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Jun 24, 2019

WINGS' 2019 Mid-Year Accomplishments

2019 marks WINGS’ 18th year. We are growing in important and strategic ways, always aiming to reach the unreachable with reproductive health education and services.

The most significant growth is a geographic expansion via a new third mobile unit to the Western Highlands including Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos. We have secured funding, hired local staff, and trained this new team to begin providing WINGS’ services in three new departments beginning July 1. We are leveraging a recently signed MOU with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health that will allow us easier access to national hospitals with whom we partner to perform tubal ligations and vasectomies. 

Another meaningful partnership that we continue to grow is with APEVIHS (Asociación para la Prevención y Estudio del VIH/Sida), an organization working in the southwest region of Guatemala, focused on malnutrition, prevention, and screening of HIV, along with wrap-around community services. WINGS’ agreement with APEVIHS allows WINGS to have a clinic space within their offices and to accompany their community health workers when they go into the field to offer community-based services. We are excited to learn from APEVIHS staff and explore how to best integrate HIV-related services into our work.

In June, our Executive Director Rodrigo Barillas along with the President of our Board of Directors, Holly Myers, attended the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver. In addition to being inspired by the workshops and networking, they were able to share WINGS’ work on an international stage, continuing to build our reputation as a leader in the provision of rights-based, patient-centered care.

Finally, our Medical Director, Dr. Michelle Dubón, was chosen to be a part of the 2019 class of Aspen New Voices Fellows. These 25 leaders from the Global South work on the frontlines of global development and health. For more info, check out their website. Last week, Michelle participated in the “Aspen Global Innovators Group at Aspen Ideas: Health” gathering in Aspen, Colorado where she learned new tools and gained even more expertise to help us improve how we communicate about our work in rural Guatemala. (She also got to meet Dr. Ruth Westheimer!)

We are so proud of all the new opportunities we are experiencing right now and cannot wait to see what the rest of 2019 brings! Your continued support and trust mean so much to us as we provide reproductive health education and services in Guatemala. ¡Gracias!

Jun 24, 2019


Regional Field Supervisor Josefina gives a talk
Regional Field Supervisor Josefina gives a talk

WINGS has provided 1,455 cervical cancer screenings from the beginning of this year through May. Our goal for 2019 is to provide a total of 2,000 screenings using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) for immediate detection of cervical cell abnormalities and same-day treatment using cryotherapy for pre-cancerous cells that may lead to cervical cancer. We’re already at 73% of our annual goal just 5 months in!

We’ve had success this year with a new strategy we are implementing. Instead of promoting our VIA service as part of every contraceptive clinic we host, we are now also offering large-scale VIA-only clinics on a regular basis. We’re seeing that women in some communities need cervical cancer screenings more often than contraceptives so by promoting days where we are only offering VIA screenings we can reach those women who need screenings but have their contraceptive needs met. Our nurses also see that many women who are not yet interested in a contraceptive method are interested in VIA and the screening gives us a way to gain their trust and begin a broader reproductive health conversation.

Time and again we hear of cases like a recent one from the nearby community of El Hato. A woman had been seen by another clinic and was told she needed a referral but didn´t understand and never received a follow-up call from her provider. A family member of hers reached out to WINGS via Facebook and we invited her to come in to our Antigua clinic to get screened again. She came in and we screened her and she did require a referral for further care. Because our staff is trained in rights-based, patient-centered care,we know that we need to spend extra time and provide adequate follow-up to patients, especially when their lives are at risk.

Your support means that we have the resources and highly-trained staff necessary to do this life-saving work. We appreciate your commitment to help us make a difference for so many women and their families. 

Mar 27, 2019


WINGS Estimated Impact in 2018
WINGS Estimated Impact in 2018

2018 was a challenging year for Guatemala. Fuego Volcano forever changed the lives of thousands of families and the landscape near WINGS’ headquarters in Guatemala. Looking back, the months from June to October seem to have gone by in waves of emotions, ash-filled air, and an outpouring of generosity from around the world. While there was not a direct impact on the services we provide in other departments, our organization as a whole and Guatemala in general was deeply impacted by this tragedy. It brought our already close staff even closer together and revealed a strengthened commitment to serve vulnerable communities. WINGS raised over $78,000 to support the community’s response to the volcanic eruption.

Throughout the year, WINGS served a total of 23,171 individuals with contraceptive services and reproductive education. Our focus on rights-based, patient-centered care continued to guide every interaction and helped us build trust with our patients and community partners.

We formalized a partnership with Iniciativa Guatemala to provide oversight of a new Reproductive Health Project housed within their organization which is implemented in severely poverty-stricken, high-crime areas of Guatemala City. We provide capacity building training to key members of their staff and are replicating our youth program model at their school sites.

In November, our Executive Director Rodrigo Barillas and our field promotion supervisor Celeste Velásquez attended the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali, Rwanda. Celeste was accepted as the only Guatemalan Youth Delegate representative and had the opportunity to present as part of a youth panel to international experts. WINGS’ work is being noticed on the international stage and we are so proud to share some highlights with you here.

Throughout 2018, WINGS delivered clinical reproductive health services through 2 mobile units, a network of more than 30 Volunteer Health Promoters, a stationary clinic in Antigua, and satellite clinics in Cobán and Sololá. Covering 11 departments (Guatemalan states), we attempt to fill in gaps in access to care, especially in hard-to-reach rural communities.

We are so very grateful for your continued support and partnership as we reach the unreachable with reproductive health education and services in Guatemala.

2018 WINGS Service Provision Results
2018 WINGS Service Provision Results
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