Clinic Volunteer coordination and synthesis in Guatemala

This summer Mary worked in the Primeros Pasos clinic, supported by GlobeMed at Georgetown University, located in the small remote community of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  Primeros Pasos is a rural medical clinic that primarily serves mothers and their young children. By working with clinic directors and mothers in the community, Mary helped develop a dialogue about how to address health concerns in the area while understanding the traditional beliefs about medicine in the indigenous culture. This helped to ensure that community members could receive consistent, effective healthcare at the clinic, regardless of which volunteers happen to be working at the clinic at a particular time. To create a sustainable solution to the problems associated with health disparities, Mary’s project collaborated with a fellow Georgetown student to make a volunteer handbook explaining how to facilitate communication about the intersection between traditional “voodoo” medicine practices and modern medical solutions. Mary hopes that this handbook will be a way for the community to receive healthcare that is consistently effective from a group of medical staff that is consistently attentive and respectful to the community’s needs.