A $ 240 donation supports natural childbirth.

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The Need

Overview

Guatemala has the highest birth rate in Central America

Only 5.7% of women receive prenatal care during the last trimester of pregnancy. Because of this, both maternal and infant mortality rates are the highest in the region. In 2005, the 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 serving as a symbolic success for activists of women's health, the government is not complying with the implementation of this law. To date, only one third of women used a modern method of family planning, 28% of women report an unmet need and funding for family planning, maternity and child health, reproductive health and family planning is extremely limited.

Mission:

At Manos Abiertas we offer an atmosphere of safety and a welcoming health care environment where women are served by women. In honouring the whole person, we promote and support our clients to think autonomously and make safe decisions about their health and family- without fear.

Vision:

At Manos Abiertas we seek to be a model of holistic health care for women, taking care of their sexual and reproductive health care needs throughout their lives. We are providing comprehensive services and paving a road to proper and specialised health care. Our goal is to provide tools to empower women to make 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.

Work With Us:

Internships
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.

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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)

Asociación Manos Abiertas

Staff

Safe and welcoming health care environment where women are served by women.

Hannah Freiwald

Founder of Asociación Manos Abiertas (AMA)

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.

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Sandra Lopez

Director

Sandra joined AMA as coordinator in April 2009. With the birth of her son Juan Sebastián in Ixmucané-Antigua, she met Hannah and became passionate about midwifery. Though her birth experience she was motivated to join the Manos Abiertas team. Trained as an auxiliary nurse, Sandra had acquired extensive experience working with indigenous low-income women as the coordinator of a health program for women in rural areas of Chimaltenango. Sandra’s role as the director of AMA includes everything from delivering babies to helping families understand their reproductive rights and choices. Her goal in AMA is "to improve the situation in which many women live in Guatemala”.

Maria Bocel

Family planning counseling

Mari started working with AMA helping with the cleanup, but soon began to support taking histories and giving family planning counseling. With the help of Manos Abiertas he finished the school and now he has finished his nursing studies and hopes to reach university level.

Carmen Ordoñez

Conferences and Talks coordinator

For seven years, Carmen worked with ALAS, a local NGO reproductive health, performing the "rapid test" (VIA) for cervical cancer screening. She learned a lot about risk factors, prevention and timely treatment of cervical cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death in Guatemalan wome. Carmen experienced violence in her marriage and after divorcing decided to get an education and live her own life. She finished her nursing assistant training when she was forty. Carmen now wants to educate other women about their right to family planning services and provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions about their health. At AMA, Carmen is responsible for seminars and lectures on sexual and reproductive health.

Sandra Acajabón

Pediatrician and Pediatric homeopath

Dr. Acajabón is responsible for providing pediatric visits two mornings a week at the clinic. At each visit Dr. Acajabón educates parents about the health and welfare of their children. She provides monitoring for the development of healthy children and also gives consultation to parents of children with health problems.