Maya Midwifery & Global Health Immersion

A cross-cultural midwifery and global health experience

January 15, 2018 - February 23, 2018

Come spend six weeks at the ACAM birth center, located in a charming mountain village in the Western Highlands of Guatemala (Concepcion Chiquirichapa, Guatemala). Learn through observation and by assisting the Maya midwives of ACAM, who are the living lineage-holders of a generations old healing and midwifery tradition. Experience the daily life and work of this remarkable independent collective of midwives. Be mentored and supported by American certified nurse-midwives living on-site with you. Experience prenatal appointments, home visits, mobile clinics, labor and births, herbal and traditional treatments melded with modern medicine and technology. Accompany the midwives in their community development work and educational activities.  Participate in guided discussions on global health issues and unique challenges to midwifery in Guatemala. Spend your weekends on field trips to volcanic hot springs, sacred Maya sites, and the culturally rich nearby city of Xela.

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Requirements

Applicants must be either student midwives or midwives. They may be on a CNM, CPM, or apprentice-based midwifery training track.

Applicants must be functional in Spanish: the ACAM midwives speak Spanish and/or Mam, and do not speak English. The on-site CNM mentor will be both English and Spanish speaking.

As guests to the Maya midwives, students must demonstrate an understanding of cultural sensitivity and humility.


Details

This program is an experiential service learning program, not a clinical placement. You will be assisting the midwives in a mainly non-clinical capacity, while witnessing a unique and evolving tradition of indigenous midwifery and gaining valuable global health perspectives

There will be four students, who will live in a shared apartment located within the ACAM birthing center. Students will have a rotating call schedule for births, prenatal appointments, and mobile clinic days. On these days the midwives take a 4WD vehicle to remote mountain areas where women have little access to care.

An American CNM will supervise the students to mentor, facilitate learning, and support the students’ well being.

Students will take field trips to a volcanic hot springs, a sacred Maya lake, Xela, and the largest indigenous craft market in Central America (Chichicastenango).

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experience

Many groups of students have been to ACAM since the birth center opened in 2003. They left inspired by the midwives and with a fuller understanding of the joys and challenges of international work. Maya Midwifery International is now offering a more structured program for students. No educational credits are presently offered, but a certificate of completion will be provided. We plan to expand this program to accommodate more groups of students. Program Coordinator, Dena Moes, CNM has mentored students at ACAM in the past and brings expertise in both international travel and midwifery to the project.


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Cost & Next Steps

The total cost is $3,600, which includes six weeks of living at the Birth Center, learning from the Maya midwives, field trips, supervision and educational activities by on-site CNM Preceptor, and administrative costs. Students will receive a thorough orientation prior to departure and will have assistance arranging travel to the site.

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The fee does not include airfare and travel to the birthing center, mandatory travel/health insurance, or food and sundries.

Food will be bought in the village outdoor markets, prepared in the apartment kitchen, and is extremely inexpensive.

 

Please send a letter of interest to Dena Moes at denamoes@gmail.com by September 30, 2017.  Be prepared to follow up with a resume and two letters of recommendation from mentors, teachers, or colleagues. Once accepted into the program, a $1,000 deposit will be due by October 31, 2017.