Delivering a Baby in Guatemala

I’m not always very attentive to how I am feeling.  More accurately, I don’t notice I’m sick until it has been brought to my attention by those around me.  Thankfully, I’m a relatively healthy person.  I’ve got a little bit of this and that, but it’s all good.  

It’s all good because I have great health care.   In fact, I realized that I have been dragging a lot of this summer and decided to call the Lindsborg Clinic… at 3:45pm on Friday afternoon.  I asked to speak to my doctor’s nurse and was able to do so.  She suggested I come right in and have some lab work done.  I did, had my insurance information updated, saw the nurse and doctor, had more lab work done and was headed out the door at 5:10pm with a prescription in hand!  Then, on Monday, the doctor called to let me know the results of a test and left a message.  Just to make sure I got the message, she called back at the end of her day.  SERIOUSLY?  That’s amazing health care.  And I’m not even really sick! I’m just anemic and have a little infection - no big deal.

While we were in Guatemala, we visited the group of women who make jewelry out of broken guitar strings.  On the way, we were told that one of the women had started laboring and would probably deliver her baby that day.  These are indigenous folks who live in a remote village with basically vertical roads.  They don’t just call up their local health care clinic and get assistance within an hour’s time. 

A Midwife was somehow summonsed and came to the village to deliver the baby.  The family moved the momma, Rigoberta, away from their home because her laboring was loud and they didn’t want to disrupt our visit.  Goodness!   I was SO sorry for our bad timing.  They never let on that it was bad timing, however.  If we hadn’t been told about the laboring, I would’ve never guessed anything unusual was happening!  They hosted us with a great willingness to show us their craft.

Thankfully, our Fair Trade Importer, Sharon, and the woman who helps with jewelry design, Prema, talked the artisans out of preparing lunch for us. Lunch would have taken two or three hours because they would have had to kill a chicken, prepare it to be cooked and so on.  A meal for guests is not a quick or easy process in rural Central America and this was a time that they needed to be attending to other much more important chores… like helping the Midwife!  

Apparently Midwives in Guatemala now have some formal training.  Thank goodness.  There were some terrible stories about birthing before the country had much support for these ladies.  I don’t even like to think of the situations and certainly won’t share them here or anywhere.

After we left the village, the baby was born.  Both she and Rigoberta were healthy.  A miracle, it seemed to me, had taken place.  

I’m not going to lie.  I thought a miracle had taken place on Friday too when so many medical professionals attended to me so quickly and skillfully.  

Here’s to accessible health care in a small town in Kansas and a rural village in Guatemala.   May it all continue to evolve in such ways that there are only good stories to be shared about minor health care needs as well as the major happenings that bring new life.

After quite a drive up and down to Pujujil, Guatemala, we were glad to meet Juan and follow him to his home which doubles as the group's workshop.  

This is Juan and his sweet grandson!  Juan's daughter Rigoberta is who gave birth on the very day this picture was taken. 

Prema (peach top) works on design with Maria and all of the ladies in this group.  She coordinates in Guatemala the production and shipping for Sharon (purple top) who is our Fair Trade importer.  Sharon lives in North Carolina on the rare occasion she isn't traveling to artisan groups and retail buyers like us.

The ladies were eager to work with their new supply of broken guitar strings.  It was fun to watch them be creative with the new beads that Prema brought on this day as well.  We have these rings in our store for sale now!  Very cool ;)

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