WINGS and Wuqu’ Kawoq

Marking World Contraception Day with Reproductive Healthcare Providers in Rural Guatemala

World Contraception Day takes place annually to raise awareness of contraception options and support people in making informed choices for their sexual and reproductive health. Access to contraception and other family planning services is essential in women’s decision-making and brings a myriad of benefits.

This World Contraception Day, we were honored to be joined by two of our Global Partners, WINGS and Wuqu’ Kawoq (Maya Health Alliance). Our Guatemalan-based partners work to deliver high-quality reproductive health education and services to rural communities in Guatemala.

Representatives of WINGS and Wuqu’ Kawoq offered insights into their mission and discuss the challenges they face in providing safe, affordable care in rural regions of Guatemala. In addition, they shared testimonials from individuals whose lives have been transformed by the services offered, further highlighting the real-world impact of accessible reproductive health care.

Presentation Date: September 26th, 2023

Why WINGS – Presented by Dr. Michelle Dubón

Transforming Health in Rural Guatemala – Presented by Anne Kraemer

Dr. Michelle Dubón

Medical Director, WINGS

Since 2015, Michelle has overseen all technical aspects of clinical services provided by WINGS. She has been in practice since 2004 and has specialized in OB-GYN services since 2008. Michelle received her medical degree from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and completed her OB-GYN residency at Hospital Roosevelt de Guatemala. She is committed to providing the highest level of reproductive health care to all her patients and is known for her gentle bedside manner, sharing her motto with staff: We must provide services with quality and warmth, with a steadfast commitment to rights-based healthcare.

Michelle was part of the 2019 class of the Aspen Institute New Voices Fellowship, a group of 25 leaders from the Global South who work on the frontlines of global development and health. As a trained ballerina and talented singer, she brings grace and creativity to her work at WINGS, often singing to her patients as she performs surgeries.

Anne Kraemer

CEO & Co-Founder, Wuqu’ Kawoq

Anne Kraemer is an anthropologist and a co-founder of Maya Health Alliance | Wuqu’ Kawoq, an organization created in 2007 to transform health in rural Guatemala. She has served as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer since 2009. Her passion is building high-impact, collaborative, culturally and linguistically appropriate health and development programs.

Anne trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Kansas, where she received her master’s degree and did doctoral coursework. She received a Fulbright scholarship in 2007 to examine the relationship between rural Guatemalan communities and the NGOs that serve them. Anne lives in Guatemala with her daughters. She speaks Kaqchikel and Spanish.


Questions from audience, with responses from WINGS and Wuqu’ Kawoq

Are your team members trilingual–English, Spanish, and an indigenous language?

Response from WINGS:
100% of the team at WINGS speaks Spanish, about 10% speak English, and another 10% speak at least one Mayan language.

Response from Wuqu’ Kawoq:
Most of our community health workers speak Spanish and a Mayan language, and a few speak English as well. We’re offering English language classes as part of leadership training so it’s easier for our leaders to be at the table in more international conversations.

What role do you think public libraries in Guatemala can play in supporting your activities in family planning?

Response from WINGS:
Public libraries are a rare occurrence in Guatemala, and to my knowledge, WINGS does not have a library in our community partner list. We have, however, partnered with community centers and early childhood centers which I think of as the equivalent to libraries.

Does the Maya Health Alliance have a partnership or other relationship with Friendship Bridge? Friendship Bridge provides micro credit to indigenous women in Guatemala and education on women’s issues.

Response from Wuqu’ Kawoq:
Yes, we have been working in collaboration with Friendship Bridge since 2016. We provide preventative services focused on family planning, cervical cancer screening, and diabetes/hypertension for Friendship Bridge clients as part of the Health for Life program.

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WINGS nurse during a Family Planning jornada (clinic day) in the community of San Lucía Cotzumalguapa. © WINGS

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