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June 27, 2011

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June 27, 2011

I encountered the work of Wuqu' Kawoq last year and was deeply impressed by the vision behind the organisation. As a professional linguist working in developing countries, I was greatly relieved to find an organisation taking a well-argued, positive stance towards indigenous languages. Wuqu' Kawoq embraces local linguistic and cultural heritage by bringing primary health care to the people in their own language.

It is one thing to make primary health care physically available; it is another thing to make it culturally intelligible. Many ambitious projects fail to take into account this second, crucial step. As a result, they often contribute to language loss; but not only that, their results are also less than optimal because of linguistic and cultural barriers.

In a time when so many non-profits operate with Western monoglot ideologies and simply use the major Western languages (which in developing countries often happen to be languages of former colonial oppressors), it is refreshing to see a non-profit realising the importance of local cultural heritage and language diversity. This choice is one of the keys to WKs remarkably successful work.

The Great!

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

I encountered the work of this nonprofit during a conference on how to respond to issues of language endangerment.

Ways to make it better...

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

I don't think I would change anything. Well if anything, I would try to generalise the vision to other cultural settings so that other projects too can benefit from the insights that help make WK so successful.

June 27, 2011

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June 27, 2011

WK offers crucial medical services to under-served indigenous mayan communities with a focus on preserving and promoting indigenous mayan languages. They were featured on 20/20 and inspired so many people to join the fight against chronic child malnutrition.

The Great!

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

meeting some of the communities and patients served by WK and hearing their empowering stories.

Ways to make it better...

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

Clarify and highlight job descriptions or responsibilities of field staff members and post them on the website to encourage donors to contribute to the administrative costs not covered by grants or specific issue-focused (e.g. malnutrition, clean water, etc.) fundraising campaigns.

June 26, 2011

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June 26, 2011

Wuqu' Kawoq is a top-flight organization, serving an overlooked need for first-language health services in Guatemala. Their work is always done is the most dignified, culturally appropriate way.

The Great!

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

I have particularly been impressed by WK's willingness to collaborate and to share resources and information. We have worked together in disaster relief, nutrition projects and other health development efforts.

Ways to make it better...

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

I hope that WK will be able to expand their reach to the wider indigenous population in Guatemala.

June 13, 2011

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June 13, 2011

Wuqu' Kawoq is doing what we hope all NGO's do. They change lives and they do it quickly. Improvements are made daily in the lives of malnourished children and ailing adults with uncontrolled chronic diseases. Patients are cared for through their native language in a very competent and compassionate manner. I highly recommend this organization for its capacity to elevate quality of life for a large number of people without wasting resources or time.

The Great!

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

My time with the group and seeing lives saved when Wuqu' Kawoq finds a grade 3 malnourished baby a week away from dying and gets the child an ECHO and proper nourishment. Or a 8 week old infant who is about to be septic and die, but WK again finds the child and connects this impoverished and very ill child with a hospital for immediate care.

Ways to make it better...

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

Trust the leaders of Wuqu' Kawoq to improve things and correct any issues in the shortest amount of time.

November 2, 2010

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November 2, 2010

I have both donated to and volunteered with Wuqu Kawoq. I have close ties to some of the communities that they work in, and I can honestly say their work is some of the best I have ever seen. They have great community contacts that help get dollars (in the form of aid) right to the people that need them the most. Because they focus on providing services in native languages, they are able to access and work with people on a level never even imaginable to most NGOs. The feedback I get from town members is often disbelief that there is an organization and people like those in Wuqu Kawoq out there working to help indigenous peoples. Wuqu Kawoq's work truly is invaluable.

The Great!

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

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Ways to make it better...

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

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October 21, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
October 21, 2010

I have had the privilege of working for Wuqu Kawoq in Guatemala providing medical care to indiginous patients via our wonderful interpreters as well as providing education to an organized midwifery group creating a foundation to improve healthcare in many of the rural areas. Most of these midwives are the epitome of the 'carry it forward' attitude that hopefully will advance education and share this information to improve healthcare for others in their communities. Education for these women then should improve the standard of living and basic healthcare for many in their communities. It is gratifying for us to help in any way!

The Great!

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

Midwives trying to actively manage maternal hemorrhage; education regarding contraception options.

Ways to make it better...

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

try to assist more often

October 11, 2010

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October 11, 2010

Wuqu Kawoq is a wonderful NGO! Their mission is unique and serves a community in a holistic manner - working to preserve language, culture and to provide medical care to an underserved community. I love working with the group and its members are all excellent individuals. I recommend donating/getting involved with the group in any way possible!

The Great!

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

Its language school.

Ways to make it better...

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

Nothing, it is great!

