Phoebe Wiant


My time at Primeros Pasos is over, and not only do I miss my tortilla lady, but I miss Xela more
than I ever thought I would.

Primeros Pasos is genuinely committed to the community it serves. The economic disparities in
Guatemala are mirrored in the health disparities - doctors in the city can be unaffordable for
families in the Palajunoj Valley, but Primeros Pasos works every single day to support families.
Healthcare is affordable at the clinic, and every day the staff is working to expand access and
make it even easier for people to see a doctor.

As a Development Volunteer, I did a lot of the behind the scenes work, and it makes a
difference. The clinic runs nearly completely on donations, and the work you are doing is
keeping the clinic open. I loved working every day at Primeros Pasos because of the people, the
place, and the interactions with people of the Valley.

Working at the clinic itself made me feel close to the patients and inspired me to work as hard
as I could. The advantages that I come from, as a United States citizen, are not accessible to the
people of Palajunoj Valley, and I want to use my privilege to try to make the biggest impact I
could on the Valley.

My experience volunteering and exploring Guatemala showed me how much access to
healthcare can change and improve lives. As part of a fundraising project, a fellow development
volunteer and I interviewed mothers, and more than one of them expressed gratitude for the
services Primeros Pasos offers because it helps them keep their kids healthy and in school.
If you are considering coming to volunteer at Primeros Pasos, I recommend you do. In the
Western Highlands of Guatemala, you’ll find a built-in community of dedicated, caring
volunteers who share your passion.

Primeros Pasos