WUQU KAWOQ SA

Rating: 5 stars   66 reviews

Issues: Health, Human Services

Location: PO Box 91 % Russell Rohloff Bethel VT 05032 USA

Mission: The NGO Wuqu’ Kawoq is committed to facilitating excellence and linguistic competence in medical care delivery in the indigenous highlands of Guatemala. There are currently few medical programs in Guatemala that provide care or educational in indigenous Mayan languages. We believe that the provision of first language services is the first step toward excellent care. We cultivate partnerships and fund targeted projects at the intersection of indigenous language rights, literacy, and the provision of medical care. Such projects include: primary care systems development, support for indigenous community health workers, dissemination of written medical resources in indigenous Mayan languages, and literacy and continuing-education training for community health practioners.
Results: We have especially developed expertise in the areas of child malnutrition treatment and prevention, maternal-child health programs, diabetes and chronic disease management,
Target demographics: Kaqchikel and K'ichee' speaking indigenous communities in Guatemala.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000
Geographic areas served: Guatemala
Programs: Child Nutrition Clean Water Diabetes Language Revitalization Rural Health Services Women's Health Prenatal Care Publishing
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-8741625
617-447-3034
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering with Wuqu' Kawoq was my second international health-related experience, and it exceeded my expectations in every way. I witnessed their commitment to improving patient lives through community capacity building and services in the first language of their patients. The importance of their holistic cultural and linguistic approach to health cannot be understated. My summer spent in rural Guatemala inspired me to make global health a central pillar of my career and I aspire to do so while working with the committed and brilliant staff of Wuqu' Kawoq.

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Rating: 5 stars  


I am one of the doctors that works with Wuqu' Kawoq

Since medical school I have worked with many different health NGOs in developing countries including Ghana, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Chile and was been repeatedly disillusioned by global health work until I found Wuqu' Kawoq. The time I spend working with the organization has been so rewarding because there are the resources and infrastructure to provide high-quality care to my patients (not just "better than the medical care they would have received').

The term "community driven" is often used in global health but the work of Wuqu' Kawoq is truly determined by needs expressed by the communities with which we partner. I have also never encountered a group of people as dedicated and hard working as the staff of Wuqu' Kawoq.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a Guatemalan with healthcare experience in rural settings, I could say there is no other NGO in Guatemala that provides high quality health care in Maya languages. Outstanding organization!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Initially, I wanted to volunteer with Wuqu’ Kawoq – Maya Health Alliance because I desired more experience working in global health, and I had heard great things about the organization at my medical school. Before collaborating with Wuqu’ Kawoq, I’d been working on various health projects in Latin America for about 5 years. However, I hadn’t made a long-term commitment. My amazing volunteer experience -- especially the forging of bonds with staff, patients, and community members -- has compelled me to work with Wuqu’ Kawoq beyond my original year-long commitment, and I plan to continue collaborating with WK on nutrition and chronic disease projects over the coming years.

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Rating: 5 stars  

there is no other substantial healthcare program in Guatemala that addresses medical needs in Maya languages. we know that our gifts go directly to the individuals and have seen a major difference in the lives of the communities WK serves.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find more excellent and dedicated physicians and interns

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a donor I am happiest about their impact on early childhood and women's health. Their exucation campaign is inspiring. Their facebook updated help me understabd exactly whet their doing and personalize their efforts by providing pictures of classes, heath care checks and villagers.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've had the privilege of volunteering for Wuku' Kawoq: Maya Health Alliance for the past four years, and I keep coming back for a reason...they know what they're doing.

WK's unique blend of in-depth, mixed-methods ethnographic research and their policy of providing excellent health care free of charge to those who need it most has made, and continues to make, huge differences in the lives of people who are still recovering from the structural effects of a decades-long genocide and centuries of structural racism.

Their approach is unique in the area, and uniquely effective. I've seen the data myself (I'm a PhD student in applied anthropology); their success in ameliorating childhood malnutrition alone is well worth a five-star rating, and they do so much more than that. In my time with them, I have seen them successfully treat diabetics, amputees, ophthalmology cases, cleft palates, congenital heart defects, various cancers...the list goes on and on. In addition to arranging and providing free health care to those who truly can't afford it, WK acts as patient advocates in a world where the non-Spanish speaking indigenous individual is all too often swept aside.

I can't say enough about the beauty of their politics, their ethnography, their nutritional interventions, their hands-on care, and their research. As far as I've seen in the past four years, they've excelled in everything they've attempted.

