Wuqu' Kawoq

Wuqu' Kawoq's mission is to address the barriers to excellent health care that the majority of Guatemala's indigenous Maya population face, including principally the lack of access to health care in their own languages. As such, Wuqu' Kawoq develops primary care and health programs within a larger context of community vitality, family stability,and Mayan language revitalization.
Oct 30, 2012

Expanding care in 2013

Dear friends, 

As the end of the year draws close, we've been making plans for our midwifery and women's health programs  for 2013. This is always an exciting time of the year, because it gives us a chance to reflect back on the accomplishments of the past year and plan for any upcoming new goals.

For example, we've been helping to provide education to lay indigenous midwives in Guatemala for over 5 years now. This model has been very successful and has attracted a lot of attention around the region. As a result, in 2013, we'll be expanding the training to a third town, meaning that midwives will have more options in deciding which training event is closest to their home. We anticipate having around 120 different participating midwives this year. Collectively, these midwives represent 5 different municipalities and cover a population of over 150,000 with obstetrical services. 

Another goal for the coming year is continued expansion of our sexual health training curriculum for women. We've learned over the years that most rural indigenous women have very little exposure to basic health education and have no forum in which they can comfortably and safely have their questions about sexual health and family planning addressed. We plan to provide educational sessions to 400 women in 2013. What's more, each participant will have full access to our other health services, including free cervical cancer screening and access to family planning methods. 

As always, our work would not be possible without your support! Please consider continuing to support this exciting project in your holiday or year end giving! Don't forget that the Global Giving interface will allow you to donate in honor of a loved one - a great idea for alternative gift giving!

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Oct 7, 2012

Clinic Inauguration

Dear friends, 

We just returned from an exciting trip to Guatemala. One of the focal activities of this trip was the formal inauguration of this clinic building. 

Although we've already been using the building informally to see patients for a while now, while construction was finishing up, this inauguration gave us the opportunity to unite the entire community to celebrate the conclusion of the project. In attendance were officials from local government and school and hundreds of community members.There were speeches, dances, and food. The activity was organized by Wuqu' Kawoq's regional staff and by the local women's action community that is in charge of running this clinic and its associated activities. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you so much for all your generous support in getting this project off the ground. Even though the clinic is now operational, there are still giving opportunities, as we still have a some clinic supplies and furniture that we would like to add to round out the space. 

As always, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions at peter@wuqukawoq.org. 

Links:

Sep 7, 2012

Improving Education about Nutrition

The focus group team
The focus group team

Dear Friends,

 Our child nutrition programs have always had three basic pillars.

 (1) The provision of nutritional supplements to children, to help prevent malnutrition and provide as a "safety net" in times of food insecurity.

(2) The provision of excellent medical care, to help identify and treat the diseases--both common and rare-- that contribution to child malnutrition.

(3) Education of caregivers and community leaders about child health and nutrition, to help provide communities with the tools they themselves need to be engaged in protecting the health of their children.

Of these three pillars, by far education is the most challenging. This may sound counter-intuitive at first. However, if you think about all the different barriers that exists to a good educational program--such as low rates of literacy, or the inherent resistance there always is to changing infant rearing practices (which are time-honored and passed down from generation to generation in every culture)--then it is becomes easier to understand why educational programs are numerous but quality educational programs (that produce real change at the community level) are few indeed. 

With this mind, I'm happy to report that Wuqu' Kawoq has just finished up the initial stages of a massive program evaluation designed to improve our nutritional education programming. To accomplish this, we assembled a highly skilled team of community health workers, anthropologists, and nutritionists, who spend most of July and August conducting dozens of focus groups and hundreds of interviews with community leaders, parents, and other stakeholders in our communities.

This evaluation was wide-ranging, designed to help us understand better what parents think about the health of their children and the causes of malnutrition. It will also give us deeper inside into dietary diversity, breastfeeding and weaning practices, and competing nutritional messages from other groups (such as companies which market infant foods).

 Right now our team is evaluating the immense amount of data that was collected during this evaluation. Within the next month or two, we will have a formal report from the team which will identify the areas where our current nutrition education programming might be deficient or not exactly in line with the needs of our communities and give us recommendations for improvement. We're very excited about this great opportunity we have to continue to improve our programs so that we can better serve the children of Guatemala!

As always, thanks so much for your continued support, and keep in touch! Feel free to drop me an email at any point at peter@wuqukawoq.org. 

Traveling to communities
Traveling to communities
Interviews in progress
Interviews in progress

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