The Safe Motherhood Project is proud to be a member-project of Rose Charities Canada.

Guatemala has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, 30 to 60 times higher than in Canada. Hemorrhage, eclampsia and infection are the major causes of death of women during childbirth. Seventy per cent of women in rural Guatemala give birth at home under the care of a traditional birth attendant, or “comadrona,” who in most cases has no formal education or training. Often the closest hospital is several hours away.

Since 2003, a group of Canadian volunteers and a team of Guatemalan midwives have travelled annually to rural Guatemala to teach comadronas emergency birthing skills. The course runs for four five-hour days. At the end of the four days, each comadrona who completes the course receives a kit of birthing supplies. The course has been well received.  Each year there has been increasing enrollment and more and more communities are requesting the course.

You can read a more detailed history of the project at our history page, and you can also read a detailed outline of what we teach.

Discover what's new...

2023 – Return to Guatemala

After a 2-year pause in activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to resume teaching Mayan comadronas this past March, 2023. We spent our time in the municipality of Chisec in... Read More

The Journey Continues!

We’ve come back from Guatemala after another couple of weeks filled with good experiences. Our first week, we trained 15 comadronas (traditional midwives) in Santiago Atitlán, on the edge of a large lake,... Read More

Update from San Marcos and Sipacapa

  We had another amazing time in Guatemala this year training further comadronas. We spent our time in the Department of San Marcos, in 2 different areas. During our first week, we trained... Read More

2017 Update- Chisec

This year we spent 2 weeks in a small town called Chisec, in the Department of Alta Vera Paz, 7 hours NE of Guatemala City. This town serves approx. 6,000 people including those... Read More

2016 Update – San Juan Argueta

We had another amazing time in Guatemala training further comadronas, (a.k.a. traditional birth attendants) as well as volunteer firemen/ paramedics and nurses. We spent 2 weeks in a small town called San Juan... Read More

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