Offering quality healthcare and access to education in 2 villages in the highlands of Guatemala
Describe the need affecting community
San Juan and San Pablo la Laguna are towns on the remote western shore of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The residents are Tzutujil Maya and these two towns comprise 19,000 of the estimated 80,000 people in the world who speak Tzutujil -all located in four towns on the lake. The indigenous Maya have been kept systematically not only from power and privilege, but from basic human rights of healthcare, education and dignity. By every measure of development, the living conditions and opportunities available to the people of these two towns are poor. These are the people we serve and with whom we work.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
Our studies have shown that 6 out of 10 children in our towns are chronically malnourished and our Healthy Mommy and Me program has been designed with (UMCOR funding and guidance) to address the issue of malnutrition thoughtfully and with the help of new partners Duke University’s Global Health Initiative, in 2016 and beyond. New in our clinics for 2016 and beyond is a cross-training regimen for all of our nurses so that they may serve in a variety of capacities, and asking our doctor to serve in more of a teaching role than before – teaching our nurses, that is. Our greatest resource are the 38 ODIM employees. We invest tremendous energy and time in afternoon training events to improve their abilities for their work with us now (and the benefit of the people of our two towns) and for what they will do in the future to further the development of our towns.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The goal of ODIM Guatemala: To offer Comprehensive, Compassionate and Competent Care for our Communities. The result we seek is that the people of the towns of San Juan and San Pablo la Laguna have access to healthcare and education in this generation and in generations to come.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We want to see a community in which people have access to the healthcare and education that they want. These basic human rights that they have long been denied by the powers and principalities of this world through oppression and racism. We would like to see: -The current generation of babies grow-up unaffected by stunting. -Young teenagers who know what a healthy relationship is and know how to avoid unwanted pregnancies that feed the cycles of poverty here. -That our dentist would do more fillings than extractions. -That the majority of our full-time staff will graduate from university via our scholarship program. -That local ODIM staff will continue to increase their leadership and ownership in all that we do. -That partnerships with Duke and Emory Universities, and Wellesley College will improve our manner of research and project implementation to the end that the services and programs we offer are a effective as they can possibly be.