Global Health Nursing in Guatemala

The Trifinio region of southwestern Guatemala lies in the rural coastal lowlands near the border with Chiapas, Mexico. It is the poorest part of the country where more than 60% of the children test positive for parasites because of unclean water and poor sanitation. The Center for Human Development is described as innovative and interactive in the way it provides support to mothers and their children during the first 1,000 days of their lives. Since its inception in 2011, the Trifinio Center has opened a birth center with 2 delivery rooms and a nursery. It is also home to a 6-room family medicine clinic, dental clinic, and pharmacy.

Site Opportunities

  • Practice - Graduate students in a variety of advanced practice nursing disciplines will have the opportunity to hone their skills working in this low resource setting with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, health promotion, patient education and public health. Strong skills in Spanish expected.
  • Community Outreach - Continuity of care is a significant focus of this site. Child health, maternal health and worker health seek to improve the safety and well-being of community members in Trifinio.
  • Community Development - Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with Guatemalan nationals that are responsible for the daily workings of the clinic.

Lessons From the Field

Many of my patients come from similar rural and under-served communities throughout the world; this experience in Guatemala has helped me to better understand and appreciate their baseline knowledge of health and healthcare and subsequently enabled me to better educate and provide for my patients here in Colorado. Working with the Guatemalan nurses and providers has also inspired me as I see our shared, universal passion for increasing access for our patients. ~ Shannon P., Midwifery Fellow

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