"Primeros Pasos improves the quality of life of rural communities in Guatemala through integrated health education programs and access to medical services."

Primeros Pasos aspira mejorar la calidad de vida de las comunidades rurales del Valle Palajunoj de Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, a través de programas de educación de la salud integrados y acceso a servicios médicos.

Primeros Pasos ayuda a las familias por el empoderamiento de la mujer

Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Programa de Salud para Mujeres | Comments Off on Primeros Pasos ayuda a las familias por el empoderamiento de la mujer

En Guatemala y mucho de América Latina, las mujers son las cuidadoras primarias, y son responsables para alimentar a sus familias y cuidar a su salud.

En el año 2011, el Foro Económico Mundial dijo que Guatemala era 112 de 135 países en igualdad de género. Las mujeres guatemaltecas a menudo se esfuerzan obtener los niveles de educación de sus homólogos masculinos, y a resulta de esto sus familias sufren.
Para luchar en contra de esto presionando tema directamente, en el año 2007 Primeros Pasos se fundó el proyecto de educación de la salud feminina, Escalera a la Salud Buena.

WomansProgram2

La meta de Escalera a la Salud Buena es “para potenciar y fomentar las mujeres hacer decisiones infomadas y consciencias sobre su salud individual y la salud de su familia y comunidad.”

Actividades empiezan discutiendo hygiene y hábitos saludables, y ya que el grupo construye confidencias, temas progresan a temas más tabú, como menopausia y sus efectos.
Actividades son participativas y bienvenidas, y quieren fomentar confianza y hábitos saludables en las mujeres, que después pueden ser llevado de vuelta a sus familias y comunidades.
Hasta ahora, el proyect ha tenido éxito con muchas respuestas positivas.
“Cuando me voy a la clíncia con mis niños, ellos siempre me dan servicio bueno,” una participante dijo. “El programa es un gran beneficio para mi familia y yo, y los educadores nos enseñan muchas cosas que no sabíamos… ellos nos enseñan a tener autoestima. Diós bendiga a la gente de buen corazón que se apoyan la clínica y eso beneficio para mi familia y yo.”

WomensProgram1
Otra participante mencionó “Tengo cuatro niños. El programa Escalera a Salud Buena es un gran apoyo a mi familia porque no tenemos muchos recuros económicos… Espero que el programa continúa darnos este servicio porque lo necesitos; necesitamos la formación, así como el cuidado de la salud para mis niños y mi esposo. Espero que el program continúa porque es un gran servicio para mi familia. Gracias.”
En este momento, Primeros Pasos está trabajando con grupos de mujeres en comunidades diferentes del Valle Palajunoj. Tres años de duración que comprenden el plan de estudios, que educa mujeres sobre la salud de familia y desarollo personal.
Planificación familiar y participación en la comunidad son dos temas importantes que se dirige el programa, y en el ultimo año las mujeres pueden ser educadoras de salud y empecer grupos diferentes, o pueden planear y crear un proyecto para educar sus comunidades. Las mujeres con asistencia buena pueden recibir servicios medicales y dentales gratis para ella y su familia.
El programa Escalera a Salud Buena continuará capacitar mujeres para criar familias saludables y ser miembros confidentes y activas en sus comunidades.

Para apoyar programs como Escalera a Salud Buena, visítenos en http://www.primerospasos.org/donate/?lang=es/ .

Read More

Primeros Pasos Helps Families by Empowering Women

Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in Women's Health Education | Comments Off on Primeros Pasos Helps Families by Empowering Women

In Guatemala and much of Latin America, women are primary caregivers, tasked with feeding and caring for their families and looking out for their health.

In 2011, the World Economic Forum ranked Guatemala 112 out of 135 countries in terms of gender equality. Women often struggle to obtain levels of education comparable to that of their male counterparts, and as a result their families suffer.

To directly combat this pressing issue, Primeros Pasos founded the women’s health education project, Stairway to Good Health, in 2007.

WomansProgram2

The goal of Stairway to Good Health is to “empower and encourage women to make conscious, informed decisions about their individual health and the health of their family and community.”

Activities begin by discussing hygiene practices and healthy habits, and as confidence is built, later progress to discussions on more taboo topics like menopause and its effects.

