I sat at a lunch table today with five shining young women from Guatemala who’ve just begun their freshman year in CASA’s Professional Midwifery School. They are on scholarship with CASA, who sponsors 85% of their living expenses, though where they are to get the other 15% remains a question.
Between 18 and 24, they’ve come from small towns in Guatemala where there is not yet a professional Midwifery School to study in CASA’s San Miguel de Allende accredited and internationally known midwifery program and Maternal Teaching Hospital and Family Clinic.
Students at CASA
To see these five fresh faces, to realize that they’ve traveled to another country, that they have no family in Mexico to help them and, because it’s always personal and I have two beloved nieces whose Dad is an indigenous Mayan Guatemalan now living in the U.S. [where they were born and raised], is to receive a call straight to the heart.
What can I do? Julie suggested a once a month English class. Or a trip for ice cream. Or …
I met them because I visited with Julie & Cliff Durand to discuss caring for Coyo while they take a much deserved vacation in a few days. Julie is Guatemalan. Each year she mentors the Guatemalan students in CASA’s Midwifery School through the Bernard Wiseman Foundation, and it so happened that the young women were at Julie’s house cooking comida. [They take the now every Sunday lunch leftovers back to the dorm for munchies.]
I truly cannot express my admiration for all the midwifery students at CASA, or for CASA itself. Some of the students, like Irma, one of the Guatemalan fresh women, come from two or three generations of midwives in their family. Others are answering a desperate call from economically ravaged pueblos to advance maternal and infant health, which de facto increases the dignity of women and the viability of life for the entire community.
Midwifery is so vitally necessary to developing nations that to be in their presence is akin to sitting with saints. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m writing with tears in my eyes compounded of equal parts admiration and an all too infrequent feeling of hope for the future.
Viva las mujeres!
Give them some love, dear readers!
Center for Adolescents in San Miguel de Allende, CASA
CASA plans to establish a professional midwifery school in Guatemala.
If you want to contribute to the Guatemalan students for personal care items, pens & paper, or [gasp!] a lunch out, send a check designating your donation
Bernard Weisman Foundation
President, Bernard Weisman Foundation
220 N. Zapata Hwy. No 11
PMB No. 99B
Laredo, TX 78043