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Midwifery School History

Professional Midwifery School With an Intercultural Approach

An initiative of Association Manos Abiertas, The Intercultural School of Midwifery Professionals Ucux Jä started in 2012, supported by UNFPA / Guatemala. During the first year we worked on curriculum design and student recruitment, with the vision of a future in which the needs of women in rural areas of Guatemala are met. presently In Guatemala there is a lack of access to sexual and reproductive health, in particular services that are holistic and culturally relevant, especially for indigenous women

School philosophy


The Midwifery School is a center of training focused on educating Guatemalan women under two fundamental principals: international standards of midwifery practice and research/systematization of traditional practices relevant to the cultural diversity of Guatemala..


To be a pioneering Professional institution of Midwifery training with an intercultural approach. To combine clinical and traditional techniques and practices, generating skills to preserve, develop and transmit knowledge, contributing to family health.

Studies School program

The curriculum combines international standards of professional midwifery ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) with the knowledge provided by traditional midwives so that students can learn and preserve ancestral knowledge to the benefit of women.

  • 3 years of study
  • University Technician level
  • Theoretical and practical training based on skills acquisition. Clinical practice will take place both in care centers with traditional birth attendants in their community.
  • Spaces for discussion and exchange across the entire program, participation in workshops and conferences on issues related to women's health, empowerment and sexual and reproductive rights, addressing them from a holistic approach.
  • Merging the concepts and practices of natural medicine, traditional Mayan medicine and knowledge of medicine based on scientific evidence.

The school encourages a participatory approach with the thoughtful, critical and collective analysis of the role of the midwife as an autonomous professional, promoting holistic health and empowerment of women.

General objective

To train professional midwives with knowledge, attitudes and skills to provide care for sexual and reproductive health at the community level that respects, values and applies ancestral knowledge to provide culturally appropriate care. Encourage problem solving, promotion of community health and networking to ensure adequate understanding of special cases.

The other general objective is to begin to resolve the lack of access to health services that women in remote rural areas experience. To provide care that is comprehensive, holistic and culturally relevant, with the end result of reducing rates of maternal and neonatal mortality in Guatemala.

Specific goal

  • Midwives to train professionals who are able to meet the currently prevalent sexual and reproductive health issues.
  • Promote research and systematization of ancestral community knowledge
  • Encourage critical analysis as a contribution to decision-making for the benefit of community health.

Income and requirements of the student

Students should have diverse education and studies in any subject area, preferably in the area of health sciences. They must demonstrate interest in providing sexual and reproductive health in their community. Priority will be given to indigenous young women, especially for the granting of scholarships, however, students of all ages and communities will be accepted without regard to race, creed or political belief.

The student must demonstrate a desire to excel and motivation to work on the comprehensive development of women's health and education. They should have respect for ancestral knowledge and the work of traditional birth attendants and demonstrate ease of communication and integration in community work teams. ideally they should speak the Mayan language corresponding to their community of origin. From the start there should be networking and negotiation with the community, municipality, major spiritual leaders and midwives to unsure that the project is accepted and supported. The student must have a midwife who is willing and able to tutor in community practice.

To apply, student must submit the following documents:

  • Completed entry form
  • 1 passport sized photograph
  • Authenticated photocopy of identity card or DPI
  • Authenticated photocopy of mid level diploma
  • Photocopy of evidence of completion of studies
  • Intention letter
  • Letters of support from spiritual leaders of their community and municipality
  • Letter of support from a traditional midwife in your community

Graduate profile:

The graduate of this educational program is a midwife; developer, educator and manager with a high sense of social responsibility, providing sexual and reproductive health, promoting disease prevention and improving maternal and child health. Focused on safe, humane and culturally appropriate delivery care, with emergency obstetric response capacity. Promoter of programs and projects that focus on improving community health.

