Comadronas Are Essential to Healthcare in Guatemala – Interview

Dr. Mendez and I at his hospital in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala.While studying at the San Pedro Spanish School, my friend Sonja and I interviewed a family practice doctor from San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. Dr. Francisco Méndez tells us about perinatal care in Guatemala and the essential role played by las comadronas (midwives.) Without the comadronas, he says Guatemala’s health care system would collapse.

We interviewed him at his new 10-bed hospital where he hosts foreign students from Canada and the United States, to volunteer through the San Pedro Comprehensive Health Project. During their time at the hospital, volunteers learn about the culture, health care system and traditional medicine of Guatemala.

LEVEL -INTERMEDIATE

Table of Contents

  • 0:51 Learn About Culture and Healthcare in Guatemala
  • 4:08 The Essential Role of las Comadronas
  • 7:43 Working Collaboratively with las Comadronas

Learn About Culture and Healthcare in Guatemala

0:51

Vocabulary

los estudiantes extranjeros
foreign students

los voluntarios médicos
medical volunteers

los voluntarios no médicos
non-medical volunteers

el sistema de salud
healthcare system

la medicina tradicional
traditional medicine

la comadrona, partera
midwife

el parto
birth, delivery

2:57

Entrevista

>>>
Access the full transcripts and the interactive audio member lessons that accompany each free lesson. Login or click here to become a premium member.
<<<

The Essential Role of las Comadronas

4:08

Vocabulario

los controles prenatales
prenatal visits or check-ups

colapsar
to collapse

el sistema de salud colapsaría
the healthcare system would collapse

proveedor
provider

las mujeres embarazadas
pregnant women

el cuidado
care

el cuidado de mujeres embarazadas
the care of pregnant women

cubrir
to cover

cubrir el noventa porciento de los controles prenatales
to cover 90% of prenatal visits

atender
to take care of

atender el parto
to deliver a baby

6:24

Entrevista

>>>
Access the full transcripts and the interactive audio member lessons that accompany each free lesson. Login or click here to become a premium member.
<<<

Working Collaboratively with las Comadronas

7:43

Vocabulario

colaborar
to collaborate

el conocimiento
knowledge

efectivo
effective

la episiotomía
episiotomy

de forma colaborativa
in a collaborative manner

el respeto
respect

el personal
staff, personnel

9:19

Entrevista

>>>
Access the full transcripts and the interactive audio member lessons that accompany each free lesson. Login or click here to become a premium member.
<<<

¡Gracias por escuchar!

As you heard, las comadronas play an essential role in the healthcare system of Guatemala and Dr. Méndez has great respect for the work they do. To learn more about the work of a comadrona, check out the interview with la comadrona Ester.

We’ll be back soon for the second part of this interview, where we ask Dr. Mendez more specific questions about prenatal care in Guatemala and review some very useful vocabulary.

More Interviews from Guatemala

¡Hasta pronto!

The lessons offered at docmolly.com are a fun way to practice medical Spanish. They are not intended to teach medicine or provide medical advice. These lessons are intended to improve communication with Spanish-speaking patients, but they are not intended to substitute for a qualified medical interpreter.


  • Hi. I cannot see the complete Women’s Health podcast, but I’m already a premium member. I do not have access to this content?

  • Hello,
    Thanks for these great podcasts!

    I am a volunteer nurse at the nonprofit Health & Help clinic near Momostenango, Guatemala, where we provide affordable health care to the rural K’iche’ population. We’d love to connect with Dr. Mendez and learn more about his program. Maybe we could collaborate in some ways, and it would be great if we could give patient referrals to his facility. Can you share any more information about the program, or provide any contact information?

    Also, feel free to spread the word about the Health&Help clinic, we are always looking for more medical volunteers! And it provides a great opportunity to quickly improve your medical Spanish!

    • Hola Rose,
      You are welcome. I am glad you like the podcasts. I recommend trying to contact Dr. Méndez through his program’s Facebook page.
      Saludos,
      Molly

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Find what you're looking for.

    Click a button below to search our lessons.

    >