This project will hire a medical doctor to work in two clinics and see patients via telemedicine in Akateko, Chuj and Q'anjob'al Maya communities in the northern region of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. The medical doctor will work alongside community health workers and practitioners of Maya medicine to improve the health and well-being of thousands of people in remote, impoverished, indigenous communities.
Over 1.1 million people live in the remote department of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, over 70% of whom are indigenous Maya. 70% of the population also lives in poverty or extreme poverty. Due to the Guatemalan government's racist policies of neglect and extermination, very few people, especially indigenous people, have access to health care in this region. Mayan health practitioners in Guatemala have been marginalized and demonized and thus struggle to provide care.
This project will hire a medical doctor of Maya origin to work in two clinics in northern Huehuetenango who will oversee a team of community health workers and work alongside traditional Maya health practitioners to provide basic and preventative health care in person and via telehealth. Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim will also connect this doctor with medical students and professor in the US who will also see patients and assist with research so interventions are evidence-based.
This project will improve the health and increase the life expectancy of thousands of people in predominantly indigenous communities in a remote, under-served region of Guatemala. It will also create a culture of proactive, preventative and research-based approaches to health and well-being including those practiced by traditional Maya health practitioners, and build sustainable partnerships between health providers in Maya territory and in the US.