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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

WINGS Guatemala

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Family Planning, International Development, Reproductive Health Care, Womens Rights

Mission: Mission: WINGS provides quality reproductive health education and services to underserved, primarily rural Guatemalan youth, women and men. Vision: WINGS envisions a future where all Guatemalans thrive and are able to fully exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.

Results: Our impact since 2001: • 267,874 youth, women, and men educated and counselled on family planning • 57,817 women screened for cervical cancer • 249,599 unintended pregnancies prevented • 1,431 child deaths prevented • 92 maternal deaths prevented

Target demographics: Guatemalan Youth, Women, and Men

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approx. 24,000 women, men and adolescents in Guatemala

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: OUR WORK Working in 11 predominantly rural, indigenous, and underserved provinces in Guatemala, we collaborate with local partners to implement the following activities: YOUTH PEER EDUCATION PROGRAM Young women and men (ages 13 to 19) trained as Youth Leaders provide accurate reproductive health information and service referrals to their peers through community-based activities. Our evidence-based training curriculum uses an educational strategy that addresses gender and power in intimate relationships, with a focus on pregnancy prevention for adolescents. VOLUNTEER PROMOTER NETWORK One of WINGS’ longest-standing programs is our network of roughly 35 Volunteer Health Promoters: community leaders identified within underserved rural areas to be a local point of service. Through their intimate linguistic and cultural knowledge of the communities they serve, they are able to provide quality contraceptive counselling, low-cost short-acting methods, and referrals to WINGS medical clinics for additional services. STATIONARY AND MOBILE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CLINICS Our two mobile units which reach rural communities, as well as our stationary clinic in Antigua, provide long-acting reversible contraception, rapid cervical cancer screening, and treatment for the most commonly occurring STIs. We offer subdermal hormonal implants which provide 5 years of protection from unintended pregnancies and copper IUDs which provide up to 10 years of protection. We use visual inspection with acetic acid for immediate detection of cervical cell abnormalities and same-day treatment using cryotherapy for pre-cancerous cells that may lead to cervical cancer. VOLUNTARY SURGICAL CONTRACEPTION Affordable, quality tubal ligations and vasectomies are performed by our Medical Director and contracted physicians at partner hospitals in Alta Verapaz, Chimaltenango, Escuintla, Quiché, Retalhuleu, Sacatepéquez, Sololá, Suchitepéquez, and Totonicapán. Pre and post-procedure care as well as follow-up in the days after is provided by our nurses.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WINGS Guatemala is an all-around incredible organization. I had the opportunity to work with them last year as a volunteer researcher in almost all of the services they provide, and witnessed the amazing job they do. When following the mobile clinics around different parts of Guatemala, it was clear that providing rights-based care is their number one priority. Even though the mobile clinics are fast-paced, the WINGS staff would always provide clear counseling to ensure women were making an informed choice about their bodies. It was evident that WINGS is providing a much-needed health care, and they are doing so with above average services. I also worked with the promotoras network, who provide contraceptive counseling and short term options to women in rural communities. WINGS' commitment to providing the best care for their patients was evident in every step of the promotoras program: from taking care of the women who work for the organization and making sure they received proper training, to ensuring that their patients were satisfied and treated according to the organization's core beliefs of rights-based, best practice care. I was especially impressed with everyone's openness to feedback. The staff at WINGS work hard to review their own programs and is always eager to hear comments on how services could be improved. Finally, I also worked with the WINGS youth program and it was a wonderful experience! I was able to meet some of the kids that had been part of the program for a while as well as new members who joined this year. I experienced the way the program both helped them in their personal lives—as they became more and more comfortable asserting their rights—as well as their peers, who benefitted from having someone with trustworthy reproductive information to consult. It was truly amazing to hear the experiences these kids had undergone, and the way WINGS impacts their lives. I feel honored to have worked with WINGS, and hope to be able to collaborate with them again in the future. They are a group of hard-working people who are committed to providing quality reproductive care, and who believe in what the organization stands for.

Comments ( 1 )

WINGS Guatemala Thank you so much, Marianina! We absolutely enjoyed having you as a part of our WINGS family! Your involvement in so many programs was incredibly valuable and we know that we will be talking about the Photo Voice project for years to come - we LOVED it!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

Todo muy bien, incluso dan insumos al paciente post operación. Lo único es que el baño está afuera de la habitación. Excelente servicios y médicos.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/06/2018

Muchas gracias por su comentario, nos alegra saber que está satisfecho con nuestros servicios. Lamentablemente, las instalaciones actuales no nos permiten realizar obras que integren el baño dentro de la sala. Esperamos poder mejorar y ampliar nuestras instalaciones en el futuro. Saludos.

Timothy K.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work this organization does in Guatemala is of great value. They bring a love and a professionalism to their craft and it shows in solid results on the ground among those who most need this service.

