For more than 25 years, we have worked in Guatemala to strengthen the leadership, management, and governance capacity of local nongovernmental organizations, improving the quality of family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health care.

A masked health worker attends to a patient at a health clinic in Guatemala

Supporting Midwives and Mothers during the Pandemic

When Guatemala established curfews to contain the coronavirus, our staff reached out to pregnant women and community leaders with key messages on maintaining a healthy pregnancy and preventing COVID-19. They also developed a network of midwives to speak to other midwives, religious leaders, and community leaders about COVID-19, including promoting proper hygiene and encouraging social distancing. Staff coached midwives on how to work with local authorities to maintain safe deliveries during overnight curfew hours without risk of arrest.


Our programs in Guatemala have provided technical assistance to the country’s integrated health care system, including management training for district health staff, and improved the quality of, access to, and use of health services at all levels of care. To help address the high maternal mortality rate among indigenous women living in Guatemala’s Quetzaltenango department, we are working to improve women’s access to quality, convenient, and culturally respectful antenatal care services.  

Working in partnership with national health authorities, local partners, and traditional midwives, a group ANC model was introduced in Guatemala in which pregnant women come together to share experiences, receive information from a health provider, form social bonds, and track the progress of their pregnancies. As the 2020 coronavirus pandemic reached Guatemala, MSH staff had to adapt to lockdowns and social distancing measures. Learn about some of the strategies employed to support health facilities and midwives to maintain continuous ANC services throughout the pandemic.