If you're truly interested in making a difference, if you want assurance that your money goes directly toward changing someone's life for the better, in the most efficient way possible, without being re-routed through administrative chains and lost somewhere in the process (which is the case with so many NGOs in the area) you could not choose a better NGO than WK.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Wuqu' Kawoq, in my experience, stands alone among Guatemalan NGOs in its commitment to both linguistic and cultural competence in every single one of its endeavors. Every project that I have seen them take on, and every individual within the organization, is consistently striving for excellence...a rarity in a world where the catchphrase of many non-profits is "most anything is better than nothing". Spanish is not the first language for many Guatemalans-- this, combined with a pluralistic medical system and often extreme structural constraints can make decent health care an impossibility for a large part of the population. WK's commitment to providing excellent care in Spanish, Kaqchikel, and Quiche, as well as their long-term ties to many communities, and their commitment to solid ethnographic research can-- and has-- meant the difference between life and death for many individuals, and given the organization's trajectory, will mean life and better health for many more. I am currently training as a medical anthropologist, and my first introduction to WK was three years ago, during preliminary dissertation fieldwork and language training. Since then, I have only grown more impressed with the organization and with the individuals involved, and I plan on continuing to work with WK throughout my graduate studies. Wuqu' Kawoq is a blend of pragmatic healthcare and applied anthropology that I had only once hoped existed...and I feel privileged to be a volunteer for such an excellent and unparalleled institution.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I was lucky enough to be able to work with Dr. Rohloff and the clinic staff for a short time last summer, and I came away very impressed with WK's personnel, staff, and mission. Not only are they providing a much needed service, but they are doing it in ways that are culturally and linguistically competent- something that adds relevance to their work, and with it, efficacy. The will to create change is not unique among NPOs, but their ability to do so can often be hampered by their ignorance of the cultural, structural, and material constraints that surround their area of interest. This is not the case with Wuqu' Kawoq, and I doubt it ever will be, given its current trajectory. Two thumbs way up.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was inspired enough by the work down by WK that I added Dr. Rohloff to my dissertation committee (thanks!) and am planning my PhD project around projects that I hope will benefit the clinic network.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n't.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have volunteered and worked with Wuqu' Kawoq since 2009 and the work they do is truly amazing. The dedication of their staff to the communities they serve is unmatched, and their commitment to collaboration and cooperation with other NGOs and Guatemalan entities is the key to building a more efficient, comprehensive service network in Guatemala.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I first started working with Wuqu' Kawoq in February of 2009. At that time I volunteered in two of their clinics. The first in San Juan Comalapa at a clinic partnered with ACOTCHI a group of local midwives, and the second in Tecpán. In both clinics I shadowed Dr. Peter Rohloff and Dr. Malcolm Hill to observe the logistics and process of providing health care in a persons first/indigenous language. In addition I maintained the pharmacy, and provided other additional services as needed. I was very impressed at the level of trust Wuqu' Kawoq has been able to build within the communities they work. There is a clear and obvious difference in the reactions of patients when they are able to express themselves in their native language. I am currently working as a field intern in Guatemala and will be here for a full year aiding in many of the current projects. The majority of my time will be spent helping to create a clientele base of local women for a women's sexual and reproductive health service and education program we hope to have implemented in 2011. This will include point-of-care testing for STI's, HIV, and cervical cancer, as well as sexual/reproductive health education classes, and access to contraceptives for no cost to the patient.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Child nutrition/development. Primary Care. Disaster Relief. Water purification. Diabetes education and management. and others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase advertising for funding.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the members of Wuqu Kawoq as well as the communities we work in.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The majority are medical students, or those interested in medicine. But also Anthropologist, and Linguists. I myself studied anthropology, and plan to continue to study law and human rights.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide free healthcare to all of rural guatemala in their primary language, as well as improve living conditions.

Ways to make it better...

my language skills were more up to par. but i currently speak spanish and am learning to speak Kaqchikel.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Guatemalan national healthcare issues. creating access in hard to reach areas. overcoming cultural barriers to efficient, successful healthcare.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

i first worked with Wuqu' Kawoq three years ago as a student in their language field school. The language training I received from Wuqu' Kawoq has allowed me to complete research in Kaqchikel communities. I was so impressed with the breadth of their work that I expanded my role to include volunteer in both their language and nutrition programs. WK genuinely serves the communities in which it work.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have participated in Wuqu' Kawoq's language school which focuses on not only language learning, but also cultural competency. As part of the school i was able to witness the excellent work that WK does, especially with children and midwives. Providing medical care in a person's first language is essential for positive health outcomes. WK does this, but with a level of care and compassion that is unsurpassed. The enthusiasm of volunteers and project participants speaks to the importance of their work. Wuqu' Kawoq is truly a great nonprofit.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen how important the work is in many communities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Let them have more money to expand their work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been affiliated with Wuqu' Kawoq for the past two years and have participated in two language schools, nutrition research in two small communities, and pilot health research on Lake Atitlán. Based on my observations and experiences, I believe the NGO to be exceptional for four main reasons. First, they take the time to learn about the places where they work by talking to community leaders and residents. Second, they collaborate with community members to develop sustainable projects that will not deteriorate once US staff leaves the country. Rather, Wuqu' Kawoq helps the communities to run these programs themselves. Third, they actively seek to collaborate with other NGOs and government entities in Guatemala. Rather than offer services already available, Wuqu' Kawoq finds its role and plays that role extremely well, for instance, in providing accompaniment to extremely ill patients that other NGOs meet in medical missions throughout the highlands. Finally, and most importantly, they provide all services in the languages spoken by these communities so that patients may communicate directly with their healthcare providers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish that Wuqu' Kawoq had the capacity to help more communities, but it seems they are struggling to balance the breadth of their influence with how deeply they may help each community individually.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Wuqu' Kawoq is a non-profit organization that works to strengthen the health and language of Kaqchikel Maya communities in Guatemala. They are dedicated to serving the people of these communities in their native language, Kaqchikel, and to address public health problems identified by community members. They have trained indigenous midwives, started child nutrition programs, installed water purification systems, and writing diabetes education materials in Kaqchikel. This organization has helped so many people and, with more funds, has the potential to change many more lives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have visited a community devastated by Hurricane Agatha of May 2010 and talked to a community leader there. She told me that while many children and women suffered from malnutrition due to resulting food shortages, that she could already see improvements from the new nutrition program. The joy in her voice was enough to convince me that this program is genuinely dedicated to serving the community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If anything, I would provide them with more funds. There are so many projects that could be done that are difficult to write grants for in these hard times. With more funds, Wuqu' Kawoq could initiate some of the many projects that they hope to complete.

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