In Guatemala, a country with one of the highest inequality rates in Latin America, Indigenous Maya women and children face disproportionate gaps in maternal, newborn, and child health when compared to non-Indigenous peoples. Maya K’iche’ women in Totonicapán, a province with a predominantly Maya population and one of the highest poverty rates in the country, are twice as likely to die during childbirth as non-Indigenous women. 4 out of 5 Maya K’iche’ children under five in the province suffer from chronic malnutrition, and a lack of resources and access to health facilities remains a barrier for communities that have been historically marginalized.
In 2016, Horizons of Friendship launched its Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) project in partnership with its local Guatemalan partner, PIES de Occidente (the Association for Health Promotion, Research and Education). The project, funded by the Government of Canada, is helping reduce maternal and child deaths in Totonicapán through culturally-relevant training and equipment for traditional Indigenous midwives known as ‘comadronas’, the mass provision of medical equipment and nutritional supplements, a wide-ranging health promotion campaign in the Maya K’iche’ language and more – all in close collaboration with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health.
Join Horizons, the Kawartha World Issues Centre and the Kawartha Pine Ridge Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Local on Tuesday, November 20 to meet two visiting Maya K’iche’ women, whose work is helping save the lives of mothers and children in Totonicapán. Irma Ixcayau, a traditional Indigenous midwife, and Mirna Pretzantzin, a health educator and traditional community authority, will speak to their stories, experiences and struggles. Learn how their resilient efforts are improving the wellbeing of thousands of Maya K’iche’ families.
Visit www.horizons.ca for more info.