These photos are of Lesbia Cholotio, Saving Mothers new San Juan Project Coordinator and prenatal care specialist at a local clinic in San Juan. Lesbia has been working with Saving Mothers for the past 4 years, always participating in all our training programs and educational initiatives. We introduced Lesbia in 2012 to a local clinic (run by another US nonprofit org) and shortly thereafter she was hired and trained to be a diabetes educator. Last year in March, we assisted Lesbia and the clinic in opening their first prenatal program. One year later, Lesbia is now seeing patients in 2 different clinics and has a busy private practice as a local comadrona. She wears her FIGS scrubs proudly and believes they make her look more professional and has brought her much respect from the community.
Of the 23 graduates, 15 still continue their training and education with the School of POWHER. Concepcion, Guatemala Project Coordinator, set up a surprise meeting with comadronas for me. Since graduation, they have been having monthly meetings with Concepcion. During these meetings they schedule the month’s activities—including prenatal visits with Concepcion (preceptor), monthly lectures held by the MOH exclusively for Saving Mothers comadrona students—and discuss any concerns regarding their experiences.
Today was the big day for the students at the Comadrona School of POWHER, the commencement they’ve been working toward for over three months. Graduation was held at Santiago’s town center, where students gathered with their families cheering them on.
The Saving Mothers team is gathering in Santiago Atitlan this week for the graduation of the comadronas from the School of POWHER (Providing Outreach in Women’s Health Education and Resources). The commitment of these 22 women is simply amazing, and we want to give you a sense of not only how hard they have been working, but also the tremendous impact they’ve been making in their community.
Ana taking a patient’s blood pressure.
Last week, I traveled to Santiago, a small Guatemalan town that sits beneath a ring of volcanoes and beside the shore of Lake Atitlan. The women of Santiago de Atitlan dress as they have for centuries, in hand-embroidered huipil shirts and long skirts wrapped around their small frames. Here, the Mayan language of Tz’utujil has been preserved, alongside the more official Spanish. In this community rich with culture and custom, Saving Mothers has launched a school for comadronas, traditional Mayan birth attendants who have long worked in the region but receive little formal training. For a few days, I was fortunate enough to shadow Jessica Oliveira, Saving Mothers’ Project Manager in Guatemala, as she taught the Comadrona School of POWHER (Providing Outreach for Women’s Health Education and Resources).
We’re officially a month into our 16-week Comadrona School of POWHER (Providing Outreach for Women’s Health Education and Resources), and we’re thrilled about how well the course is going! The 22 traditional birth attendants known as comadronas who enrolled in the training are quickly learning new techniques for safe deliveries through interactive games.Read more
This week, Saving Mothers Guatemala Program Coordinator Jes Oliveira launched the Comadrona School of POWHER (Providing Outreach for Women’s Health Education and Resources). This is Saving Mothers’ first 16-week course for traditional birth attendants in Santiago, Guatemala.Read more
Saving Mothers is proud to announce the launch of the Saving Mothers Comadrona School of POWHER (Providing Outreach in Women’s Health and Education Resource). The goal of this program is to empower comadronas (traditional birth attendants) in Santiago, Lago Atitlán by teaching them skills such as using blood pressure cuffs, human anatomy, safe labor and delivery techniques and pregnancy-related warning signs. Working in partnership with the Centro de Salud and various local clinics, the course will run for 16 weeks and be taught by Saving Mothers’ Guatemala Coordinator Jes Oliveira, various local physicians as well as guest health provider lecturers traveling from New York City.Read more
In October, Saving Mothers’ Jessica Oliveira and Valerie Gruhn worked in Lake Atitlan to expand our programs in Guatemala. Here are some highlights of their work:Read more