Help Me Provide Medical Care for Mayan Communities
Organized by: Molly Glasby
This February, I will be traveling to Guatemala for 2.5 months to work alongside the medical clinic Primeros Pasos (First Steps) as a Registered Nurse. Primeros Pasos is a non-profit, independent organization that primarily serves the indigenous Mayan-Quiche community outside of Quetzaltenango. In Guatemala, roughly 81% of rural, indigenous populations live in extreme poverty (UNDP 2008). Primeros Pasos, the only non-government sponsored health clinic in the area, serves upwards of 15,000 of said poverty-stricken individuals. The clinic not only provides excellent, affordable medical care, but also is equipped with a lab and pharmacy, and employs the only dentist in the entire Palajunoj Valley. What makes Primeros Pasos so incredibly unique and effective is their comprehensive outlook on healthcare. They not only offer medical care but also focus on prevention through extensive health education and community outreach for women and children.
While working with Primeros Pasos, I will be performing regular medical check ups on adults and children alike, prescribing proper medication, and actively providing essential education through the Healthy Schools and Nutritional Recuperation Programs. These programs are absolutely essential to ensure the vulnerable members of the community have the knowledge and resources to help improve their current health status and decrease the rates of preventable illnesses in the future. The most common health concerns include: diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, respiratory illnesses, and dermatological issues—all of which can be prevented through basic education on proper hand hygiene, food storage and consumption, nutrition, and basic health. Help me to come alongside the members of this marginalized community to empower women and children with knowledge, resources, and affordable and often free medical care. For more information on the incomparable work Primeros Pasos is doing in the Mayan-Quiche community and on how they are helping to decrease the rate of chronic malnutrition (50%) in children less than five years old, visit their website at www.primerospasos.org.
I feel incredibly blessed to have the education, skills, and opportunity to serve on the front lines in this way, but know that most individuals do not have the same chance. However, anyone can do his or her part from home through a simple donation—big or small. Take the “First Step” and join with Primeros Pasos in their efforts to provide a better future to Guatemalans. Thank you so much in advance for your generosity.
A small amount of these proceeds will go towards airfare. The remainder of the money raised will go directly to Primeros Pasos.
Below are a few examples of the many ways your donation could be used:
• $10 provides comprehensive clinical care and health education to a child for one year.
• $20 provides anti ‐parasite medication for 1,500 children.
• $50 covers a month of laboratory supplies used to diagnose and treat patients.
• $65 provides cervical cancer screenings for 25 women.
• $100 covers the cost of transportation for a week long Mobile Clinic.
• $130 provides a child with a yearly supply of multivitamins and fortified beverages.
• $200 covers the cost of 100 pregnancy tests.
• $500 provides comprehensive clinical care and education to two classrooms.
• $850 keeps the pharmacy well stocked for walk‐in patients for an entire month.
• A $1,000 donation pays for one student to finish three years of secondary education.
• A $2,500 donation allows us to visit each remote community in the Valley twice a year.