Guatemala has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the region. Although indigenous midwives are the primary care givers for most rural women, they are often not empowered in the work and face serious discrimination from physicians. In addition they lack access to high-quality education in a format and langugage that they understand. Finally, their work is hindered by the extreme poverty of their patients, who often cannot afford the medical therapies that they recommend.
The project organizes midwives in three large Kaqchikel-speaking towns. Continuing education and professional development is provided in Kaqchikel. Basic medicines and supplies, such as prenatal vitamins, are subsidized for associated patients.
Through education and organizing, the 150 midwives affiliated with the project can be a powerful force for change. The health of women and children in their communities, who number in the thousands, will be transformed.