Guatemala has the highest birth rate in Central America. Yet, only 5.7% of rural women receive prenatal care during the last trimester of pregnancy. Therefore, both maternal and infant mortality rates are the highest in the region. In 2005, the Guatemalan government ratified a law on Universal and Equitable Access to Family Planning Services (Decree 87-2005) which promised universal sex education in public schools, and access to contraception for all Guatemalans of reproductive age. While this serves as a symbolic success for women-s (change to women’s) rights activists, the government isn’t complying with the implementation of this law. To date, only 8 percent of sexually active adolescents in Guatemala use a modern method of birth control.but are not practicing contraception.
55% of sexually active, never-married women aged 15–19, and 26% of married women that age, have an unmet need for contraception, meaning they wish to avoid having a pregnancy in the next two years but are not practicing contraception.
At Manos Abiertas, we offer a safe and welcoming health care environment where women are served by women. In honoring the whole person, we promote and support our clients to think autonomously and make safe decisions about their health and family-without fear.
At Manos Abiertas, we seek to provide a model of holistic health care for women. We provide sexual and reproductive health care throughout their lives, making comprehensive care available and paving a road to proper and specialized health care in this country. Our goal is to provide tools for women to make empowered and informed decisions about their health, thus serving as examples for their children, families and communities. By investing in individual women we hope to build a healthier Guatemala.