Activities are participative and welcoming, and aim to encourage education in the women which can then be taken back to their families and communities.

Thus far, the project has been successful with many positive responses.

“When I go to the clinic with my kids, they always give me good service,” one participant noted. “The Program is a great benefit for me and my family, and the educators teach us lots of things that we didn’t know… they teach us to have self-esteem. God bless the good-hearted people that support the clinic and this benefit for me and my family.”

WomensProgram1

Another participant mentioned “I have four children. The program Stairway to Good Health is a great help for my family because we have scare economic resouces… I hope that the Program continues giving us this service because we need it; we need the training as well as the health care for my kids and my husband. I hope that the Program continues because it is a great service to my family. Thank you.”

Currently, Primeros Pasos works with six separate groups of women throughout the communities of the Palajunoj Valley. Three year-long modules comprise the curriculum of the program, which educates women about family health and personal development.

Family planning and community participation are two important topics addressed in the program, and in the final year women are able to become health educators and start new health focus groups, or they can plan and educate a project to educate their communities. Women with good attendance are entitled to free medical and dental services in the clinic for herself and her family.

The Stairway to Good Health project will continue to empower women to raise healthy families and be confident, active members of their communities.


To support programs like these, consider making a financial contribution to Primeros Pasos at http://www.primerospasos.org/donate/ .

Read More

Un Perfíl de las Clínicas Móviles

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Clínicas Móviles | Comments Off on Un Perfíl de las Clínicas Móviles

DoctorWithPatient
La clínica de Primeros Pasos es la única forma de atención de salud para mucha gente que vive en el Valle de Palajunoj. Todavía, hay muchas comunidades del Valle que están tan lejanos que es imposible para los pacientes de visitar nuestra clínica. Para contactar esas poblaciones, Primeros Pasos maneja “clínicas móviles” al menos cuatro veces cada año en las partes más remotas de la región.

En la última semana, el personal dirigió una de estas clínicas móviles en la escuela primaria “Bella Vista”, que está situada al 45 minutos afuera del centro de Xela con transporte privado. El personal móvil consistió en 3 estudiantes médicos guatemaltecos y la asistente del programa de salud para niños, Magui, quienes pasaron dos días guiando pruebas de parásitos y otras enfermedades, investigando ojos, orejas, y gargantas, midiendo los pesos y las estaturas de los niños, y acercando medicinas con instrucciones especificas para los padres.

Handwashing
“Los niños estaban muy emocionados para visitar a los médicos, aunque algunos estaban nerviosos,” dice Jenny, una de las voluntarias en el proyecto de educación de salud para niños.

La mayoría de los niños, posiblemente todos, tenían parásitos. Parecía que los niños no ha midiendo sus pesos y alturas, porque no sabían como usar la pesa.”

El 27% de la población rural en Guatemala no tiene acceso a centros sanitarios limpios, lo que contribuye a la difusión de aflicciones como diarrea y E. Coli, que sin tratar pueden ser fatales. En la escuela de Bella Vista, Primeros Pasos ha instalado una estación para lavar las manos a ayudar con la eliminación esas enfermedades evitables. Otras clínicas móviles durante el año incluyen chequeos odontológicos y talleres de educación de salud.

Otra voluntaria del mismo proyecto, Sheena, menciona que los niños de Bella Vista “estaban usando y disfrutando de las lavamanos,” y pensando en los difíciles que tuvimos para llegar a los sitios de la clínica móvil, es fácil entender las difíciles que tienen los residentes del valle de ir a visitar un doctor.

Ella menciona que muchas ancianas del valle que estaban sintiéndose mal visitaron los doctores después de los sesiones con los niños, y eso mostró la importancia de la oportunidad rara recibir cuida médica.

ChildrenPlaying

Para encontrar como puede crear una diferencia positiva en las vidas de los niños del Valle, visítenos en http://www.primerospasos.org/donate/.

Read More

Primeros Pasos Takes Mission On the Road with Mobile Clinics

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Mobile Clinics | Comments Off on Primeros Pasos Takes Mission On the Road with Mobile Clinics

DoctorWithPatient
The Primeros Pasos clinic is the sole source of health care for many Guatemalans in the Palajunoj Valley. Still, there are many communities in the valley that are so remote that traveling to the clinic is nearly impossible. To reach these communities, Primeros Pasos operates mobile clinics throughout the region at least four times a year.

