Apply to Join

Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women

by Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
Improving Maternal-Infant Health for Mayan Women
A sponsored mother with her baby
A sponsored mother with her baby

Greetings from Santiago Atitlán!

With the start of a new year, we at Pueblo a Pueblo are reorganizing our fundraising efforts to best serve our work in rural Guatemala. As such, we will no longer be raising funds for the Maternal Child Health project here on GlobalGiving.

This project is still active; we will continue to offer subsidized health care to sponsored mothers and their young children. Our team will continue to lead health workshops on topics relevant to pregnant women and new mothers. We remain as passionate as ever about improving health outcomes among women and children and expanding access to high-quality health education.

If you would like to continue giving to Pueblo a Pueblo, please consider making a donation to one of our other GlobalGiving projects. Every dollar helps us get closer to our goal of improving access to health care, education, and sustainable livelihoods here on Lake Atitlán.

On behalf of the whole Pueblo a Pueblo team, thank you for your support!

Project beneficiaries
Project beneficiaries

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Sponsored mothers at the 2019 end-of-year party
Sponsored mothers at the 2019 end-of-year party

When a woman joins the Maternal Child Health project, we ensure that she receives three things: subsidized medical care for herself and her newborn; health education to help her care for herself and her child; and a supportive cohort of other sponsored women.

Participating mothers have a lot on their plates. Most of their families depend on income from irregular agricultural labor, leaving the women responsible for bringing in extra earnings, caring for children, and completing household chores.

For example, sponsored mother Concepción has six children. She washes her family’s laundry in the lake, by hand, every day. In addition to her chores at home, she sells a natural fire-starter called ocote and makes intricately beaded embroidery to supplement her family’s income.

The Maternal Child Health project has relieved some of the stressors in Concepción’s life. With Pueblo a Pueblo’s support, she can take her son Juan to the partner clinic when he gets sick. She also began using a contraceptive method earlier this year after being introduced to the topic of family planning during a project workshop.

This project has brought Concepción new resources and knowledge that she can use to keep herself and her family healthy. With a supportive social work team on her side and a friendly cohort of other sponsored women around her, she doesn’t have to face things alone.

On December 4, Concepción and the other sponsored mothers gathered to celebrate another year together. Maternal Child Health team members Rebeca and Vilma led games and distributed Christmas gifts to the women and their children. The whole group shared a picnic meal together, and each mother-child pair posed for a portrait.

Your donations provide relief from the pressures of poverty. The Maternal Child Health project exists to provide women like Concepción the dignity of health care, education, and community. On behalf of our beneficiaries, we wish you the happiest of holidays and thank you deeply for your support!

Concepcion and her son Juan at this year's party
Concepcion and her son Juan at this year's party
Vilma leads an activity at the event
Vilma leads an activity at the event
A sponsored mother enjoys the festivities
A sponsored mother enjoys the festivities
The women participate in a game
The women participate in a game
Concepcion (second from right) during an activity
Concepcion (second from right) during an activity

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Two mothers participate in the workshop
Two mothers participate in the workshop

On Tuesday morning, Rebeca Sosof unlocked the Pueblo a Pueblo office early to set up for a Maternal Child Health project workshop. The participating moms arrived soon after; some of them held hands with little ones old enough to wobble in on their own feet, while others carried their babies wrapped up in blankets, snoozing away.

The women were gathering to learn about child development—one of the topics Rebeca and the Maternal Child Health team believe is vital to raising healthy kids. “I tell participants, ‘During the first five years of life, your child’s development is in your hands,’” Rebeca says. “‘You can do so much for your child just by engaging with them, playing with them.’” Mothers who have had an introduction to the topic are more likely to detect developmental abnormalities in their children, Rebeca adds, which can make a life-changing difference for kids who need specialized medical or therapeutic interventions.

During the workshop, Rebeca taught participants about four different areas of development and led them through a series of corresponding exercises. She started by discussing gross motor development and leading the mothers in a game of hopscotch—a great way for kids to gain the strength and coordination they need to perform everyday actions like walking, running, and sitting upright. After addressing fine motor skills and emotional development, Rebeca finished the workshop with a memory game to model positive cognitive development.

The morning was full of games and physical activities, with lots of laughter shared between the women in attendance. The tone of the workshop was intentional, says Rebeca. “When I visit these women at their homes, they tell me about the problems they face every day—problems with husbands and family members, health problems, money problems,” she says. “Many of them have told me that these workshops are like a refuge for them, so I try to make them fun and relaxing.”

But Rebeca is also glad to see participants inspired to apply what they’ve learned—like Elena, who told her after Tuesday’s session, “I'm definitely going to try these exercises with my little one—I just wish I had done more of them with my older children when they were younger!” We incorporate education across the majority of our projects because we believe in the power of moms like Elena to build healthier families and communities using what they learn. Thank you for believing in the Maternal Child Health project. Your support fuels our success!

