Casa Colibrí’s sponsorship of midwife training was born between a Guatemalan social worker, an American neonatal nurse, and their translator.
But the true spirit of the program is carried by the comadronas, the traditional birth attendants who pass their skills from mother to daughter, one generation to the next.
The opportunity to marry new medical knowledge to the traditional cultural practices was met with keen enthusiasm. To be a comadrona is to have a calling, and those who receive training bring it back to their villages with pride.
Training started with teams of American professionals traveling to local villages to deliver a “Helping Babies Breathe” curriculum. Attendants, generally the comadronas, receive graduation certificates and supplies.
Now, much of the training is run by the comadronas themselves, with supervision, support, and supplies from US sponsors.
The program was met with high use rates in the villages. In fact, it was so successful that it is now being introduced to other parts of rural northwest Guatemala, with a goal of training all traditional birth attendants within the region.
The midwife training program leaves a wake of experienced comadronas versed in the traditions of their people and empowered by medical knowledge and life-saving equipment.
As the program spreads, Casa Colibrí’s support continues, nurturing confidence, autonomy, education—and, of course, more healthy babies and mothers in the community.