Projects in Guatemala
Maternal and Child Health:
Volunteers in this project train health workers from the Ministry of Health and other organizations on adult learning principles, the experiential learning cycle and motivational interviewing as a means to enhance the quality of health education to women and community leaders. Working alongside health workers, volunteers train mothers and women with small children on health practices that prepare them for safer birth and healthier children. Since community support is integral to the process of long-term adoption of health behaviors, volunteers empower community members to implement initiatives that enhance collaboration and promote the adoption of healthy behaviors. Behavior change is a slow process, and Volunteers should have patience and be dedicated to empowering others as you work with the community on long-term sustainable change.
Youth in Development
The goal of this project is to prepare Guatemalan youth to effectively transition to become healthy, productive, civically engaged adults. Volunteers do this by strengthening the knowledge and skills of youth to improve their health, well-being and life skills; strengthening youth capacity for community engagement; and increasing the skills of key community actors to implement positive youth development strategies in their communities. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Volunteers work in Public Middle Schools with youth from 13 to 18 years old. Volunteers also coordinate activities with Municipal Youth Offices, local NGOs and health professionals. Volunteers must adapt to changing situations and clearly communicate across management, peer groups, community members and stakeholders.
The purpose of this project is to support combined U.S. and Guatemalan efforts to increase food security among rural households in Guatemala through the strengthening of the delivery of national rural agricultural extension services. Volunteers focus their efforts on building the non-technical skills of Ministry of Agriculture extension agents and community leaders. Through coaching and training on methodologies for inclusive planning (in relation to gender, socio-economic status, and culture), organization, and management, Volunteers improve the overall delivery of rural extension services. Volunteer efforts on collaboration and coordination with community and municipal extension agents make them active partners in the development process.
Community Economic Development
The project goal is to increase gender equity and financial inclusion and to support the improvement of economic and social conditions of the Western Highlands. Volunteers support and work with community actors to facilitate knowledge transfer and connection to resources between national, departmental, and local levels. The project has a focus on promoting gender equity and empowering women, youth, and indigenous populations in rural communities.