Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala

by Wuqu' Kawoq
Play Video
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala
Help Maya Midwives Save Lives in Rural Guatemala

Project Report | Nov 29, 2021
Building Trust for Safer Births in Rural Guatemala

By Enma Coyote Ixen | Mobile Health Coordinator

Dona Marina
Dona Marina

An essential part of our work empowering indigenous health workers, who understand our patients’ languages and cultures, is our partnership with Mayan midwives.

Most Mayan women choose to give birth at home with traditional midwives because of the discrimination, distance, cost, and other barriers they face accessing care at public hospitals. Our Maternal Mobile Health Program equips midwives with the tools and supports they need to identify and address problems and avoid maternal and neonatal deaths.

Doña Marina, mother of 12 and a midwife for 40 years, is one of the women who works with us in the Tecpán region. A year ago, she was devastated when a mother in her care died nine days after giving birth. When the mother began experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing, Doña Marina tried to convince her family to seek hospital care, but they insisted on working only with a healer in their home. The mother died, leaving two orphaned girls. 

For months, Doña Marina mourned, wondering what she could have done to convince the family to allow the patient to go to the hospital. Over that time, members of our Maternal Health team visited with her regularly to provide support and talk about how to avoid similar tragedies. 

“I was very afraid to use the equipment and the telephone that Wuqu’ Kawoq had given me, but little by little I began to recognize that this helped my work,” she recalled. “I can hear the baby's heart, I can see the blood pressure. I have more strength because I know that there is a team receiving the information and supporting my work with my patients that answers my calls regardless of the hour.” 

Doña Marina now has more confidence to make the case to families when advanced medical care is required. “I have more courage to point out the dangers to the patients and their families,” she said. 

The support also has improved her relationship with the nurses and doctors in the hospitals that receive her cases.  “Hospitals say that midwives send patients too late, in very bad condition. Wuqu’ Kawoq gives us the support to make referrals on time. Thank you, thank you to all the people who make our work valued, dignified and recognizable. I am proud of the work I am doing. Everyone judges us, but Wuqu’ Kawoq does not.”


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Oct 6, 2021
Empowering Mothers to Self Advocate

By Enma Coyote Ixen | Mobile Health Coordinator

Jun 15, 2021
Bringing Comfort and Safety to Guatemalan Births

By Charlotte Duesing | Wuqu' Kawoq Summer Fellow

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Organization Information

Wuqu' Kawoq

Location: Bethel, VT - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @wuqukawoq
Project Leader:
Anne Kraemer Diaz
Bethel , VT United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Wuqu' Kawoq that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.