New Steps for the New Year with AMA's Health Team

With the new year, AMA's Health Team is taking its next steps toward Health education and support for the indigenous communities which it works. In the past, AMA has found that many community members didn't know enough basic anatomy to understand classes provided by the Red Cross or other first-aid/ emergency trainings. In order to make the most of these training sessions, AMA's health team set off to provide general health education to each of the communities during women's circles meetings. Starting in the fall, Community Health Organizers Catarina and Christa built a basic Anatomy and Nutrition class to be given at Circle meetings in ten different communities through the end of the year. This year, after creating that basic health foundation, AMA’s Health Team is moving on to connect those communities with more Health training opportunities. We will be facilitating workshops on Mayan Health projects given by midwives, bonesetters, and more traditional health practitioners for circles in each of the ten communities as well as presenting our initial curriculum as we welcome three new Women’s Circles: Chuicutama, Pajá and Chotara’s, all in the area of Santa Catarina. Currently, the Health Team has begun and will continue to collect risk assessment surveys in the communities where we work as part of a Community Diagnostic initiative in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University. This information will be analyzed to highlight the needs and concerns of each community. AMA will then work hand in hand with local health actors and organizations, using this information to address the issues that most affect each location. With what they learned about personal and community health in 2012 and their participation in Women’s Circles, the women with whom AMA works will be empowered to take an active part in bringing about positive change in their communities to face the needs that become apparent through AMA’s Community Diagnosis.