GUAMAP - Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project
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Community Health Clinics

During the refugee resettlement phase from 1995 until around 2001 returning refugee community members may have received materials from municipal government or NGOs for clinics that they often built themselves. Construction of wood and cane for walls and thatch or tin for roofing, was most common. Occasionally, cement block is used with poured cement floors. The clinics are very basic facilities with minimal sanitation. They often have dirt floors, open ventilation, and little privacy.

Solar power or small water turbine powered generators that run on limited quantities of stored power or fuel may provide electricity, and less often, running water. Composting toilets are frequently seen.

Health promoters traditionally earned no salary. Service at clinics is free or low-cost; small charges are made for medications.

By 2001, the loose network of community run health clinics suffered from economic stress. The volunteer health promoters who were selected by their community members to staff the clinics had been exempt from a labor contribution to agricultural work required of all members. Once the cooperatives were economically not viable, health promoters were unable to work as health promoters and make a living. The exemption was difficult to grant given the pressure on workers to migrate for work when produce was insufficient to provide income and subsistence crops for families.

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