Canadian Health Professionals Travel to Guatemala on Child Health Knowledge Exchange

Cobourg, ON [Feb 14, 2019] - Horizons of Friendship, a non-profit international development organization with charitable status, will lead a third team of Canadian healthcare providers, experts and advocates from across the country to Guatemala,  where they will exchange knowledge and experiences on the challenging maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) issues Indigenous Maya K’iche’ peoples face. 

Eleven Canadian participants will head on the ten-day exchange starting February 23. The team consists of family physicians, midwives, nurses health administrators, a pediatrician and a dietitian. Participants come from towns and cities throughout Ontario (Cobourg, Hamilton, Peterborough, Kingston, Temiskaming Shores, Ottawa), Manitoba (Brandon) British Columbia (Vancouver) and Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown). Three participants working with the Northumberland Hills Hospital and the Northumberland Family Health Team will share their expertise with the team.

These Canadians will learn from and share knowledge with traditional Indigenous Maya K’iche’ midwives, community health educators and Guatemalan Ministry of Health workers—all playing a crucial role in Horizons’ four-year, $13.2 million Reducing Gaps for Indigenous Peoples in Totonicapán, Guatemala project, which is funded by the Government of Canada.

The project is contributing to the reduction of maternal and child deaths in Totonicapán, a predominantly Indigenous Maya K’iche province with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Central America. Implemented by Horizons’ local partner, the Association for Health Promotion, Research and Education (PIES) in close collaboration with the Totonicapán Health Directorate, this initiative is providing culturally-relevant training and equipment to more than 950 traditional Indigenous Maya K’iche’ midwives, stocking dozens of health centres and the provincial hospital with life-saving equipment, and implementing a province-wide maternal and child health promotion and education campaign. In almost three years since it was launched, the project has already benefited more than 140,000 Indigenous Maya women, children and men.

“We are honored to work with PIES de Occidente and the Totonicapán Health Directorate to enable meaningful and respectful opportunities for two-way learning,” says Patricia Rebolledo, Horizons’ Executive Director. “Mutual respect and understanding lie at the heart of these exchanges, through which we aim to nurture cooperation between Canada and Guatemala while placing social justice issues front and centre.”

For  more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Raúl Scorza, Community Outreach/Communications Coordinator

(905)-372-5483 ext. 24; rscorza@horizons.ca

About Horizons of Friendship

Horizons of Friendship is a Canadian international development organization with charitable status founded in 1973, based in Cobourg, Ontario, and built on one abiding principle: helping people help themselves. Working directly with grassroots partners, we empower local people to address needs in their communities and make social and economic change happen on a big scale


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