Hello from Guatemala
by Kate Holloway

[Editor's note: This letter first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 70, Summer 2004. Clinicas Maya includes a naturopathic clinic called Clinica Naturista and a midwifery training program, La Casa de la Luz. They are collecting donations for all the programs, as well as the hospitals and the local government-run free clinics. A wish list of supplies needed for the Clinicas Maya, in San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, appears at the end of this article. You can write to them at clinicasmaya@yahoo.com.mx.]

Hello and Happy New Year! Here is our update from February 2004. We are all doing well. The Clinica Naturista is growing and expanding! We are now operating with two nurses, one doctor, Cindy and me. We are growing out of our small clinic! Julia, one of our wonderful nurses, has had her baby girl, born on All Souls Day, the first of November. They are doing really well, and after a few months on leave, she is back with us (we are so thankful). During her leave we hired another wonderful nurse, Candida. We have been training her in many directions because she is SO good! We love having her around and hope she'll be with us for a long time. Celestino, our naturopath, is doing very well. He is continuing his education in homeopathy and will be heading to the city to do intensive classes every two months with a group from all over Guatemala. Wish us luck in the clinic while he is gone! Cindy is doing well. She just returned from a vacation to Mexico, refreshed and ready to be the powerhouse that she is. We are so grateful to have her back to pick up the pieces that only she can know have dropped off! I am still here and happy to be here through August of this year. I am recovering slowly, but surely, from a very difficult bout of pneumonia and hope to never do that again.

We are in the beginning stages of building our new clinic! We have hired an excellent architect, Molly. We are looking forward to breaking ground soon and cannot wait to be able to move into a larger, more suitable space to be able to facilitate our entire vision.

We now have 21 orphans! In the past month, we have done a bit of reorganization of our orphan program, letting some graduate, as they have become self-sufficient (hooray!), and adding others.

As of September 2003 we are an official non-profit organization with a 501(c)3, and therefore, are currently taking tax-deductible donations (both monetary and non-monetary)! Good for us and all those who would like to donate! We hope that this will make it both easier and even more rewarding to support the programs. We have a shipping label and instructions we will send out to the people who need it.

A friend midwife told me today a great story about reviving babies who are not alive (or barely so) by putting their placenta, still attached, into hot water. Hope you don't find yourself in this position, and if you do, here is another potential tool. One of the greatest gifts of living here and working with the midwives is hearing their remarkable stories.

May the beginning of spring lighten your spirit and awaken the life force within.

Kate Holloway
For more information on the Clinicas Maya programs please contact us at clinicasmaya@yahoo.com.mx. We will do our best to respond promptly. Thank you!

Wish List for Clinicas Maya
San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, Guatemala

Teaching materials—Spanish

  • Textbooks/charts, maternity/growth charts, etc.
  • Models—babies/pelvises/skeletons, etc.
  • Videos, slides, etc.
  • Notebooks, pencils, paper, crayons
  • Dictionary—current Physicians Desk Reference
  • Medical books
  • English-Spanish supplies

Medical Supplies

  • 4x4" and 2x2" gauze/tape/butterfly stuff
  • Anti-microbial solutions (gallons)
  • Band-Aids
  • Lidocaine—1 or 2% injectable
  • Natural body products—creams, lotions, salves, powders
  • Sunscreen (gallons)
  • Vitamins—liquid infant, chewable adult, pre-natal, multi-vitamins, vitamins C and E, Zinc


  • Clothes (cotton)
  • Newborn T's
  • Diapers
  • Newborn hats
  • Socks
  • Blankets
  • Children's jeans, T-shirts
  • Tennis shoes

Medical equipment

  • Stethoscopes—Infant, child, adult
  • Fetascopes, pinard—wooden or plastic horns
  • Blood pressure cuffs, all sizes
  • Digital thermometers (centigrade)—for infant and adult
  • Basal thermometer (for birth control)
  • Otoscope, hearing testing tools
  • Measuring tapes—midwives (plastic preferred)
  • Bulb syringes—infant suction, any size (2000)
  • Cord clamps
  • Cord tying tape—comes in rolls
  • Sutures—cat gut—00,000 and regular types
  • Syringes—all types
  • Pregnancy tests—1000
  • AIDS home tests—500
  • Urine dip sticks (#9)—50 bottles
  • IV supplies
  • Blood draw supplies—butterfly types too
  • Gestation wheels (500)
  • Stainless steel instruments
  • Scissors—cutting umbilical cords/round tips/long
  • Hemos—long nose for clamping cords
  • Bowls for sterilizing midwifery tools
  • Suture equipment—all types
  • Sterilizing liquid
  • Incubator—portable (for transporting)
  • Autoclave/pressure cooker—8 qt.
  • Dopplers (4)—any type (we are desperate)
  • Dop gel
  • Microscope
  • Baby scales—fish and tabletop
  • Adult scales
  • O2 equipment—regulators, tanks, tubing


  • Copy machine
  • Digital camera—to upload cases of interest
  • Computer—any/all for the office (in good condition)
  • Office supplies
  • Blender—grinders—Cuisinart
  • Portable stretcher
  • Sheets (for clinic) and blankets
  • Towels
  • Ambulance
  • Walkie-talkie (2 sets)
  • Call room equipment (write for specifics)

Mail to:
Cindy Waterman
c/o Amy McDevitt
32 NE 45th Ave.
Portland, OR 97213

Please number the boxes: your initials, followed by the numbers of your boxes (e.g. 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4)

Make two copies of inventory of each box. Send inventories to:

  1. Amy McDevitt, address above (in a letter separate from boxes)
  2. Cindy Waterman
    PO Box 5482
    Austin, TX 78763

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