Manos Abiertas

Training on perineal suture with one of Manos Abiertas' residents.

Manos Abiertas

Manos Abiertas provides rural Guatemalan women with tools to make empowered and informed decisions about their health, thus serving as examples for their children, families and communities.

Manos Abiertas is Guatemala’s only women-centered, culturally and linguistically sensitive birth- and women’s health center, founded in 2008 by German midwife Hannah Freiwald in collaboration with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) as a response to the needs of women living in rural areas.

Guatemala has the highest birth rate in Central America. Yet, only 5.7% of rural women receive prenatal care during the last trimester of pregnancy, creating high maternal and infant mortality rates. In addition, 55% of sexually active, never-married women and 26% of married women aged 15–19 have an unmet need for contraception, meaning they wish to avoid having a pregnancy but are not using contraception.

Manos Abiertas offers the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive healthcare, including routine testing and treatment for STIs, cervical cancer screening and cryotherapy, pregnancy prevention, miscarriage management, prenatal care, professional midwifery, postpartum care, lactation support and pediatric care.

Photo: Manos Abiertas’ Team in front of their previous location. © Manos Abiertas

The clinic is strategically located in Ciudad Vieja, Sacatepequez, an area that, in spite of its proximity with Antigua Guatemala (a popular tourist destination), lacks health services. Ciudad Vieja is well connected by bus service and is therefore accessible to women living in remote areas of the country. It also provides a convenient base for the Manos Abiertas staff to travel to the coast or the highlands for rural day clinics in order to reach out to women who can’t afford to travel.

The team also run pop-up day clinics in remote locations across the country (pictured), where women can receive family planning and cancer screening services.

Photo: A consultation room in one of Manos Abiertas family planning and cervical cancer screening day clinics in the far-away comunity of Pastores, Sacatepequez. © Manos Abiertas

Learn more about Manos Abiertas in this Q&A!

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Providing holistic woman-to-woman care: Q&A with Manos Abiertas

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