Help Indigenous Midwives Save Mothers' Lives

by Corporacion Horizontes Proyectos con la Comunidad Vetted since 2017

During these months, Buti Zaku's caregivers have developed workshops of ancestral wisdom.

The Wintukwa IPSI (entity providing indigenous health Arhuaca) leadership, has allowed to continue training midwives, nurses, assistants and traditional knowledge in the care of mothers and newborns in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

We continue search the support to deliver medical endowment tools and intercultural training. Unfortunately, we have not managed to give continuity to these last two components of the project.

We invite you to fall in love with the caregivers of Sierra Madre, Buti Zaku (pregnant), we are sure that together we can help reduce maternal and infant mortality in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Thanks and best regards!

This 2018 began with excellent relations for Sierra Madre.
Thanks to the work done in 2017, the Ministry of Health of Colombia put attention to the successful case of the program. Recognizes the intercultural exchange of practices and knowledge to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

We are planning to accompany more traditional meetings and schedule training days.

The "cuidadores y cuidadoras de Buti Zaku" position themselves as a model of their own work that recognizes the traditional model of the Arhuaco community.

We share an analysis of the midwifery context and health in indigenous communities. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you again for your support!


During 2017 in Sierra Madre project, we conducted 3 workshops to strengthen the traditional knowledge of indigenous midwives with scientific practices, training them in the physiology of women during pregnancy to improve the quality and opportunity of maternal care in their remote communities.

83 Arhuaco midwives participated in March, 98 in June and 118 in September. The “Cuidadores y Cuidadoras de Buti Zaku” (caregivers of pregnant women) are not only midwives. They are the Mamos, spiritual leaders, botanists, sobanderos, institutional and family health providers who also attended the meetings. We started with 92 participants, then 227 and in the last meeting 345 people attended.

The nurse Ana Velez and Dr Andrés Rubio MD helped us to carry out theoretical-practical workshops to the community, which were attended by a translator in the IKU language of the community.

20 people from the Arhuaca community attended the IV Update Symposium in Obstetrics and Gynecology for Nursing held on September 22 and 23 in Santa Marta, the planned training program being carried out in person.

We acquired specialized medical equipment for emergency care during childbirth. We bought 5 antishock suits; These suits allow pregnant women with bleeding be moved large distances, helping to preserve the life of the mother and the baby. We acquired two Mamanatalie simulators that allow realistic and affordable training in maternal and newborn care, especially emergency of postpartum hemorrhage. We consolidated the safe delivery kit that is being distributed by IPSI Wintukwa. This kit contains cottons and sterilized fabrics and tools to improve delivery care in a traditional way.

We continue working on the consolidation of the regional centers, we already have the first supplies. However, the road is full of learning and cultural exchanges that are borne with patience.

We are happy with the achievements in 2017. Thank you all!

specialized training event.
specialized training event.

Thanks to your support,

19 Arhuaco Indian professionals improve their knowledge. They are participating in a specialized training event.

Sierra Madre Strengthen the traditional knowledge of 120 indigenous midwives with  scientific  practices, training them in women physiology during pregnancy in order to improve the quality and timeliness of maternal care in their remote communities. The project will provide 5 regional health centers with specialized medical equipment for emergency care during childbirth. Let us become a "Buti Zaku" (pregnant mother) caregiver  and protect lives in the "World's Heart" - Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Delivery of training and educational tools as well as medical equipment which will allow mothers and babies to be diagnosed correctly, identify early alarm signs and manage crises. This will significantly reduce mortality rate of mothers and infants in the community.

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation #SierraMadre. You know your friends and family best, just use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.

specialized training event.
specialized training event.
specialized training event.
specialized training event.
workshop to care for a pregnant woman
workshop to care for a pregnant woman

Thanks to your support, we carried out the first workshop of 2017 for the strengthening of ancestral knowledge from the dynamics of the community from March 29 to April 2 at the Arguaca Indigenous Resguardo.

The workshop was attended by 27 Midwives, 4 traditional healers, 5 Mamos, 24 Midwifery apprentices, 12 nursing assistants, 6 authorities, an invited external expert and the leadership of Wintukwa IPSI (indigenous health service provider)

This workshop is a space for the exchange of knowledge in a practical way among the ancestral knowers, since within the community, although knowledge is alive, there are different levels. The workshop was developed respecting the ways of exchanging knowledge proper to the Arhuaca culture.

The mamos taking the direction and guided the dynamics and the different moments, this is how it was possible to promote the mutual and collective learning of healing techniques, plant management, among others. Activities related to the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of patients in a practical learning among attendees were carried out, the event was evaluated, resulting in a successful and self-motivated scenario that should continue to be promoted.

Only one person outside the community participated, the nurse Ana Vélez, who at a specific moment participated in directing a workshop to care for a pregnant woman, explaining how the baby is evaluated at that stage and the fetal heartbeat.

Thank you all for being part of this beautiful story and project, which is committed to strengthening ancestral knowledge and the protection and improvement of the quality of care for the pregnant woman and in general the health and life of the Arhuaco people.



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Organization Information

Corporacion Horizontes Proyectos con la Comunidad

Location: Bogota - Colombia
Website: https:/​/​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @CorpHorizontes
Project Leader:
Maria Fernanda Martinez
Bogota, Colombia
$1,734 raised of $8,200 goal
60 donations
$6,466 to go
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