Three years ago when our family was visiting Antigua, Guatemala on spring break, we ran across this incredible non-profit, Wings Guatemala, founded by a former US Peace Corp worker. The staff couldn't have been more welcoming when we called to see if we could visit their office (5 minute walk from our hotel). As supporters of reproductive rights in the US, I wanted to show our son and daughter what the effort looked like in a Latin American country. We have just come home form our third visit to Antigua and stopped by Wings again to be given an update on the important work they do insuring that indigenous women and men have access to reproductive healthcare in a country where the government provides few services.We were so pleased to hear that they continue their crucial work throughout Guatemala as well as in La Antigua (A UNESCO world heritage site that should be on everyone's Latin American itinerary)We will be increasing our support for their good work, and were inspired, as we always are, after talking to Dr. Rodrigo Barillas, Executive Director and their new Development and Communications Director, Kirsten Taylor.
I love working on the Board of WINGS - I see the organization making a real difference with their initiatives in quality reproductive health education and services. I particularly appreciate the role WINGS plays in empowering women and girls to speak up and have their voices heard.
WINGS Guatemala 08/07/2017
Thank you, Jackie - we are so fortunate to have you on our Board!
WINGS brings high quality counseling, contraceptive, and cancer screening services to indigenous Guatemalan communities in areas with particularly limited access to reproductive health care. Having worked with global reproductive health organizations in multiple countries over 30 years, my experience informs my review of WINGS where I currently serve as a Board member. With a relatively small budget, an extremely dedicated, professional, and mostly Guatemalan staff, including its leadership, WINGS achieves extraordinary impact. Over its 16 year history, collaborating with other Guatemalan health care providers and organizations this small organization has successfully improved the lives of Guatemalan women, men, and families. The quality and efficiency of WINGS' programs and financial management make it an unusually effective non-profit for its size.
WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017
We absolutely LOVE our Board Members!!!
The lack of use of contraceptive methods remains a pervasive issue in Guatemala. Even though the 98% of the population declares to know at least one contraceptive method, data shows that the 26% of births attended in the country are from girls between the age of 10 and 19. Promoting contraceptive methods and encouraging a behaviour change towards the better use of contraception has proven to be a very challenging issue in Guatemala, especially in rural areas. The myths and misunderstandings surrounding family planning and the coercion of religious and traditional beliefs lead to a strong rejection for birth control.
WINGS is an amazing NGO that works all over the country providing contraception and sex education. WINGS has three main projects: (1) a promoters' network; (2) mobile clinics; and (3) a youth training programme.
WINGS has over 50 promoters all over the country. These promoters are people –mostly women- that provide short-term contraception in their communities. WINGS provides them with all the necessary materials (pills, injections, sterilisers) and they train the promoters around sexuality and reproductive health issues. This gives inhabitants from isolated villages the opportunity to access birth control.
Regarding the mobile clinics, WINGS has a permanent clinic in La Antigua and two vans that carry all the materials needed to provide cervical cancer screenings, place long-term contraception and do sterilisation surgeries. Each van travels at least three times a week to rural areas, where they do free sessions to offer the mentioned services. Approximately 20 people are attended in each session.
Finally, there is a Youth Volunteer Training Programme, where they train people between the age of 14 an 19 about sexuality issues, including diversity, contraception, STDs and gender equality. The aim of this programme is to select young rural people that will later transfer their knowledge to their friends and classmates in their communities.
WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017
Oihane - you such an incredible intern!!! We are so lucky to have you with us!
I just finished an internship with WINGS and LOVED my experience there. I was surrounded by dedicated, hard-working individuals who truly believed in the cause they were working toward. They are committed to providing high quality services to all patients they serve.
WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017
We loved having you with us last month, Morgan!! You are welcome back anytime!
I have been a donor to WIngs for several years.
I am so impressed with the work of this non-profit that I increasde my contributions every year. The dedicated people of Wings are doing such a great work helping the women of Guatemala.
The family planning and women's health that wings promotes helps not only the women but also the children, the whole family and the country of Guatemala.
Thank you Wings.
Review from Guidestar
I have been involved with WINGS since its inception and served on the board for many years. In that time I have seen the growth of the organization, and witnessed the increased number of families that WINGS has helped. It is my firm belief that the best way to raise the standard of living of all Guatemalans is by educating the youth and limiting family size, thereby decreasing the incidence of maternal and child death, malnutrition, and stunting that is so prevalent in this country. WINGS is uniquely positioned to help effectuate these changes.
