Mrs. Cecilia lives in the community of K’isil, San Juan Ixcoy, Huehuetenango, and is a participant in our Q'anjob'al Maya Ancestral Medicine Project. She is recognized for her outstanding contribution to the health of the community and specializes in childbirth. Her knowledge was passed down to her from her mother and grandmother, who were also dedicated to this profession.
She also contributes to her community in many other ways. She served as President of the K’isil Women’s Commission and was a member of the Community Development Council. Currently she’s part of the Parents' Council of the Community School and is on the Administrative Committee of the Women's Clinic in her village.
A core part of Mrs. Cecilia’s knowledge as a midwife is her familiarity with various medicinal plants and their functions, which she uses and applies before, during, and after childbirth. She also knows about other methods of healing and recovery after bringing a baby into the world.
There are many people with these kinds of ancestral knowledge in Mrs. Cecilia’s community and many more all over Maya Territory. Each has a different specialty, according to the different needs that arise. Some treat burns. Others treat snakebites. Yet others are bone workers, or what might be called rheumatologists in contemporary medical language. This diversity of expertise enables them to serve community health. For the most part, these healers do not charge for their services and payment by patients is voluntary. They say that this work is a spiritual practice. The knowledge was entrusted to them, but it is for the service of the people.
Unfortunately, our Q’anjob’al Maya Ancestral Medicine Project, which we coordinate along with the Plurinational Government, was suspended in May because of the increase in cases of COVID-19 in Guatemala. But we were very excited to resume it in September. We are deeply grateful to GlobalGiving and the people who continue to support us as we carry out projects like this in order to recover and strengthen our ancestral knowledge.
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