The Cabrini mission in Guatemala focuses on the most vulnerable population through the San Jose Dispensary in Zone 6 of the capital city, and the Mother Cabrini Dispensary in Barcena Villa Nueva.

The service provided by Cabrini Guatemala in Barcena focuses on curative and preventive medical care and the integral development of the individual, the family, and the community. We do this through various clinical services and programmes aimed at vulnerable groups of Guatemalan society being children, women and elderly, promoting self-management by beneficiaries for their own transformation.

Cechina Nutritional Recovery Program
Child malnutrition is a serious health problem in Guatemala that affects the most impoverished population groups. Our Chechina programme aims to impact the integral recovery of children with malnutrition. Through an interdisciplinary approach including paediatrics, nutrition, and social assessments, we seek to bring about a holistic change in the child’s nutritional health and in parenting patterns in the family. A total of 70 children are currently being cared for in the villages of Carmen del Monte and El Tablon de Barcena, Villa Nueva.

Our Mother and Child Programme began in 1998 under the direction of Sr Teresa Cavalheiro, MSC, and reaches up to 440 children and an equal number of families. In addition to assessing the medical and nutritional condition of the children, training and guidance is provided to parents in the proper consumption of food, especially fruit and vegetables that they grow themselves.

Training for Healthy Women and Healthy Families

Another objective of the Cechina program is to form healthy women and families, working towards the improvement of their integral health. We have designed a series of workshops focused on health, nutrition, hygiene, the environment, and ancestral cooking. The latter aims to recover the values and richness of each family’s own culture.

The program runs for a period of two years, demonstrating the recovery and normal growth of the infants and structural changes in the eating behaviour of the families. This involves correcting inappropriate patterns during the process to achieve the main objective of the programme.

This program is a key part of our mission to help children from families with no health coverage, who lack a basic knowledge of affordable and accessible balanced nutrition, allowing them to develop appropriately based on their developmental milestones.

In our clinics we carry out assessments to diagnose whether children are malnourished and to what degree. We are currently working with our own program, with an interdisciplinary team consisting of a paediatrician, nutritionist, and social worker, to care for children and their families. This new program started recently, in February 2021. The paediatrician has carried out a complete clinical evaluation, including laboratory tests free of charge, thanks to the financial support from the Cabrini Mission Foundation for these costs.

Our goal is to reduce malnutrition in children, positively impacting on the eating habits of families, and transforming the lives of children and families through training for mothers that includes medical and nutritional aspects, as well as family economics.

At the Heart of What We Do
In communion with the charism of Mother Cabrini, we are convinced that the development of the communities we serve is based on personal improvement, spiritual growth, and on providing everyone their due according to justice and mercy.

We seek to:
• Transform lives through our projects and the mission’s message of kindness, sisterhood, and solidarity, which is so lacking in today’s world.
• Reflect Mother Cabrini’s charism of giving the best to each person regardless of their life circumstances.
• Add value to the integral progress of children, who in the future may be agents of change in these communities.

Our advice to others in service of those in need:
• Implement accessible programs that address actual needs as a unique and transcendental priority of every project.
• Hold true to your mission to achieve the transformation of target groups within the established timeframe.
• Consider that each action must mark a sustainable ‘before and after’ for the good of the community who are the main reason for the existence of organisations such as ours.

In general the communities have been satisfied with our past programs, especially thanks to the training offered to them, these programs have improved their living conditions. With the current program, the mothers are very happy and grateful because they are being offered more comprehensive care.

Teresa Ramos (Trabajadora Social)
Juan Pablo Revolorio (Fisioterapista) quien es periodista
Silvia Aquino (Recursos Humanos)
María Elena Plata (Coordinadora General)

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