News from the Edge

Spotlight on ASOSAP Nurses


Alicia – Pampacche Health Post 

Alicia and a mother whose infant is in the Malnourished Infant Rescue program

True Story

At 9:30 on a Sunday evening while Alicia was at church in her home village, she was called to the home of a seventeen-year-old pregnant woman, in active labor. The baby was born an hour later BUT it was blue and not breathing! In this mountain village, in this rustic home, there was no doctor or ambulance available. So, Alicia started doing CPR – her only option. And she kept doing CPR. Finally, after 10 minutes, the baby took a big breath and started to cry. She had saved another life! Stories like this reinforce the value of having Alicia working at the Pampacche health post.

Alicia is 34 and is from Pampacche. She is the oldest and has 6 brothers and 3 sisters. Her father is a day laborer and her mother is a home maker. She lives at home with her family. She speaks Pokomchi and Spanish and has worked with ASOSAP for over 6 years. She is a real example in her community, especially to the young women, as she is the first woman in her community to attend higher education. It is an amazing thing to see her working as a nurse in the community she grew up in and to see the trust the community has in her. She also is well respected among fellow nurses. They can see her calm and steady leadership at the health post. They can go to her for assistance with diagnosing and treating patents when needed.

Here are Alicia’s own words:

I wanted to be a nurse to care for people who are in need. This desire to help those who are ill is what drives me. My greatest joy is to care for children and pregnant women. I feel proud to be working for ASOSAP in my community and surrounding communities, regardless of the time, whether it is at night or outside of my working hours. My family is proud of me. The people trust me.  I can speak their language.  They know that I can treat their illness and give them medication that is of good quality.”

“My dream is to keep moving forward, to find opportunities to learn more and be able to care for people even better.  I need to keep learning as there are illnesses that I can’t cure. If I continue studying, I can help people even more.”

Miguel – Providencia Health Post

True Story

One night at 7pm, Miguel, who was staying at the Providencia Health Post, was called to the mountain village home of a 21-year-old pregnant woman who had been in labor for 4 hours, but was having trouble. He found by listening to the baby’s heart beat that it was in distress. Also, the baby was higher up in the birth canal than it should be. An immediate ambulance transfer to hospital was urgent! Alas! No ambulance was available so Miguel and the patient’s family spent an hour trying to find a ride from someone in the village. Meanwhile, every minute counted if the baby’s life was to be saved. They finally found a ride and got the mother to hospital in time to have an emergency C-section, saving the lives of both mother and baby. The mother and her entire family were very grateful to Miguel for all that he did to save them.

Miguel is 30 and from Santa Cruz Verapaz. He is the youngest and has 4 brothers. His father has passed away and his mother is a homemaker. He is married and has 2 daughters. He speaks Pokomchi, Quechi, and Spanish. He has worked with ASOSAP for over 6 years.  Even though he is not from the community where he serves, the community really has adopted him as their own. They trust him completely and value his sacrifice and the care that he provides. He lives there during the week and only returns to his home on the weekends to see his family. He is also a leader amongst fellow nurses. They benefit from his sharing of knowledge and experience. 

Here are Miguel’s own words:

“I became a nurse because of my family. Sometimes someone in my family would get sick and I wanted to do something to help.  So, I studied nursing and achieving this has been very special for me. I’m the only one in my family that has a profession. Nursing is a very beautiful profession because of being able to do something for someone who is going through a difficult moment, for example when there is an emergency and you can give immediate help that saves their life. I learn every day and continue learning to be able to provide quality care.

“I like working for ASOSAP because they provide many programs that give people lots of support. I can see that the people trust me and my abilities. It also makes a difference that I can speak their language and I can understand what is going on with them.”