.”
Daigle’s parents still live in Honduras but make it a priority to visit their children and grandchildren in the U.S. whenever they can.
Beaches, Barbeques and Baleadas
Growing up in a small coastal town in Honduras, Daigle’s family made a tradition of going to the beach every day during their Easter break as well as every Sunday. Immediate family, extended family, and even friends would join in as they spent the day at the beach, playing everything from volleyball and soccer to board games and poker while having a Honduran barbeque.
The tradition fell apart when she moved, but Daigle looks back on it fondly and cites its importance when thinking about her family.
“This helped foster great family values and the importance of spending time together,” Daigle says.
Daigle’s favorite cultural dishes are tapado and baleadas. Tapado is a coconut milk-based stew filled with different meats like salted beef, pork and sausage along with yucca, ripe and green plantains, and even green bananas. The word “tapado” translates to “covered;” this dish was traditionally made by covering the stew with plantain leaves while it cooked.
A baleada is a versatile dish that is made up of flour tortilla, refried beans and cheese folded in half, similar to a taco. The baleada can be served as a lunch or dinner option with grilled meats and pickled onions or as a breakfast option with eggs and sausage or bacon.
“Legend says that the baleadas started with a woman who sold these tortillas, beans and cheese by the railroad tracks where the Dole workers would pass,” Daigle said. “They say that one day, this woman got shot and that is how this dish got its name since the translation for bullets is ‘balas.”
Daigle and her sister both cite her mother as inspiring them to pursue a career in healthcare. When her grandmother fell ill, Daigle’s mother cared tirelessly for her, despite not having a medical background.
“She was not a nurse but because of necessity, she learned to be one and a great one at that,” Daigle says. “She learned skills over a short period of time to care for her mother with so much love and devotion. This dedication inspired me and my sister to become nurses and provide this same care to all of the patients we come in contact with.”
In her role as a nurse, Daigle has the opportunity to showcase her passions by not only doing something that she loves but also connecting it to something that she is proud of.
“I take great pride in being Honduran and being there for all of the Hispanic women that come into our hospital,” Daigle says. “It brings me great joy to provide the best care for them and help make them feel a little more comfortable just by being able to communicate effectively with them.”
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, especially during Hispanic Heritage Month each