In 1996, Guatemala emerged from a 36-year-long civil war. As a consequence, Guatemala’s young democratic tradition is tenuous. Although the country is rich in mineral, agricultural, and human resources, poverty is acute and particularly widespread in the countryside and among Indigenous communities (including the ones in which GPSA works). Rates of illiteracy, infant mortality, and malnutrition are among the region’s highest while life expectancy is among the lowest. 

About the Program

Through our partnership with the Ministry of Health in Guatemala, participants are able to work in local clinics (health centers and health posts), organize health fairs, and work in schools to teach children topics like hygiene, nutrition and maternal health. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about the country. Cultural activities can include visiting the magnificent Lake Atitlan, strolling through nearby markets that exhibit handwoven textiles and locally grown vegetables, and hiking in the mountainous area. With this program, participants will get to experience Guatemala’s rich culture and beauty! The program includes an important introductory cultural and language training. The language training is intense (two hours, one-on-one per day) and focused on Spanish. Fluent Spanish speakers will study one of the local Mayan languages.

Participants receive hands-on experience by learning and conducting clinical services such as:

  • Measuring blood glucose
  • Checking blood pressure
  • Reading vitals (temperature, heart rate, respiration rate)
  • Measuring body mass index (height and weight)