A Thank-You to our Summer Volunteers


posted by Anne Kraemer Díaz

This summer we had many wonderful volunteer interns and returning staff in Guatemala. We would like to thank all of them for their wonderful help! Wuqu’ Kawoq is founded in volunteerism and we are lucky to have so many wonderful, talented people dedicating their time to communities in Guatemala.

Thank you to Sarah Messmer (Medical Student, Harvard) and Nicole Henretty (Masters in Nutrition, Tufts University) who worked tirelessly on our Child Nutrition project in the Bocacosta and helping to boost our newer Child Nutrition Project in the highlands. Their innovative ideas in child health and implementation enable our projects to excel! We really appreciate how hard they work to make culturally significant information on child health and nutrition for the mothers in the communities. They were also supported by Claire Melvin (University of Illinois, 2010) and her wonderful way with children and many anemia tests. Claire is one of our 2010-2011 year long interns and she will be living in the highlands throughout this next year. She spent the summer working on her language skills and learning highland Guatemala.

A great big Matyox to Anita Chary (MD/PhD student, Washington University in St. Louis) who helped Emily Tummons (Board Chair) lead our Kablajuj Ey field school, train our summer interns and do wonderful ethnographic research and interviews on the diabetic experience in 5 communities where we work. This formative research is helping us to guide the expansion of our diabetes program. She also had great help and support from Miranda Greiner (University of Kansas, 2010). Miranda spent the summer focusing on Kaqchikel and working on diabetes. Miranda will be living in the highlands this entire year as one of our 2010-2011 year-long interns.

We would also like to thank two new volunteers, Yohan Song (Medical Student, Stanford University) and Clarice Amorim (MA student in Anthropology, University of Kansas) who spent 6 weeks working specifically on projects and improvements in the Bocacosta. Yohan and Clarice learned a lot this summer and worked endlessly to collect surveys and information on the water project and local medical resources in the bocacosta region. They visited a plethora of pharmacies, centros de salud, private and public clinics and more. Their work enables us to understand the medical resources available to our patients and how we can work to better serve them by understanding the local circumstances. We hope Clarice and Yohan will be able to volunteer with us again in the future.

Please see some of our previous blog posts from some of our volunteers and staff while they were in the field!