Last week the staff conducted one such clinic at the Bella Vista primary school, located about a 45-minute drive from the Xela city center. The mobile staff, consisting of three Guatemalan medical students and our children’s health educator Magui, spent two days testing for parasites and other common illnesses, examining eyes, ears, and throats, taking the heights and weights of the children, and handing out medicines with specific instructions to take home to parents.

Handwashing
“The kids were so excited to see the doctors, even though some were scared,” says Jenny, one of the children’s health volunteers.

Almost all of the children, maybe even all of them had parasites. It seemed like most had never had their height and weight taken, since they didn’t know how to step on scales or stand against the measuring tape.”

27% of the country’s rural population does not have access to clean sanitation facilities, contributing to the spread of afflictions such as diarrhea and E. Coli, which when left untreated can be fatal. At the Bella Vista school, Primeros Pasos has installed a hand washing station to help eliminate the spread of these preventable illnesses. Other mobile clinics operated by Primeros Pasos include dental check-ups and health education workshops.

Another volunteer, Sheena, mentioned that the children at Bella Vista “really seemed to use and enjoy the hand washing stations.” She also stated that given how difficult it is to get out to the sites of the mobile clinic, it’s “easy to see” why it’s difficult to impossible for residents of the valley to get to a doctor.

She mentioned that many older women from the area who were feeling sick came in to see the doctors after the sessions with students were finished, illustrating the importance of the rare opportunity to receive medical care.

ChildrenPlaying

To find out how you can make a difference in the lives of children like those at the Bella Vista School, visit us at http://www.primerospasos.org/donate/ .

Read More

Help Primeros Pasos End Malnutrition

Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Nutrition | Comments Off on Help Primeros Pasos End Malnutrition

imageIn 2012 we started our Nutritional Recuperation Program that helped 26 malnourished children recuperate their normal height and weight. We also taught their families about important health topics, ensuring that the children would continue to grow and live a healthy life.

This year we’ll expand the program by working in some of the most remote communities in the Palajunoj Valley with a group of 20 low income pregnant mothers and 30 chronically malnourished children under two years. However, to be able to continue our work we need your help!

For 2013 we’re partnering with One Day’s Wages in order to raise the money we need. One Day’s Wages has agreed to support the project with $8,000 if we manage to raise $2,000. This 80/20 match scheme is the largest portion One Day’s Wages has ever awarded, which proves their belief in the importance of our project.

The 80/20 match scheme means that every dollar you give us has an actual effect of 5 dollars. Help us and the children of the Palajunoj Valley by making a small contribution to our program. Or maybe you can even spare one day’s wage?

Read More

Join IAHA’s Board of Directors

Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in board of directors | Comments Off on Join IAHA’s Board of Directors

savoie_514
Our partners in the states, The Inter-American Health Alliance, are looking for new board members. If you are interested, please see the note at the bottom on how to contact IAHA. And please spread the word to any friends, colleagues or family who might be interested!

About IAHA:

Founded in 2004, IAHA through a rights-based, inclusive approach to healthcare fosters cross-sector collaboration and provides financial and technical support to establish self-sustaining Guatemala-based community health projects serving neglected populations. IAHA’s principle program in 2013 is Primeros Pasos, a rural health clinic located in the Palajunoj Valley in the department of Quetzaltenango (www.primerospasos.org). With an emphasis on providing access to integrated, culturally and linguistically-appropriate preventative health care, Primeros Pasos delivers vital education and direct services to more than 8,000 individuals annually. IAHA is going through a phase of restructuring, is investing in organizational development and is in the process of recruiting new Board Members who are committed to leading our organization into the future.

Board Member Role:

IAHA Board Members serve as ambassadors, helping to fulfill the organization’s mission and uphold its values. As the ultimate leaders of the organization, all members are tasked with providing strategic governance.

