GUAMAP - Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project
GUAMAP - Temple in Guatamala Why Acupuncture ?

For over 3,000 years, traditional (and modern) Chinese practitioners have relied on medicinal herbs and acupuncture to successfully treat millions of people. There is historical evidence of a Maya puncture medicine in Central America that was similar to early Chinese acupuncture. Training in acupuncture as preventive and curative medicine began in Guatemala during the 1970s, was used by communities in exile during the 1980s in Mexican refugee camps, and then resumed in Guatemala in the 1990s. The method has been regularly accepted by rural communities and its use is growing.

What is GUAMAP ?

GUAMAP is a US based 501(c)-3 non-profit organization with an active Board of Directors meeting several times annually. the board deliberates on program planning, fundraising, and medical supervision of the training program. Operations, training logistics, and initial recruitment of acupuncturists are handled by the local Coordinating Committee (CC) in Tucson, Arizona - GUAMAP's home office. The Acupuncture Working Group (AWG) writes training curriculum and certification standards, reviews and assesses training and monitoring, and completes recruitment of acupuncturist trainers.

GUAMAP partners with the Associación de Servicios Comunitarios de Servicios de Salud's (ASECSA) Regional Office in Peten, and the Asamblea de Acupuncturistas de Peten, Guatemala.

GUAMAP Board of Directors

Tim Blee, M.Ac, L.Ac.
A full time Asian Medical practitioner and acupuncturist at Spirit Path Acupuncture ( in Tucson, Arizona since 2005, Tim taught acupuncture courses and supervised student clinic for 5+ years at the Arizona School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Tucson, AZ. Tim enjoys international volunteer medical acupuncture service having completed missions to Tibet, Bolivia, and Guatemala. Tim assists GUAMAP in drafting curriculum for practitioners in Petén, Guatemala. GUAMAP Board Member in 2015.

Ildefonso Chavez Villareal

Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D.(Biology).
Subhuti is Founder and Director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine and Preventive Health Care (ITM), a non-profit organization promoting better understanding of and improved practical application of traditional medicine systems, especially Chinese medicine.  The Institute operates two clinical facilities in Portland, Oregon, posts articles about traditional medicine on its website (, and assists practitioners of Chinese medicine through education, providing herbal materials, and literature research. GUAMAP board member since 2007.

Blake Gentry, MPPM.
Blake is a co-founder of GUAMAP who works on acupuncture curriculum, volunteer orientation, health rights, and international program coordination. He co-authored two studies on GUAMAP patient populations for presentations at the American Public Health Association in 2004 and 2006.  Recently he co-lead GUAMAP’s Migrant Trauma Clinic. Blake works as a public policy consultant for Ama Consultants with an emphasis on social research and program evaluation in the areas of health, climate, and immigration affecting urban, rural, Latino, and Indigenous communities. Current President and member since 1994.

Richard Lee Johnson, MA.
"RJ" is a graduate student in Geography at the University of Arizona. Mr. Johnson  conducts research on migration, land tenure, and small holder livelihoods in rural Guatemala. Specifically, he examines the implication on failed migration attempts for migrants, their families, and their farms. Mr. Johnson also worked as a food security volunteer for two years in rural Guatemala with the Peace Corps. Mr. Johnson’s contribution to GUAMAP is in local fund raising and in education about Guatemala country conditions. GUAMAP Board Member in 2015.

Laurie Melrood, LMSW.
Laurie Melrood, is a co-founder of GUAMAP. She is a consultant on issues related to families separated due to immigration families. Since 1994 Laurie has co-led international training missions to Guatemala, worked in volunteer recruitment and is currently in charge of fund-raising for GUAMAP. She recently helped coordinate GUAMAP's Migrant Trauma Clinic. She enjoys teaching about foods and simple medicines derived from desert plants. Current Vice President and GUAMAP Board Member since 1994.

Todd Miller, B.A.

Todd Miller has 15 years of experience as an educational delegation leader in Mexico and Central America formally for the non-profit organizations, Witness for Peace and Borderlinks. He is a journalist and author of the book Border Patrol Nation: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security, and co-writes the "Border Wars" blog for the North American Congress on Latin America web site. His articles have appeared in The Nation, Al Jazeera, Tom Dispatch, and the New York Times. Todd teaches at Prescott College, and is at work on new book projects concerning immigration, border militarization (at home and abroad), and climate change. Todd was a former volunteer with GUAMAP in its early days, and currently assists with media strategies. GUAMAP Board Member in 2015.

Ryan Thompson, R.Ac, R.TCM,P.
Mr.Thompson is a TCM acupuncturist in Vancouver, BC Canada in private practice. Ryan has been an international acupuncture volunteer/ teacher in India, Cambodia and Guatemala; serving twice in Guatemala for GUAMAP. Mr. Thompson enjoys motorcycles, languages, traveling and the outdoors. He is now pursuing a degree in Psych Nursing. Ryan assists GUAMAP with curriculum development, having co-authored an Obstetrics and Pediatrics in Emergencies due to Natural Disasters curriculum for GUAMAP. GUAMAP Board Member in 2015.

Joyce Wong

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In Memoriam of "Doc" Ron Rosen, OMD, FNAAOM, Dipl. AC, Dipl. CH.
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