Senayda on her way to a clinic in Panajachel.
Last month, Senayda and Josefina, our nurses in Sololá and Totonicapán, travelled to San Francisco (Department of Totonicapán) to provide long-term contraception. As it was a mainly indigenous community, Josefina offered the initial educational talk in Mayan K’ich’e.
Isabel, a 14-year-old patient, entered the clinic room with a 6-month baby. Isabel told Senayda she blamed her partner for the unwanted pregnancy, as he told her she could not get pregnant in her first sexual intercourse. After having the baby, her older sister, who lives in the US, talked to her about contraception. Isabel complained about no one explaining her anything about reproductive health before.
Even though her partner agreed on using contraception, her mother-in-law opposed and said it was against their beliefs. After hearing the story, Senayda advised her to get an IUD, as she feared Isabel could suffer physical violence if her partner’s family learned she was using contraception. However, Isabel said that, after talking to her sister, she understood it was her right to use a method and that she preferred the subdermal hormonal implant.
Isabel told Senayda how grateful she was to WINGS for providing counselling in K’ich’e, as she had understanding difficulties in Spanish. “We see stories like Isabel’s every day in rural communities”, Senayda says. “It is discouraging to see none of the education and health centers offer reproductive health education in Mayan languages.”
WINGS recognizes language can be a barrier for people to access information about reproductive health. Your support allows us have an excellent team of local nurses and promoters who help us reach indigenous communities and ensure they exercise their right to reproductive health education.