Board Member Responsibilities:

Leadership, Governance and Oversight

  • Being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Approving IAHA’s annual budget, audits, and major organizational decisions.
  • Leading the development and implementation of IAHA’s strategic plan.
  • Developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for IAHA’s strategic objectives and regularly measuring its performance and effectiveness.
  • Reviewing agenda and supporting materials prior to Board and committee meetings.
  • Assisting the Board President in identifying and recruiting other Board Members.
  • Partnering with other Board Members to ensure that Board resolutions are carried out.
  • Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments as needed.
  • Representing IAHA to stakeholders.
  • Ensuring IAHA’s commitment to a diverse Board and program staff that reflects the communities IAHA serves.
  • Contributing to an annual performance evaluation of lead program staff.
  • Participating in annual Board of Directors self-evaluations.

 Fundraising

IAHA Board Members will consider IAHA a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts that reflect that priority. IAHA expects to have all Board Members make an annual contribution of at least $1,000. This can be achieved through a personal donation and/or through other means such as special events, presentations, grant writing support, networking, among others. Ample support will be provided by fellow Board Members and program staff to ensure fundraising goals are met.

Board Terms/Participation:

IAHA’s Board Members serve a four-year term. Board meetings will be held quarterly and committee meetings will be held monthly. Board members are required to attend/participate in all Board meetings. In addition, Board Members are encouraged to visit IAHA’s program in Guatemala on an annual basis and will ideally recruit others to join them in order to grow the organization’s base of support.

 Desired Background:

In addition to a belief in our mission, selected Board Members will have achieved leadership stature in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector. Her/his accomplishments will allow her/him to attract other well-qualified, high-performing Board Members and other resources for the organization. Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Extensive professional experience with significant executive leadership accomplishments in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector.
  • A commitment to and understanding of IAHA’s beneficiaries, preferably with knowledge and experience of the Guatemalan context.
  • Strong communication and networking skills with a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and support for mission-driven causes.
  • Ability to work with people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, a sense of humor and a passion for improving the lives of IAHA’s beneficiaries.

Service on IAHA’s Board of Directors is without remuneration. IAHA-related expenses incurred (e.g. travel, supplies, etc.) are considered in-kind donations and are therefore tax-deductible.

 

Application Information:

If you are interested in applying for the position of IAHA Board Member, please submit your CV and a cover letter detailing your qualifications and interest to Josie Silverman, IAHA Board Development Consultant at josie.silverman@gmail.com. To learn more about IAHA, we invite you to visit our website at www.interamericanhealth.org.

Read More

ENSEÑANDO NUTRICIÓN, desde la perspectiva de una voluntaria

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Nutrición | Comments Off on ENSEÑANDO NUTRICIÓN, desde la perspectiva de una voluntaria

ENSEÑANDO NUTRICIÓN, desde la perspectiva de una voluntaria

Empecé como voluntaria en Primeros Pasos y el Programa de Recuperación Nutricional en octubre. El Programa de Recuperación Nutricional trabaja con niños crónicamente desnutridos y sus familias en el Valle Palajunoj a través de tratamiento médico y educación para la salud. Al principio de trabajar con el programa de nutrición, mis habilidades artísticas y artesanales fueron puestos a prueba cuando Cindy, la nutricionista, me pidió que hiciera coronas de frutas y verduras para los niños en el programa. Más tarde esa semana, la clínica fue anfitriona de una fiesta para los niños y las madres del programa para el Día del Niño. Los niños demostraron su conocimiento de las frutas y verduras al adivinar lo que cada corona tenía y estuvieron increíblemente lindos jugando fuera de la clínica en sus coronas. Más tarde, mis habilidades artísticas fueron puestos a prueba otra vez cuando hice visuales para una actividad de uno de los seminarios educativos que las madres en el programa asisten. Lo que no me había dado cuenta antes de trabajar con el programa de nutrición fue la importancia de la incorporación de materiales visuales dentro de un plan de estudios, sobre todo cuando se trabaja con las comunidades, como las del Valle Palajunoj. Guatemala tiene la tasa más baja de alfabetización en Centroamérica, con grandes disparidades entre las comunidades indígenas y no indígenas,  entre hombres y mujeres. Muchas de las madres en el Programa de Recuperación Nutricional no puede leer, por lo que la incorporación de material visual es importante y necesario. Crear un programa educativo y plan de estudios sin depender de la palabra escrita era un reto que no había pensado antes de trabajar con el Programa de Recuperación Nutricional.

Read More
Follow

Get every new blog post delivered to your Inbox

Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter via the form on the bottom of our page as well!