Guatemala has long had one of the region’s highest maternal mortality rates. Due to a lack of services and respect, the rate among rural Indigenous women can be more than double the national rate.

Our grants support the training of Guatemalan women to become parteras and supports a collective of comadronas through community outreach, a birth center, and mobile clinic.

Asociación Corazón del Agua trains parteras (professional midwives) in the country’s first professional university-level degree program.

The school recruits Indigenous students from regions with high maternal mortality rates and incorporates Indigenous traditions around pregnancy and birth, including plant-based medicine.

Corazón is also founding the first national-level association for midwives in Guatemala, which will offer legal protection to comadronas, helping them with professional development, networking, and support. This national midwife association will offer a growing platform to advocate for midwifery hiring and recognition in the country.

Partner Since 2015
Total Grant Support $180,000

Guatemala has the highest maternal mortality rate in Latin America

Asociación de las Comadronas del Area Mam (ACAM) is a collective of comadronas (Indigenous midwives).

ACAM was formed to educate, share information, provide services, make political gains, and train young midwives to carry on Mayan traditions around pregnancy and birth.

ACAM works together to provide women’s and community healthcare, transportation, and referrals through their birth center and mobile clinics and holds continuing education clinics for local midwives and health workers.

Partner Since 2016
Total Grant Support $226,000

One Woman's Story

“What makes me happy is seeing babies being born, helping women in the community, and to see their children grow up healthy.”

— ACAM President and Comadrona, María Azucena Fuentes Díaz

The clinic travels to four different locations, and Las Barrancas is the farthest — a three-hour drive from the nearest hospital in Xela. ACAM started working in Las Barrancas based on the recommendation of the local comadrona, Jovita.

Jovita is one of three midwives in the area and is a fixture in her community, referring women to the mobile clinic for further assessment. She owns an empty clinic space, which she hopes to eventually operate as a birth center, but she’s waiting for funding for electricity and water. Jovita participated in ACAM’s 2018 cervical cancer screening and treatment training. One of the goals for ACAM is to equip a designated midwife in each mobile clinic location, like Jovita.