October 9, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
October 9, 2010

I am a first-year medical student, and I volunteered for Wuqu’Kawoq during the summer of 2010. In my opinion, Wuqu’Kawoq is an amazing organization that really tries to help Guatemalan communities through forging personal relationships with community members; finding innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions for public health problems; training local Guatemalans in social work and healthcare to build an internal infrastructure for community sustainability and viability; financial support for children’s tuition in the communities; and addressing medical needs of the community on a continual basis among many others. One aspect of Wuqu’Kawoq that impressed me the most was the level of passion and love that the staff members had for the Guatemalan people. There are board members in Wuqu’Kawoq who catch over-night flights during their days off from work in the United States to personally connect and address the growing needs of Guatemalan communities. Moreover, most staff members in Wuqu’Kawoq have full-time jobs or are full-time students and yet still make a commitment to work on Wuqu’Kawoq projects out of their zeal to serve Guatemalan people. Thus, it may not be surprising that much of the financial support dedicated to children’s tuition actually come directly out of the pockets of some Wuqu’Kawoq staff members—again, not out of obligation but because they want to. I truly believe that the communities Wuqu’Kawoq works with could not be in better hands. During my time with Wuqu’Kawoq, I was primarily assigned along with another student to conduct surveys for three communities near Chocola, Guatemala. The surveys were in regards to biofilm water filters that Wuqu’Kawoq, a group of US engineers, and local Guatemalan day laborers had collaborated to build for nearly a hundred Guatemalan families. My job was to help collect information about whether the water filters were working properly for the family, and whether they had other concerns. From this experience, I sensed that Wuqu’Kawoq really tries to do their very best out of their interests for the communities. I would imagine that many other organizations working on a project like this would have considered the project to be completed after building the water filters—not so with Wuqu’Kawoq. Wuqu’Kawoq is extremely thorough and always makes sure to ask for feedback from community members by conducting survey after survey. One mother I surveyed during my time with Wuqu’Kawoq told me: “No one would help us if it wasn’t for Wuqu’Kawoq. I am grateful for having them in our community.” And I, likewise, am grateful for having been able to work with Wuqu’Kawoq, and plan to continue to work with them in the near future.

The Great!

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

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Ways to make it better...

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

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October 9, 2010

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October 9, 2010

My relationship with WUQU KAWOQ has been very enriching. From my very first meeting with Peter I knew good things would start to happen. Our first assignment was connecting WUQU KAWOC with the Pharmaceutical companies in Guatemala to get medicine in bulk, at a reasonable price. This gave me a chance to hear about his projects and I became very interested and impressed by his work and have become an advocate of his work to other organizations whom | I consider might partner with him and multiply his efforts. Interesting things are coming together but are yet in the initial stages. What I personally find so helpfull is the clarity and focus he has in the programs he is developing and how open he is to share his experience with others; the capacity to hear others in their projects and give them very punctual criticism and advise (so needed so people learn from others experience); the prompt response and help when he is contacted with a need ; the committment to sharing the strengths of WUQU KAWOQ of measurement and analisis and helping others in the development of their programs so that their proyects are meaningfull and usefull . I look forward to strengthening our networking in the future. All the people I have met At WUKU Kawok are involved in the communities with respect for the culture and the individual, ( to the point of learning their langauge Kachiquel ) and this is an example for all of us that are working in the rural communites of Guatemala.

The Great!

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

Observing their work in the communities

Ways to make it better...

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

I am not prepared to give an opinion

October 5, 2010

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October 5, 2010

Throughout my time with Wuqu Kawoq they have shown undeniable character, direction, and effectiveness. The field staff in Guatemala supported by Wuqu Kawoq are locals trained by the organization and employed to provide the essential care required by their communities. Wuqu Kawoq's field staff are among the most intelligent and reliable in the community ensuring that their mission is carried out daily while the large portion of staff and volunteers are in the U.S. Their volunteers and North American staff are some of the best in the nation at their specific vocations and they also implement themselves perfectly into these communities using indigenous language proficiency and cultural understand to provide competent compassionate care to our communities. While small in size and resources their efficiency in distribution and organization of care ensures that a much larger community is cared for in a quality fashion than one would think for an organization of its size. I believe that they are not only essential to Guatemala for continued care of these communities but essential as a model for other medical NGOs working in impoverished environments.

The Great!

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

In the town of Santiago Sacatepequez they worked specifically with diabetes and other diseases of age. They not only provided free medicine to each patient but provided hospital care for more serious cases without delay.

Ways to make it better...

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

try to focus on media exposure and expanding economic resources to ensure continued care on the same level it was provided in the past.

More feedback...

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

the effectiveness of what I was able to do. This was not merely an experience of feeling good about yourself for volunteering like many NGOs. This was about providing care to these communities.

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

Intelligent kind inspired and directed. Each member truly believed in the cause and were completely dedicated to carrying out the mission rather that using this a tool to manifest other goals in their careers.

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

expand infrastructure and rebuild Guatemala through a grassroots movement to try and provide equality and care for the indigenous population so long held down by apartheid.

Ways to make it better...

There was slightly more framework for my internship. While there was focus and direction is was easy to get lost in the plethora of opportunities to care and neglect what was needed immediately.

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

Funding and field infrastructure. Funding definitely needs an increase to sustain our projects and eventually expand and they need slightly better methods of monitoring and working with their field staff.

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

they are an excellent model for other NGOs and should be the schematic for interacting with an indigenous community to ensure that other NGOs follow the same pattern of effectiveness and respect.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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We do not currently have opening for short-term volunteers. However, we do take long-term volunteers on a case-by-case basis.