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Support Women Helping Women in Guatemala

Many inequalities persist in Guatemala today. As recently as 2016, indigenous people in the country had a life expectancy that was 13 years less than that of non-indigenous Guatemalans. In addition to issues of poverty, indigenous Guatemalans face many barriers in accessing healthcare, including distance, language difficulties, and discrimination. This is especially true in rural communities.

Kateri Tekekwitha Fund healthcare scholarships aim to reduce such inequalities by empowering women who want to work in the healthcare field. Scholarship recipients work hard to improve their own lives, but the ripple effects of their efforts go far beyond them.

A Guatemalan woman stands in a pharmacy
Josefina in her pharmacy

Josefina Palafax received a scholarship, which helped her to complete training to be a nursing assistant. After concluding her studies, she opened a pharmacy in her hometown, where she provides services such as IVs, removal of stitches, vaccinations, various tests, and more. This alleviated the need for those in the town to travel long distances in order to get basic medications and routine procedures.

“My dream since I was young was to be a nurse,” she says, explaining that she wants to help and care for others.

Although she serves all kinds of people, she explains that women often come to her as patients. With her they have a sense of trust that they may not have with a male provider, and they are able to talk to her about their needs openly. Her native fluency in Kaqchikel also helps her to effectively serve the population of the area.

Josefina hopes to continue her education and build more skills, especially in the area of pharmaceuticals. She dreams of attending university and becoming a professional nurse. Eventually she would like to open a second pharmacy in the area and reach even more people.

She is grateful to Karyn Choy, her Kateri Fund mentor, who provides advice and guidance as Josefina continues to work to achieve her goals. “She is helping me a lot,” she expresses.

Your support makes possible experiences like Josefina’s. The scholarships, mentorships, and more are supported directly by donations to the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund. Your donations will go further From April 8-12 during the GlobalGiving Little by Little matching campaign, when gifts up to $50 will be matched at 50%. 


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