As the former Communications Coordinator for WINGS, I was able to spend time in the field interviewing women, men, and youth about their participation in WINGS' program. I heard so many touching stories about how the organization had made an impact on the lives of the participants and their families. I also heard many vehement thank-yous which convinced me how directly donations to WINGS make a difference to families who need the most help. On an organizational level, from the time before I was employed by WINGS, until the current day, I have been impressed by WINGS' model which employs educators on the ground to reach out to their own communities in a culturally sensitive way. It is also admirable that WINGS continues to strive to improve their outreach strategy. Overall, I highly recommend this organization.
If ever there was a program aimed at helping Guatemala improve the lives of all its people, it is WINGS. By reaching far out into the rural communities it is accomplishing its mission of creating "opportunities for Guatemalan families to improve their lives through family planning education and access to reproductive health services." Their approach to educate women, men and youth is so necessary. Every family member, every community member, is offered the same information and thereby can make educated decisions regarding family planning and reproductive health. WINGS does so much, for so many, with so little, when you consider the budgets of some of the huge organizations that exist in our world. I wish them only continued success and growth!
I have served as a board member since 2008. During this time WINGS has expanded and developed a holistic approach to providing information about reproductive issues and increasing access for Guatemalan families in need. Providing women and men with choice about thier reproductive health needs is life changing.
Providing women, men and young adults with critical information and eduction regarding family planning and reproductive health is the central focus of WINGS. Not only does this protect the health of these women and children short term, but it allows families to provide a better quality of life for their families long term. WINGS is doing a impressive job of reaching out to those areas of Guatemala where this support is most needed.
As Executive Director of a non-profit that serves indigenous women and youth in remote villages in Guatemala, I have had the opportunity to work closely with WINGS over the past several years. WINGS has helped us set up a youth sexual and reproductive health program and trained our sex educator. WINGS continues to collaborate and share resources with us on family planning and sex education programs that serve the indigenous population in our area of Guatemala.
WINGs is top notch NGO with a top notch track record and reputation in Guatemala and internationally. We are honored to work with them to address common goals for indigenous women and youth.
As a previous employee who has seen this organization continue to spread its wings, I remain truly impressed by its dedication to its mission and by the continuously innovative ways in which WINGS tackles one of the toughest issues out there - family planning and reproductive health.
Our foundation did a project with WINGS a few years ago. We are particularly impressed by their stunning efficiency and effectiveness. They can literally turn a family's long-term financial prospects around with a donation of $50 or so (Jadelle implant). We remain very enthusiastic donors from our personal funds.
This program is almost a one of a kind here in the Antigua Guatemala area. It is so desperately needed, and they do so much. I assist a family of shoe shiners, Papa, Martin (16), Gregorio (15), Juan Carlos (14) and Luciano (9). The family lost a baby girl to pneumonia about a year ago because they could not afford proper care. Eight months ago they had another baby, Israel, there happens to be another brother around 19 who lives in Quiche, never comes to Antigua, but I just know they are going to try for another girl. I have sat Martin down and had him watch your site page with teens talking to teens, but Papa is way out of my league. You are a great program, desperately needed.
Having lived in Guatemala for some 20 years, I have become more and more focused on the importance of family planning as being critical to Guatemala's future. WINGS does a thorough and conscientious job in conducting its work, always being respectful of the local culture of our clients. I have been a faithful supporter for over 10 years, and will continue to be one.
I serve on the Board because WINGS brings integrated reproductive health programs to women, men, youth to areas of high need in Guatemala. WINGS staff and volunteers are mostly Guatemalan and we coordinate our activities well with community leaders and other NGOs. Through our programs, for the first time Guatemalan families in Alta Verapaz have access to reproductive health services they want and need.
I have been fpllowing the work of Wings for several years and their approach to addressing the needs of families is very innovative, effective and important. An example of their work that I have found impressive is meeting with membets of the army and educating them about family plannng and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Also Wings trains local community members to share information about the importance of spacing children and other reproductive health issues.
I visited the Wings office and talked with staff when I was in Guatemala a couple years ago. (I was part of Social Work Graduate School trip.) We found the staff to be very sincere and informed, but also gentle and kind. I came away confident that they are doing important work, in a very competent, culturally appropriate way. Family life is truly enhanced by their efforts.