Cervical Cancer Forum

Did you know that cervical cancer is the most common cancer among the female population in Guatemala? A forum will be held June 5, 2012, in Antigua Guatemala, with participation from public and private entities, community members and health providers.

The event seeks to address prevention and control in Sacatepequez by gathering stakeholders to discussing needs and resources, opportunities for collaboration and the services available in the region. Please help by passing the information along to contacts who may be interested.

For more information, please contact forosacatepequez.cacu@gmail.com or (Guate) 5932 9263.  Follow along with the conference plans by visiting their FB page here.


Recent Article About Malnutrition

CUYUTA, GUATEMALA – Children in Guatemala are starving. But like their parents, one might not notice.

There are few bones jutting out, few oversize heads and bellies. But a slow, deep hunger has been building in Guatemala for decades. And now it’s destroying a generation.

In the drab-sounding hamlet of Lote 14 (Lot 14), 100 kilometers south of the capital in the department of Escuintla, 2-year-old María sits still on her mother’s lap, her twig-like arms dangling limply. Weighing a third less than she should, María looks frighteningly small. Staring at the mud floor of their empty kitchen, her mother, Paulina Noj, explains the daily struggle to feed María and her other seven children.

Her husband is lucky – despite rampant unemployment, he has a job, but he only earns $40 a week. Before, that was just enough for them to buy the basics – corn and beans. But rising food prices have doubled the cost of corn over the past year and they can no longer get enough to feed all 10 in the family…rest of article.

Prensa Libre Article about the Futuros Colectivos Conference

Unas 70 organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) participaron en el encuentro “Futuros Colectivos”, que se llevó a cabo en Patzún, Chimaltenango, organizado por Woqo’ Kanoq y el programa gobiernos electrónicos Munet, con el propósito de promover el intercambio de conocimientos y evaluar los avances que han alcanzado en sus áreas de trabajo….

Documentary: On the Trail of Guatemala’s Drug Gangs

Another great piece by film maker Greg Brosnan:

NAPA – OT Field School Report: Surgical Referral Process Utilized by NGOs in Guatemala

The NAPA – OT Field School has just issued its report from its study addressing the Surgical Referral Process used by NGOs in Guatemala.  Click here for the complete report in English or Spanish.  For more information about the field school, visit their website.

Executive Summary:

Two principle questions are addressed by this study:

          • What factors do non-governmental organizations (NGOs) identify as facilitators and barriers to quality of surgical care in Guatemala?
          • How can surgical services provided by visiting medical teams be improved in terms of quality of patient experience?

Ten in-depth interviews were conducted with Guatemalan NGOs and data were coded and analysed for frequent themes. Results and analysis sections of the report include: barriers and facilitators to access to surgery, reputations of visiting surgical teams, and ideas for a shared referral system. Issues that arose include the costs associated with surgeries, lengthy and confusing processes for receiving surgeries, and lack of post-surgical follow-up care.

  • Current surgical referral processes require up to 50 staff-hours to complete
  • Language barriers, racism, ancillary costs, and patriarchal family structures pose critical difficulties for patients needing surgeries
  • NGOs had mixed levels of willingness to work with the government health system
  • All participating NGOs indicated a desire to collaborate in a shared referral system

The key recommendation arising from the study is the development of a working group or network of NGOs to build collaborations and work toward a shared referral process. Open-access technologies should be considered to facilitate information sharing.

We are looking forward to continuing the discussion as a group during a workshop session at 11:00 a.m. on October 7th at the Futuros Colectivos Conference in Patzun.  (For information and to register, please visit:  http://en.futuroscolectivos.com).  We plan to discuss the following questions:

      1. How should a shared surgical referral system be organized?
      2. What role could your NGO play in collaborating with other organizations to make surgical referrals?
      3. How should we proceed in creating further collaboration and movement toward a shared surgical referral process?

If you are unable to attend the workshop, we would still welcome your thoughts and input – please email any comments to Rachel Hall-Clifford at hall-clifford @ napaotguatemala.org (remove spaces).  Please circulate this report to anyone you think might be interested.

Oxfam America: Call to Action Against Death Threats

Oxfam America is requesting that supporters spread the word about death threats that two Oxfam partners received last week.

Oxfam America expressed that it “is “gravely concerned” for the safety of Yuri Melini, Executive Director of their Guatemalan partner organization CALAS (Center for Legal, Environmental Action) and its legal coordinator, Rafael Maldonado. On Monday August 29th, Melini and Maldonado received anonymous threatening letters at their office. The threats were made following a presidential candidates’ debate on oil and mining issues in Guatemala convened by CALAS and moderated by Melini. CALAS has also recently denounced an attempt by the Guatemalan government to illegally approve a license for gas exploitation in an important Guatemalan protected area called “Punta de Manabique”.”

To take part in Oxfam’s effort to protect these human rights defenders click here.

Wuqu’ Kawoq: Interview with Dr. Malcolm Hill

Online magazine, Smile Politely, recently interviewed Dr. Malcolm Hill about his experiences volunteering with Wuqu’ Kawoq. Dr. Hill is a pediatrician practicing at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. For the past six years, Dr. Hill has used his expertise to improve the health care of children in Guatemala. To read the interview with Dr. Hill, please click here.

Guatemala Pays High Price for Global Food System Failings

Domingo Tamupsis works as a harvester on a Guatemalan sugar plantation for a firm that exports bioethanol to fill the fuel tanks of cars in the US. He works 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week, in a country that is a leading producer of food for global markets.

His settlement in the fertile Pacific coastal area is surrounded by industrial farms, but he earns so little his family cannot afford to eat every day. Some days he survives his shift of hard physical labour on nothing but the mangoes that drop from trees by the roadside.

His wife, Marina, is 23 but so slight she might be mistaken for a girl. She has two daughters, Yeimi, aged six, and Jessica, two. Jessica is the size of the average European one-year-old, her distended stomach a sign of chronic malnutrition. When she smiles, hollow creases form in her cheeks, betraying her semi-permanent state of hunger.

Last year Marina gave birth in the eighth month of pregnancy to a stillborn child. She had been ill and hungry throughout, then felt severe pains one day at breakfast time…rest of article.

70 Guatemalans Missing in Mexico

Guatemala City –  At least 70 Guatemalan migrants have been reported missing in Mexico, the Foreign Ministry said.

“We have received about 70 reports about people who supposedly disappeared in Mexican territory,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Furlan told reporters.

The majority of the cases involve people whose relatives last heard from them while they were passing through Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico where mass graves containing dozens of unidentified bodies have been found in the past few weeks, Furlan said.

The Guatemalan government sent Mexico information last week about 34 missing migrants feared among those killed and buried in the mass graves…rest of article.

4 Dead, 6 Wounded in Peasant Clash in Guatemala

Guatemala City –  Four peasants were killed and six others wounded in a clash between rival groups in a remote Indian community in western Guatemala, the National Civilian Police, or PNC, said.

The peasants fought with machetes and sticks Tuesday night in Momostenango, a community where the two groups have been clashing over a land dispute for more than 25 years…rest of article.