Midwifery & Health in the Americas: Marrying Mayan & Western Medicine
Service- Exchange Program – July 2 – July 9, 2011
Hosted by the VCU Institute for Women’s Health in partnership with the Highland Support Project, Partners in Service Program and the Association of Highland women (AMA)
The work of a midwife in Guatemala is an ancient art form, using philosophies and techniques that are virtually unknown in Western medicine. Her practices are founded on the belief that we must achieve and maintain a balance between humans and the environment. In the highlands of Guatemala, midwives are often the only health care providers for many miles in isolated, rural communities. They are eager for more knowledge of medicine and the opportunity to develop their abilities in order to improve the quality of care given to their patients. We are offering an opportunity for health professionals, social workers and interested others, from the US to visit Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to participate in a week long exchange with a group of Guatemalan midwives, health promoters and community leaders. Together we will be working with the local group Association of Highland Women (AMA) following up on a health assessment administered in two villages and supporting the communities efforts in the development of a Maya Health Center and Maternity House, to reduce infant and maternal mortality rate in indigenous women in Guatemala.
Trip Details: The standard 8 day trip with all expenses paid includes all in country transportation, food, lodging and translators.
The cost is $950, plus airfare.
The itinerary includes cultural, educational, service and exchange aspects and will be tailored to the interests of the team participants, but do expect time with midwives and health promoters learning about traditional midwifery practices, and medicinal herbs, perhaps lectures from a Mayan Cosmo-vision expert, bone-setters, and spirit guides and a chance to shop at local indigenous markets and visit to Antigua. We will organize an informational meeting in the early Spring and together we will develop our final trip itinerary to match interests and needs of participants. We’ll also answer any questions and provide some context on Guatemala, maternal and child health.
Janett Forte, with the VCU Institute for Women’s Health will be serving as a team leader. Contact information: phone 804-827-1200, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the team leader, Ms. Forte will be working closely with HSP staff to organize the group, recruiting participants and serving in a leadership capacity on the trip itself. Please contact her directly with questions or to secure an application. Space is limited to 13 participants.
****** February 25, 2011 is deadline for applications *******
For more information visit:
Janett Forte, MSW, LCSW
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
VCU Institute for Women’s Health
PO Box 980319
1200 E Clay Street, Suite 1001
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0319