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

Thanks so much, Tim! We´re so glad that our passion for our high-quality work shines through.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My brother in law had a vasectomy at Wings. The service was really kind and efficient and the advantages of being attended by your professional staff was so comforting.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

We love stories like this and hope that your brother-in-law is doing well!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WINGS Guatemala, it is an institution that truly cares for its patients, cares for them with love and dedication

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

YES WE DO!!! Glad it shows!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

WINGS changed my life. Before moving to Antigua, Guatemala my family and I were living in the US. I had a professional job which provided health insurance, however when I wanted to have a vasectomy the part that I had to cover was too high that made me changed my mind. It was in 2014. In November 2015 we moved to Antigua, Guatemala.
In march 2016 I attended a workshop about Guatemala and the speaker was an amazing American lady, Sue Patterson, who talked about her experience living in Guatemala and how she has contributed to improve the quality of life of the less favored Guatemalans. I was impressed about her knowledge, passion, desire to contribute and most important her humility. At the end of her presentation I congratulated her and introduced myself and also asked her if I could meet with her to talk about some opportunities. When we met we talked about different topics, one of them WINGS. I said to her that I wanted to had a vasectomy in the US but I couldn't afford it. She introduced me to Rodrigo Barillas and Dr. Michel. After talking to them about my interested in the procedure and why I wanted to do it, I had it.
Everyone was very professional and well focused on the procedure before and after. I can say that it was a great experience. I made a contribution that maybe wasn´t enough for the high quality service that I received.
Another important aspect is that WINGS educate Guatemalans in regards to reproductive heath and help them to afford a vasectomy without any cost.
Since I have had my vasectomy I always talk to people about my experience with WINGS.
THANK YOU WINGS for changing my life and contributing to Guatemala.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

You´re welcome and thank YOU for this amazing story!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great information and helpful staff. High quality services.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

All the things we work so hard to provide everyday! Yes!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I first learned about WINGS through a friend, I was impressed by the affordable prices they offered. Years before, I paid $340 for an IUD, approximately the monthly minimum wage in Guatemala. I saved money for months, hoping no other emergency payments would come up in the meantime. If I had known about WINGS back then, I wouldn’t have had to wait for months and spend all my savings to get my IUD. I was so satisfied with the care that I brought my 19-year-old niece for contraception counselling. Our family is very conservative and I didn’t have sex education in school. I don’t want the same thing to happen to her.

After that, I persuaded my brother to get a vasectomy. He had been wanting to have the procedure for a long time. However, he recently lost his job and he could not afford the surgery. This is why it’s so difficult for Guatemalans to invest money in long-term contraception - it’s too much money to spend all at once and you never know when you may need it.

I am so grateful to WINGS for supporting my family. ¡Muchas gracias!

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

Charo - You are welcome. We are so very grateful for YOU!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended a WINGS talk in the Basque Country and I learned a lot about reproductive rights in Guatemala. I think this NGO does a great work providing education and contraceptive methods, because they do so by getting the local communities involved, speaking the same language (both literally and metaphorically) and being completely honest about what more permanent methods, such as surgery, involve.

They manage to empower women not only by giving them the chance to decide how many children they want to have and when, but also by letting them play an active role, either explaining what they have learnt to others or becoming providers in their own communities.

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

We are so grateful to our friends in the Basque Country! Eskerrik asko!

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the extraordinary good fortune of meeting the founder of WINGS Guatemala, Sue Patterson, the medical director, and Kirsten Taylor, development director on a trip to Antigua, Guatemala. They are doing great work on women's health, framing reproductive health issues as part of general public health. One of their portfolios that I particularly admire is their work with Guatemalan men. In a macho, Latino culture, men's reproductive health and role is often ignored. When men and women are educated and encouraged to be on the same team, the future is brighter for everyone.
Recently WINGS mobilized donors to help with the post volano health crises; we appreciated having a reliable NGO on the ground providing direct services to those in crisis.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

Thanks Betsy!! We are so grateful to supporters like you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a U.S. citizen who has lived in Guatemala for 25 years. Seventeen years ago I learned about WINGS and decided to raise some funds for this amazing organization, for many reasons. As a mother of two in a country which afforded me good medical care, I couldn't imagine the lives of women with so many children that they were undernourished and lacked education. When I came to Guatemala, there were ten million people. I think we're pushing 17 million! This can't continue. One of the reasons that the population has expanded to quickly is that the great majority of poor people in this country have very little access to information about birth control/family planning. WINGS provides that, and counsels people about the methods that they can use so that they can afford to give their PLANNED children a chance for an education, for better nutrition and health ... and so much more! It's wonderful!
I could say more, like how I gave a poor indigenous woman just over $1.50 so this 40-year-old mother of 3 was able to get a vaginal exam. Cysts were found. For less than $40, I treated her to a D&C and she will be able to live to raise her children. She goes back for check-ups and is SO grateful! Multiply that little story 1000s of times!!

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

Deet, there really aren't words to express how grateful we are to you - you have connected us to so many people over the years and we are so lucky to have you in our community!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wings is a very honest and dedicated NGO. I attended their documentary screening event in New York and was able to see their work with Guatemalan women, as well as their efforts during the recent volcano eruption. The kind of organization that deserves our full support.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2018

Thank you so much for these kind words. We're so glad you saw our documentary!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/07/2017

Thank you, Jackie - we are so fortunate to have you on our Board!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017

We absolutely LOVE our Board Members!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017

Oihane - you such an incredible intern!!! We are so lucky to have you with us!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017

Thanks so much, Nicole! We are incredibly grateful to donors and supporters like you and Sydney!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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WINGS Guatemala 08/03/2017

We loved having you with us last month, Morgan!! You are welcome back anytime!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.