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.
Aug 2, 2012

Individualized care = excellence!

Talking about problems diabetics face in Guatemala
Talking about problems diabetics face in Guatemala

Dear friends,

More than anything, I attribute the success of our diabetes programs to our amazing staff - nurses and health promoters - who every day advocate for patients and make sure that they have all the resources necessary to live healthy lives.

Let me just tell you one story by way of example. Several months ago, we had two new patients come to our diabetic clinic with type 1 diabetes. This is unusual, because the vast majority (99%) of patients that we take care of have type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is the kind of diabetes that develops earlier in life and is much more difficult to control because it requires earlier and more frequent insulin injections. 

These two patients are young women, sisters, in their mid twenties, who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as teenagers. However, in the last 10 years since diagnosis, they had never found adequate treatment for their diabetes, mostly because other clinics were uncomfortable dealing with patients with the type 1 diagnosis or because the insulin treatments prescribed were too expensive. 

These barriers, however, were no big deal for our staff. First, since the medications we provide are free of charge (thanks to all of you and your generous support!), we were immediately able to manage that concern. Next, the staff leaped into action, providing intensive in-home nutritional counseling and lifestyle advice to the women over the next two months. They also provided the women with blood sugar testing supplies (again, thanks to your generous support!), which allowed for intensive monitoring and rapid adjustment of insulin doses. The result: after three months, both women have blood sugars that are nearly normal, and they feel better than they have ever felt in the last decade! By controlling their diabetes, we are able not only to make them feel better but also prevent long term damage to their eyes, nerves, and kidneys.  

Recently, some of our staff and patients had the opportunity to host a group of international visitors (see the pictures below). The visitors had the opportunity to learn about the challenges of treating diabetes in Guatemala and how Wuqu' Kawoq is attempting to take care of this problem, one patient at a time!

Visitors chat with diabetes patients and staff
Visitors chat with diabetes patients and staff


Aug 2, 2012

New birthing center for indigenous women!


Wuqu' Kawoq is pleased to announce that one of our partner organizations in women's health, the midwifery cooperative of ACOTCHI (Asociacion de Comadronas Tradicionales de Chimaltenango), recently opened up its own dedicated birthing center in Chiq'a'l/San Juan Comalapa.  Wuqu' Kawoq has been collaborating with ACOTCHI for nearly a decade to support midwife training programs delivered in Kaqchikel, to assist with adult literacy classes, and to hold primary health care clinics.  Our relationships with many of ACOTCHI's midwives have facilitated not only improvement of prenatal care to many Kaqchikel women, but also nutrition and diabetes programming  in several rural communities of the Kaqchikel highlands.
During the inauguration of the new clinic, ACOTCHI's Director, Erika Yax, commented, "It has been very difficult to reach this point.  We began on the ground...no one has ever made sure that midwives have had an adequate or dignified space in which to work.  This is a dream, and it is just the beginning."  
As Wuqu' Kawoq continues to collaborate with ACOTCHI in this beautiful new clinical space, we will contribute to ACOTCHI's admirable efforts in lowering maternal mortality rates and providing high quality prenatal and post-partum care to Kaqchikel women.


Jul 6, 2012

Phase 2 of Construction Nearly Complete

Dear Friends -

Things are going so well with this project, thanks to your help and support! As you know, the first clinic is now fully functional and operating at capacity. The second building, which will serve as bathrooms, office, and classroom space is nearing completion! I'm attaching some pictures that show the progress we've been making.

Be sure to follow along as this project evolves! Even thought the bricks and mortar portion of the construction is nearly finished, we still need your help furnishing the space with office and clinical equipment, painting the walls, beautifying the common space out front, etc. 


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