The Republic of Guatemala is a country of approximately 14 million people, the majority of whom are either indigenous Mayan or of mixed Mayan descent. One of the poorest countries in Central America, Guatemala performs poorly on all neonatal, infant, and maternal mortality indicators.
- The neonatal mortality rate is 15 babies per 1000 live births.
- Seventy-five percent of those babies die within their first 24 hours of life.
- The maternal mortality rate is approximately 120 women per 100,000 live births.
- The maternal mortality rate is three times higher among indigenous Mayan women.
Our projects focus on the training of indigenous midwives and other birth attendants in a collaborative manner. We strive to sensitively integrate Western evidence-based best-practices into traditional Mayan midwifery and cultural practices. Classes are conducted in the midwives’ primary languages, using hands-on, highly visual educational tools that are appropriate for learners who may be unable to read, and create a safe space for participants to ask questions without fear of social rejection.