Today we took advantage of the rainy weather to work at the Wuqu’Kawoq office. And it is about time to tell you more about this organization.
The Maya Health Alliance NGO Wuqu’Kawoq was created in January 2007 and it is now 10 years since its members pledged to provide all the necessary care to women in rural communities around Tecpán. For the little anecdote, in the Mayan calendar, “Wuqu’Kawoq” is the date on which the association was created.
The NGO Wuqu Kawoq says it is “global” by the composition of their team and local in their expertise and work. It is composed of 98% Guatemalan members and more specifically, of Maya origin.
The association was born from the realization of the lack of recognition of indigenous populations by the Guatemalan state. Since the end of the nineteenth century, the dominant political and social ideology in Guatemala was that of exclusive nationalism that did not recognize and respect the country’s cultural diversity. The Mayans were thus excluded from any right of citizenship to the extent that they were deprived of education in their own languages and the right to vote if they did not speak Spanish. The situation remains mostly unchanged today. The NGO Wuqu Kawoq notes that there are power relations in Guatemala according to ethnic, social and gender relations. These issues are reflected in the access to health of the most disadvantaged populations, namely indigenous Mayan women, who do not speak Spanish and live in rural communities far from city centers.
For Wuqu’Kawoq members, choosing between culture or health is unacceptable and the goal of the NGO is to strengthen primary health care in rural Guatemala. This implies that it partners with indigenous communities, particularly with comadronas, to identify the health needs of populations. The association has decided to adopt a conscious approach, insofar as it promotes awareness by the Mayan communities of their living conditions and means to engage in their change so as not to reproduce new relationships. domination and dependence on their action.
So far we have learned a lot from members of the NGO fighting for the recognition of the rights of Maya women, the most oppressed population.