We are currently transitioning the site and are experiencing some technical difficulties with some media. What you see here is not our usual look. However, please feel free to peruse the main links, as all of the information about our project is still available, and check back soon for photos and such. Thanks!

The Safe Motherhood Project is proud to be a member-project of Rose Charities Canada.

Guatemala has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, 30 to 60 times higher than in Canada. Hemorrhage, eclampsia and infection are the major causes of death of women during childbirth. Seventy per cent of women in rural Guatemala give birth at home under the care of a traditional birth attendant, or “comadrona,” who in most cases has no formal education or training. Often the closest hospital is several hours away.

Since 2003, a group of Canadian volunteers and a team of Guatemalan midwives have travelled annually to rural Guatemala to teach comadronas emergency birthing skills. The course runs for four five-hour days. At the end of the four days, each comadrona who completes the course receives a kit of birthing supplies. The course has been well received.  Each year there has been increasing enrollment and more and more communities are requesting the course.

You can read a more detailed history of the project at our history page, and you can also read a detailed outline of what we teach.

Meet the team

Founded by a doctor and nurse from Salmon Arm and joined by a midwife from Revelstoke and a nurse from Golden, The Safe Motherhood Project aims to reduce the maternal and neonatal mortality rate in Guatemala (which is amongst the highest in the world). Together with two Guatemala health professional, we teach risk assessment and emergency skills to the mostly untrained Traditional Birth Attendants (Comadronas) in rural areas.

Gloria Cutuj

Comadrona from San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala Gloria is our trainer extraordinaire. She was one of our very first students in 2003 ...
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Cenaida Juarez

Comadrona from San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala Cenaida was instrumental in the beginnings of this project. In 2001, she was  president of ...
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Amanda Shibley, RN

Registered Nurse from Golden BC, Canada Amanda first decided to go into nursing because she wanted a career that would ...
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Birte Paschen, RM

Registered Midwife from Revelstoke BC, Canada Born and raised in Germany, I have always had a great interest in languages ...
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Annette Borkent, RN

Registered Nurse from Salmon Arm BC, Canada Annette is a maternity nurse, working at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital in ...
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Dr. Ruth Brighouse

Family Practitioner from Salmon Arm BC, Canada A native of Salmon Arm, BC, Dr. Ruth Brighouse has been part of ...
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As of November 2011, the Safe Motherhood Project has officially become a member project of Rose Charities Canada. Rose Charities Canada is a registered, non-profit organization with the Canada Revenue Agency, registration number: 859442303RR0001.

You can donate online here at the Rose Charities website. Select “Safe Motherhood” from the “Fund” drop-down menu.

You can also donate by sending a cheque to Rose Charities. Please put “for Safe Motherhood Project” on the memo line and include your email address on the cheque (for a electronic receipt).

Mail cheques to:

Rose Charities Canada
1870 Ogden Ave,
Vancouver, BC,
V6J 1A1

Rose Charities will issue Canadian tax receipts for all donations above $20. Tax receipts for cheque donations will be sent or emailed out close to the end of the tax year (Jan/Feb). Please make sure your street address and/or email are on the cheque or online donation to facilitate the process

More information on donating to the Safe Motherhood Project and Rose Charities is available on the Rose Charities site.

Your donation to the Safe Motherhood Project will go towards helping improve care for pregnant women in rural Guatemala through education and medical supplies. Each dollar helps purchase prenatal vitamins, folic acid, and iron supplements for pregnant women.  The antibiotics needed in prenatal care are purchased. Birthing supplies and educational materials for each comadrona are also purchased.