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June 14, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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2 previous reviews - show all
July 23, 2012

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 th... more

June 14, 2013
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.

More feedback...

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

July 23, 2012

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.

More feedback...

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

June 29, 2011

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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

n't.

June 14, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
September 30, 2010

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 m... more

June 14, 2013
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.

More feedback...

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

September 30, 2010

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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

Increase advertising for funding.

More feedback...

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.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 13, 2013

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1 previous review
June 11, 2011

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 d... more

June 13, 2013

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.

More feedback...

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

June 11, 2011

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.

The Great!

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

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

Ways to make it better...

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

Let them have more money to expand their work.

June 13, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
June 11, 2011

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 t... more

June 13, 2013
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.

Ways to make it better...

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.

More feedback...

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

June 11, 2011

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.

The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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.

September 23, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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September 23, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

Over the past two years, I have worked with Wuqu’ Kawoq on clean water projects. They have always shown themselves as an organization with a firm understanding of the people they are helping. The Wuqu’ Kawoq staff in Guatemala I have met through volunteering have been a great pleasure to work with and were very focused on community involvement. It is clear that communities are being improved and community members have great trust for the organization. Personally, the time I spent working with Wuqu’ Kawoq had a huge impact on my perspective on development work.

More feedback...

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?

2012

September 21, 2012

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September 21, 2012

Such a great organization doing incredible work. I have not helped in Guatemala, but I have assisted in some administrative, resource development and fundraisng work (I have spent nearly 2 years living and working in Guatemala since 2002/18 months consecutive in 05-06). I'm mostly interested in working with people with disabilities, general health and clean water projects. All are things that WUQU KAWOQ is involved in. I am planning a trip to Guatemala next year and won't leave the country without visiting WK projects in-country. This organization is vital to the people it serves! I've recommened this group to several people who are traveling to Guate.

More feedback...

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

July 30, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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July 30, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

Wuqu Kawoq has been the fulcrum for achieving greater health in their community, spreading that knowledge base into communities outside of their scope, and allowing college students to learn how to make a real impact in a respectful and viable manner. My name is Peter Maraccini, and I worked as a project director for a group of young students from the University of Illinois who brought biosand filters, a water treatment technology, to a few of the communities in which Wuqu Kawoq worked. Wuqu Kawoq's main priority was and has always been to serve the needs of their partner communities without compromising their current situation to invest in potential solutions. Instead, Wuqu Kawoq was very open and communicative in what we could and couldn't do, was with us from the beginning when we first discussed then implemented the biosand filters in the communities, and has continued to be present during assessments of their improved water quality and health. As a result, there are a couple hundred biosand filters in the Wuqu Kawoq's partner communities that are reducing gastro-intestinal and diarrhea-related diseases and improving the communities' overall quality of life. Additionally, the positive experiences of working with Wuqu Kawoq is shaping our group's future direction and has lead to a very positive impact in the education of numerous students. Thank you Wuqu Kawoq. Working with you has given me (and many more) and better understanding and capacity for making a real impact in the world.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

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?

2010

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.

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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