The ACAM Council is responsible for setting goals, staffing and overseeing the ACAM Center and assisting in implementation of programs in Guatemala
María Azucena Fuentes Díaz
María Azucena Fuentes Díaz is president of ACAM and has been a midwife for 33 years. She attended her first birth when only 15 years old, while accompanying a friend to the hospital. The friend was having contractions, but when they arrived they were told to wait. Azucena saw the baby coming. She told her friend to push. The baby was born, and she quickly put the baby with the mother and called for the doctors. The doctors then told Azucena that she ought to study medicine. She received some training as a nurse but could not afford to continue. Gradually, she found herself in similar situations and began to learn more and more about attending births, until finally she decided to become a midwife.
Azucena is one of the women who founded ACAM in 1999, and in addition to clinical work , she is on the board of directors. Azucena lives in San Juan, Ostuncalco, with her husband, who works as a volunteer firefighter, and their 3 daughters: one who is studying law, another who is studying nursing, and the third who is in high school and dreams of being a veterinarian.
María Antonina Sánchez Mendez
María Antonina Sánchez Mendez is the treasurer and one of the founders of ACAM. She has been a midwife for 29 years. She began her work with a close friend who asked her to attend the birth of her baby. There was a midwife present as well, and Antonina had observed a number of births, so the midwife noted that she already had a lot of knowledge and asked her to continue her work in her place. After that others asked Antonina to attend births, which she did without equipment, though she was very nervous. That is how she began learning about the work of midwives. She is told that God has given her the destiny to be a midwife.
Antonina lives in Barrio Nuevo, Concepción, Chiquirichapa with her husband Andrés, who provides a lot of support to ACAM with transportation and in helping with tasks at home so that Antonina can be present at ACAM. She served as representative of the Department of Quetzaltenango to The Presidential Council on the Rights of Women. She has 7 children as well as 17 grandchildren. She is grateful to have her daughter Imelda to continue in her place as a midwife.
Ofelia Augustina Hernández López
Ofelia Augustina Hernández López is the secretary of ACAM, and has been a midwife for 22 years. As a child, her grandmother told her that she had a special gift, and that she needed to discover what it was. She was always interested in births and how babies were born, however her mother told her that babies arrived on an airplane. Ofelia had 3 of her own children before truly learning about childbirth. She attended her first birth when the midwife did not arrive for a sister-in-law, and she received the baby in a towel. After that she went to a year-long midwifery training in a clinic.
Ofelia has worked for ACAM for 10 years. She is currently the president of the Maya Fraternity, a group of women that works in social projects, projects related to health and nutrition and the environment. She is also a member of the Mam Association. Ofelia lives in Caserio San Cristobal, Concepción, Chiquirichapa, with her husband.She has 4 children as well as one granddaughter.
Ana Cristina Villagrez Cifuentes
Ana Cristina Villagrez Cifuentes is a member of board of directors of ACAM. She has been a midwife for 15 years. Cristina attended her first birth when she was 38 years old, when the midwife did not arrive for her uncle’s wife. She attended without equipment and the baby girl was born easily. Cristina was happy with this experience. Later, she had a dream in which she saw her maternal grandmother, who had been a midwife. Although she did not know her, she saw a tall woman in a white dress with a cup in her hand, and the woman told her, “my child, I pass this cup into your hand; it is my blessing for your work.” In the dream, she received the cup and took it as a sign that she was to be a midwife. She attended a year long training in the use of medicinal plants.
Ana Cristina in one of the founders of ACAM, and previously held the position of vice-president. Currently, she is the vice-president of the City Commission of Women in Concepción. She lives in Barrio San Marcos, Concepción, Chiquirichapa, and has 4 sons. She also has 7 grandchildren and lives with her 86 year old mother. She loves working with women's groups and participating in community groups. She works at ACAM to improve the health of women and continue the use of natural plants.
Santos Lopez Romero
Santos Lopez Romero is a member of the board of directors, and has been a midwife for 24 years. She attended her first birth out of necessity, when there was no midwife to attend her aunt. Her aunt then told everyone who came to see her that Santos had attended, and that is how she began to gain recognition as a midwife. She then went to trainings and to get equipment, and she worked at the health center and the Red Cross before being connected with ACAM in the year 2000. She became a part of the board of directors in 2008. Santos lives in Canton Las Moras, San Juan Ostuncalco with her husband . She has 5 children and 6 grandchildren.
Maria Santa Mendez Cabrera
Maria Santa Mendez Cabrera is the vice-president of ACAM. Now in her late 70s, Santa began working as a midwife when she was just a young girl. Initially she learned the trade of midwifery simply by attending and assisting in the births of her friends’ and neighbors’ babies, and gradually she began to work independently. As people learned that she had the skills, they began to come to her to give birth. Santa was one of the founding members of ACAM, and continues to work regular shifts at the birth center. She lives in Concepción, Chiquirichapa with her husband. She has 5 children and more than 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Imelda López Sánchez
Imelda López Sánchez is a midwife and ACAM's office manager and computer instructor. She decided to become a midwife after many years of observing and supporting her mom, Antonina Sánchez, who is one of the founders of ACAM. She graduated as a primary school teacher, however in 2010, she left her teaching job to dedicate herself to being a midwife. This was only possible because ACAM could offer a salary for her work. Imelda attended her first birth when she was only 18 years old, when a young woman came to her house in labor, looking for her mother. Antonia had gone out, so Imelda began to help the woman. She was frightened when she saw that the baby was in a breech position, but tried to remember what her mother had taught her, and the baby was born without complications.
Imelda manages all of the financial reports and medical records, and in addition does all of the blood tests, teaches computer classes, and attends to patients in consults and births as necessary. Imelda lives in Caserio Tojxucuwe’, Concepción, Chiquirichapa, with her husband , who runs a local small business, and her 3 sons: . The oldest, dreams of becoming a music teacher and is currently in middle school.