Accreditation Career
In February 2013 the accreditation of the course was obtained by the Galileo University as "University Technician Professional Midwifery with Intercultural Approach" which places us not only as the first school of midwives in Guatemala, but also as the first to have a Technical University accreditation. Career training will allow graduates to provide care that is timely, friendly, culturally relevant and close to women living in rural areas.
School teachers
Chair: Introduction to Midwifery
Professor: Daniela Isabel Abadí a French national, age 59. Education and training: Bachelor of the National School Alcorta, Buenos Aires, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires ARGENTINA, School of Film Editing Area Association Varan, Paris, France, School of Journalism CPJ, Paris, France, Crescent School French Red Cross Paris, France, Midwifery School University of Paris IV Paris, France, MA in Anthropology University of Paris VII , Paris, France, School of Acupuncture Solola, GUATEMALA.
Professional experience: midwife MSF-France (Doctors Without Borders) Duekoue-IVORY COAST, founder and member of the International Board of Matrona
• Founder of the Clinic Women's Health Panajachel-GUATEMALA
• Midwife Consultant MSF-France Medecins Sans Frontieres) Amran-YEMEN
• evaluation of maternity services in Khameer general hospital and hospital Huthn
• Strengthen and monitor reproductive health activities in the 2 settings in accordance with the rules MSF (ANC, PNC, family planning, gynecological, obstetric care emergency)
• Support and train 10 midwives, as well as GPS in Ob / gyn issues. Midwife Hospital "Maternity des Lilas" Paris, France
• Field Coordinator MSF-France (Doctors Without Borders) Kampong Cham-CAMBODIA.
• Coordination and management of HIV / TB in collaboration with the Ministry of Health
• Management and Coordination team (6 expatriates, 35 national staff)
• Represents MSF with local authorities, representatives of the Ministry of Health and other non government organizations.

Chair: Health: historical and cultural context of the country
Professor: Thelma Patricia Cortez Bendfeldt
Age 46. Education and training: Medical and Cirujana, other studies: 3rd. Semester degree in Anthropology, Post degree specialization in intercultural and gender, participation in training process Masters in Social Anthropology, Refresher Course "Gender approaches and advocacy in health reforms promoted by the Latin American states , " studies in Masters in Public Health.

Research and professional experience: Research associate in the project "Characterization of human resources in health in Guatemala". Rafael Landivar University, Center for Research in Health Sciences.
• research associate in the project: "Local power and municipal social investment in health and education." USAID Project dialog.
• Development of the proposed study: community participation in health. Rafael Landívar University.
• Coordination and technical assistance in the project: "the future of health in Guatemala, where are we going? UNDP, USAC, URL, IGSS IDRC.
• The process of adaptation in the role of midwife from changes driven by public policy of the State, executed under the FONISAL line, in coordination with the Ministry of Health of Alta Verapaz.
• Research Process "Hospital Treatment of Obstetric Risk Pregnancy High. An opportunity for the promotion of maternal and neonatal "health.
• Operational Evaluation of the hospital management of high - risk pregnancy in two different language groups.
• Recognition of alarm signals for ARO by patients in 2 different language groups, to their discharge from hospital.
• Conducted under the FONISAL line (fund public health research) CONCYT and OPS.
• Monitoring the right to health. Research process co-running between Pastoral Care of AV and the National Health Instance. With funding from MISEREOR.
• About the current status of the right to health in Guatemala. Parallel investigations in Quetzaltenango, San Marcos and Totonicapán on respect for the right to health in Quetzaltenango specifically on the rights of people living with HIV-AIDS are coordinated.
• Evaluation of the overall impact of cooperation between PAHO / SIDA. And the Foundation of Mayan Women North FUNMMAYAN.
• Research and development proposal on the current situation 3 Craft Workshops Processing of Medicinal Plants in the department of Alta Verapaz. Pan American Health Organization PAHO / Mayan Women Foundation North FUNMAYAN 2001.

Chair: Research Techniques
Professor: Viana Maza Chavarria

Age 33, Guatemalan, Education and training: Official European Master in Health and Community Welfare, First Year of expertise in planning and management policies and child feeding programs, Degree in Clinical Psychology with No. collegial 9504. With continuing education: the workshops: "Changing the world by the way of being born" at the University of Chile, national Workshop on communication skills and support groups mother to mother, world Congress of breastfeeding maternal, leadership training and emotional intelligence workshop sexual abuse and incest, III national congress of psychology "Violence and mental health", among others.