Rebeca addresses participants
Rebeca addresses participants
Participants wait in line for an activity
Participants wait in line for an activity
Jumping through a mini-obstacle course
Jumping through a mini-obstacle course

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Rebeca leads the workshop
Rebeca leads the workshop

Each month, Maternal Child Health project coordinator Rebeca Sosof leads an educational workshop for mothers sponsored through the project. During each session, Rebeca introduces a new strategy mothers can use to keep themselves and their young children healthy. This week, the topic was vaccination.

“I wanted all of the mothers to walk away having learned this: vaccines are important because they prevent dangerous diseases,” says Rebeca. “I want mothers to be aware of the risks of failing to vaccinate their children, and I want them to be able to make an informed choice about vaccination.”

One of the greatest barriers to vaccination in and around Santiago Atitlán is misinformation. Many families are worried that vaccines will hurt their children, or give them the very same diseases they are designed to prevent. The local rumor mill is full of frightening myths about vaccines, especially those administered to very young children.

Rebeca leads this workshop to set the record straight. “Vaccines wake up your child’s defenses so that they can fight off disease and grow up happy and healthy,” she explains to participants. “Your child may experience a mild reaction, but that’s because the vaccine is provoking something in their body—it is asking their body to do something totally new.” The momentary discomfort of an injection is worth it if you consider the benefit over time, she says—many vaccines will offer children protection for the rest of their lives!

During the session, the mothers traded stories of disapproving family members. One woman's mother-in-law tried to prohibit her from vaccinating her 2-year-old daughter; for another woman, it was her husband who said no. But the mothers, both of them in their second year as Maternal Child Health project participants, told Rebeca that when faced with this dilemma, they had remembered last year’s session on vaccines and taken their children to the health center to be vaccinated in secret.

Rebeca’s work is important because it links families to valuable health care resources in their communities. In Santiago Atitlán’s more rural neighborhoods, where many sponsored mothers live, health care workers conduct home visits to remind parents to vaccinate their children. “Many people ignore these reminders,” says Rebeca, “but sponsored mothers can use them to take advantage of free vaccination services at their local health center.”

We at Pueblo a Pueblo strive to build sustainable change in our partner communities. Education is key to our approach because it equips our community partners with the knowledge they need to best advocate for themselves and their families. Thank you for believing in the power of health education to transform lives. Your support helps Rebeca bust myths and promote healthy habits here in Guatemala!

Participants look on during the session
Participants look on during the session
Rebeca addresses participants
Rebeca addresses participants
Sponsored mother Santa participates in the session
Sponsored mother Santa participates in the session

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Concepcion with her son Juan at a MCH event
Concepcion with her son Juan at a MCH event

One of the key elements of the Maternal Child Health project at Pueblo a Pueblo is health education. Our team of educators leads monthly workshops to introduce project participants to new ideas and strategies related to health literacy and self-advocacy, empowering them to better care for themselves and their children. Family planning is one of the topics covered in these workshops, and when sponsored women turn this new knowledge into action, it often changes their lives in meaningful ways.

Concepción is a mother of six. With little support from her husband, who suffers from alcoholism, she often struggles to provide for her children. She joined the Maternal Child Health project in 2017 just before the birth of her son Juan. She was introduced to family planning methods when she started attending project workshops—but despite this new knowledge, she became pregnant again a year later.

Maternal Child Health project coordinator Rebeca Sosóf brought this up with Concepción during a check-in meeting last year. “We’re not trying to impart that having children is a bad thing,” she told Concepción. “However, family planning methods can help you provide for your children by considering your family’s situation in choosing the best time to have another child.”

Shortly after that meeting, Concepción began to use a family planning method. During last month’s check-in, she explained why she had been reluctant at first. “I didn’t understand what family planning had to do with my life," she told Rebeca. "I didn’t understand that in order to take care of my children, I have to take care of myself, too.” Rebeca was glad to see Concepción take this step. “We’ll be here to support Concepción as she continues to advocate for her own well-being,” she said.

Dolores wrapped up her time with the Maternal Child Health project in March of this year when her daughter Jennifer turned 5 years old. When she met with Rebeca for her final check-in, Dolores expressed thanks for the knowledge she gained from the project workshops. “I learned so many things that I wouldn’t have learned just staying at home,” she said.

Dolores told Rebeca that in January, she and her husband sat down to discuss their plans for the future and decided that they should begin to use a family planning method. She had not used a method before this year, she explained. “But after that conversation I was able to use the new knowledge I gained through the project to pick the best method for me.” Dolores and her husband then decided to begin a project they’d been considering for a while: building a new bathroom in their home! Now that Dolores has taken control of spacing her pregnancies by using a family planning method, the couple feels more confident in their ability to save up bit by bit until the project is complete.

“Family planning can bring long-lasting change to the lives of women,” says Rebeca, “especially women who live in rural and low-resource settings.” The stories of Concepción and Dolores are examples of the power of education to empower women and their families. Your support fuels their success—thank you for believing in Concepción, Dolores, and all the women of the Maternal Child Health project!

Dolores and her two daughters
Dolores and her two daughters

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org 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 will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Location: Neenah, WI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Pueblo_a_Pueblo
Project Leader:
Andrew Wilson
Executive Director
Neenah, WI 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 Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc. that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

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.