The Hospitalito is a nonprofit organization that serves the 75,000 Maya living on Lake Atitlán, providing a full range of preventative and clinical health services with an emphasis on woman and children. As a part of a mission to reduce the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in the community, the Hospitalito created the Maternal Infant Sponsorship Program. The program provides medical care and health education in the local Maya language starting during the mother’s pregnancy and continuing for the first 5 years of the child’s life. The Hospitalito’s social worker, Vicenta, works closely with the several of Santiago’s comadronas to identify woman that most need support during their pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care. This includes woman who live in extreme poverty, lack sufficient social support, are under the age of 16 or over the age of 40, or who are classified as high risk pregnancies.
The program provides high risk pregnant women with prenatal care, well baby visits, free vitamins, 24 hour access to medical care, and monthly health education classes.