Work experience as pan - American university professor, Solola, Founder of maternal intuition, individual and group psychological maternity care, private clinic, Director of the Natural Lomas organization in support of natural breeding, breastfeeding, attachment, science teacher natural, Spanish language and biology, among others.

Chair: Nutrition Professor : Claudia Asensio Nolkc
Age 30, Languages: Spanish, English with basic knowledge of German and Portuguese.
Education and training: Doctorate in Public Health, Bachelor of Nursing Science, Concentration in Nutrition and Psychology, University Extension course "Balanced Diet and Health" and Baccalaureate Advanced Program and registered professional nurse in the United States License # 567,432 granted by the state of New York.
With work experience: Sustainable Strategies, Guatemala, FUNDESA, University Research Co., LLC - Center for Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Guatemala, American Embassy in Guatemala, Guatemala, Apoteke, SA, Guatemala, Centro Medico University of New York, New York, NY, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia , and Annenberg Theater, Philadelphia, PA. Chair: Biology (Microbiology and Parasitology) Professor: Rosa Lidia Cortes Mendez, age 31, Guatemalan, speaker of Spanish and English, with closing pensum Degree in Biological Chemistry, work experience: Teaching experience in the Community (EDC) Supervised Professional Practice (EPS) , Roosevelt Hospital: Department of Tuberculosis and fungi in section Microbiology Laboratory Department. Roosevelt Hospital: Quality Control Bacteriology section of Microbiology Department Laboratory. Courses received among which are: Participation in the National Congress of Biological Chemists, National Refresher Course in Antimicrobials "Antimicrobial Resistance in Enterobacteriaceae, first training course on" Techniques in Molecular Biology "Participation in the National Symposium of Biological Chemistry the seventy - second anniversary of the career of Biological Chemistry, Participation as a lecturer at the Graduate Comprehensive Care of HIV / AIDS, given topic "Microbiological Diagnosis of Tuberculosis Care course" differential diagnosis of Streptococcus pneumoniae in the laboratory ", among others. Research projects : Recovery of strain collections of Salmonella and Shigella in section Microbiology Roosevelt Hospital. Incompatibility case assessment of Blood in Blood Bank Roosevelt Hospital. Workshop "Construction of critical and analytical knowledge" (observation analysis models and forms of care).

Professor: Sandra Magnolia Acajabón Monzon,
Age 48, Guatemalan, academically trained Studies undergraduate in the career of physician and surgeon in Bachelor Degree, University of San Carlos of Guatemala, Post-graduate specialty of Pediatrics. University of San Carlos of Guatemala. Guatemalan Social Security Institute. Diploma: Child Health. University of San Carlos of Guatemala. Faculty of Medical Sciences. Classical Homeopathy studies. Homeopathy School of the Americas. Houston Texas. He is a member of associations such as : the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pediatric Association of Guatemala, Sacatepequez Medical Association, Guatemalan Association of Medical Women. Guatemalan Association of Professional Homeopaths, Board, Open Hands Association, with experience in : Medical Plant of Export Food Industry. INEXA. SA Medica Health Program Coordinator. Project "Mosquitos".
Work With Us:

with dedication

Manos Abiertas Integrated Womens' health center has accepted interns from all over the world since its inception. We are continuously developing the program in order to provide a satisfying and enriching learning experience.

Read more

Hannah has over 20 years experience in midwifery and has assisted at more than 1,600 natural births in Guatemala. Born in Germany, Hannah moved to Guatemala in 1988 and has four children. Hannah trained as a Professional Midwife at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, Texas, a border town between the US and Mexico. There, she discovered her interest in working with marginalised communities at risk. Prior to the opening of AMA, Hannah co-directed Ixmucane; a Birth Centre in Antigua. In addition to delivering babies, the clinic provided continuing education to traditional midwives. At AMA, Hannah strives to deliver high quality care accessible to all women without discrimination.

Hannah Freiwald

Founder of Asociación Manos Abiertas (AMA)