Guatemala At a Glance


Guatemala, bordered by Mexico to the West and by Honduras and El Salvador to the South and East, is home to the largest population of any country in Central America. Guatemala also differs from much of Latin America in that about half of its population is made up of indigenous people, largely descended from the Maya.

La Antigua ICME 2008

Despite having the largest economy in Central America, Guatemala still struggles with developmental challenges. Serious inequalities make poverty a difficult issue to contend with, and HIV/AIDS rates are on the rise. Maternal mortality is also an important issue, with indigenous women facing higher fertility rates and smaller percentages of births with a skilled attendant. Luckily, the government has taken strong steps towards improvement.

La Antigua ICME 2008

The Asociación de Ginecologia y Obstetricia de Guatemala (AGOG) is one of the IWHP’s oldest partners, having been working with the Partnership Program since 1998. The most recent phase of this program began in 2007 and will extend to 2012. Through the Partnership Program, the IWHP aims to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health and reduce maternal and newborn mortality by helping to strengthen AGOG’s technical and organizational capacity.

ALERTA Antigua, September 2004

The ALARM International Program has been conducted in the country, helping to mobilize and train health professionals in delivering essential obstetric care. As part of the Partnership Program, AGOG has initiated a collaboration with selected teaching hospitals to support the implementation of maternal mortality audit activities.

Lake Atitlan ICME 2008

Beyond the activities of the Partnership Program, the IWHP has also been involved in Guatemala through an innovative program working to eliminate barriers to care for indigenous women at the Sololá District Hospital. The crux of the program has been the integration of traditional midwives into the health centre’s operations.

La Antigua ICME 2008

The SOGC and the IWHP have also worked with AGOG to improve their international networks. The SOGC’s 2008 International Continuing Medical Education program (ICME) was held in La Antigua, Guatemala, and featured both Canadian and Guatemalan speakers and delegates.