Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty

by WINGS
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Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty
Family Planning for Guatemalans Living in Poverty

Project Report | Dec 8, 2016
Family planning and mental health

By Shaili Zappa | Development Assistant

Medical Director Michelle gives talk
Medical Director Michelle gives talk

It’s common knowledge that family planning is an extremely taboo topic in Guatemala.  Equally as taboo are mental health issues, another topic not openly discussed.  In Guatemala, many people think depression, anxiety, and other disorders are “made up” and don’t take them seriously. Recently, these two areas of health crossed paths in what became a learning experience for WINGS staff.

Daniel is a 36-year-old, unmarried man, without children who walked into our Antigua clinic wanting a vasectomy. For most Guatemalans, his presence would be considered odd, as he hadn’t even had any kids yet. In Guatemala, it is not common for men to get vasectomies. In addition to the culture of machismo, there is a great deal of incorrect information about vasectomies; some men think they will not be able to have sex again, some think they won’t have an orgasm again, and others believe reproductive health and family planning should only be a woman’s responsibility.

Regardless, Daniel was certain about his decision, and he underwent a vasectomy with no complications. We spoke with Daniel later on, and learned more about how WINGS helped him with the decision to have a vasectomy, a decision he made when he was 18 years old. We were surprised that at such a young age, he made such a permanent choice for his life. When we asked why, he slowly, but bravely explained that at 17, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has lived with this disorder for nineteen years now, and it has been very challenging in many ways, especially in a society that is not accepting of people who have mental health issues. Daniel shared, “I don’t want to have children because the disease is genetic, and I could never forgive myself if my child were to suffer as much as I have. I don’t know how I would handle that situation.”  

Daniel mentioned that growing up sexual health was taught in a very conservative manner in school. And while his parents never discussed contraceptives with him, they did support his decision to get a vasectomy. His female friends congratulate him for being so responsible.  His male friends constantly ask him about the pain, which is their main concern. However, Daniel explains how smoothly the process went, and some friends have become more interested in a vasectomy as an option and more open to learning about the work WINGS does. 

Because WINGS offers vasectomies for $6, Daniel was able to undergo the procedure without worrying about being in debt. Our services are affordable so that all Guatemalans, no matter their income or financial situation, can feel empowered to take control of their reproductive health. For us, it is extremely important to engage men in reproductive health, and though it can sometimes be a challenge, we are already seeing changes. Just in 2016, 101 men have gotten a vasectomy at WINGS, and we are certain that our number of patients will continue to increase from year to year, as has been the case so far.

Thanks to your valuable support, we are able to provide affordable services for patients in need. Your contributions are helping us change lives, one person at a time!

Daniel and his two favorite girls
Daniel and his two favorite girls
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Sep 12, 2016
Men and Family Planning in Guatemala

By Shaili Zappa | Development Assistant

Jun 13, 2016
Life for Teenage Mothers in Guatemala

By Shaili Zappa | Development Assistant

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Organization Information

WINGS

Location: Antigua, Sacatepequez - Guatemala
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WINGSGUATEMALA
Project Leader:
Kirsten Taylor
Development Director
Antigua , Sacatepequez Guatemala
$112,656 raised of $150,000 goal
 
1,914 donations
$37,344 to go
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