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These Indigenous Women Are Saving Lives One Birth at a Time | Short Film Showcase ctm magazine

To combat one of the highest mortality rates in Central America, indigenous women in Guatemala are taking safe pregnancy care into their own hands.

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Government-sponsored health services are often only in Spanish, a language which many indigenous women do not speak. Their alternative option is to seek out a traditional midwife or “comadrona” who provides care throughout the pregnancy and often time delivers the baby at home or in a comadrona-run birth center.

Con Madre is the story of Erika and Dora María, two students enrolled in a 3-year midwifery program in Guatemala City to become the first class of university-level midwives, or “parteras.” Blending modern medicine with more traditional practices of their mentor “comadronas,” the program is a partnership between Galileo University in Guatemala and Asociación Corazón del Agua. Follow the two women on their journey as they train to provide safe pregnancy care for the vulnerable women of their communities.

National Geographic partnered with the nonprofit organization Every Mother Counts to feature Con Madre as part of the Short Film Showcase.

About National Geographic:
National Geographic is the world’s premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what’s possible.

These Indigenous Women Are Saving Lives One Birth at a Time | Short Film Showcase

National Geographic



  • Kitty Meow on March 24, 2019

    That called a eka in kanjobal where you take a bath

  • Kitty Meow on March 24, 2019

    I wish i was born in Guatemala because kids over there speak perfectly kanjobal i speak it but not so perfect

  • Smithsnmoz on May 27, 2019

    These women truly have peace in there lives.

  • M Francisco on June 14, 2019

    my country where my big brother was born and thank you to my mother.

  • brownhawk415 on June 27, 2019

    Thanks for visiting my country and understanding our culture

  • Heyitsanabanana on July 27, 2019

    "Nosotros somos de la tierra y a la tierra tendremos que volver" hermosa hermosa y inteligente gente 💜 mucha paz se siente ✨

  • Alejandro Sagastume on October 29, 2019

    Guatemala is a very beautiful place, its land, its towns, its people, its gastronomy and much more. wow

  • Jose dela cruz on April 11, 2020

    Thank you National Geographic. 💚

  • bumaddyangel on April 21, 2020

    I find that so amazing because I recently learned that first nation people in British Columbia Canada also bury the placenta for the belief that we come from the earth as well

  • E- World on August 14, 2020

    It just makes me sad that indigenous woman as young as maybe 16 or less are pregnant on that age with no support of the father of the child and maybe the government. But how they manage to deliver the baby was beautiful

  • CarolB on August 19, 2020

    Indigenous sisters coming together ❤️

  • Maria Jimenez on October 8, 2020

    Tanta pobreza y tantos niños ?

  • Amy Hernandez on October 13, 2020

    Mi bella Guatemala 🇬🇹 🤍

  • I do believe I'm on fire on October 22, 2020

    Im proud of my gente my people… mi Guate

  • Ultimate Empress on October 29, 2020

    Why are all the students pregnant?
    the mother is so emotionally subdued. Barely a grunt during labour, or a reaction when the baby is placed next to her.

  • Haley Pierce on November 16, 2020

    The women have some pretty outfits. I like all the brilliant colors and patterns. What an interesting culture and traditions. Despite all the hardships they somehow get through it all. Best of luck to everyone in the world who needs the help they can get.

  • Ernesto Chan chan on November 23, 2020

    GUATEMALA 🇬🇹🇬🇹🇬🇹❤❤❤❤

  • Kopila Thapa on January 11, 2021

    Dedicate to Samir chhetri mitini aama(laxmi kattel sasu) as well as all child caring of our village(Jamunapur) from ancient time and always wish for her good health and wealth and her entire family too💞💞💞💐💐💐🍁🍁🍁⭐⭐⭐🎗🎗🎗

  • Murasaki Alvarado on August 6, 2021

    My grandma is an indigenous midwife in México and I’m very proud of her. I live in the US and I hope to become a nurse midwife to also help women give birth to their children. Currently, I’m studying to get an associate in nursing.

  • Dina Lopez on November 5, 2021

    Me alegro mucho que mi hna comparte este tradición bendiciones

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