K’aslimaal / Hospitalito Atitlán School of Nursing

Building Sololá’s First Accredited Nursing School

Hospitalito Atitlán’s Nursing Staff and Physicians

Nursing has been identified as having the potential for making the biggest impact on a transformation of healthcare delivery to a safer, higher quality, and more cost-effective system (Nelson, Batalden, & Godfrey, 2007). Unfortunately, there is a shortage of accredited auxiliary nurses who speak Maya languages in our region. While the International Work Organization recommends a least 34 healthcare workers for every 10,000 people, Guatemala has 26 workers for every 10,000 in urban areas and only 3 for every 10,000 in rural areas. We at Hospitalito Atitlán have had personal experience with this, having struggled with recruiting Tz’utujil and K’aqchikel speaking nurses in the past. This translates to lower access to healthcare for the population of Sololá in a native language, which results in worse health outcomes.

One reason for the lack of nurses in Sololá is limited access to nursing education. The closest nursing school is more than two hours away, and travel and inscription fees can be cost prohibiting. Many nursing schools are in urban areas with high crime rates and violence, so students may be afraid to travel.

In Guatemala, health care institutions meeting requisites of the National Association of Nurses can open accredited nursing schools at their facilities. This new project starting in 2023 would leverage Hospitalito Atitlán’s facilities and staff to establish the first accredited nursing school in Sololá.

The K’aslimaal/Hospitalito Atitlán nursing school will provide educational opportunity for the people of Santiago Atitlán, San Pedro la Laguna, San Juan la Laguna and San Lucas Tolimán, to aid in community development by producing qualified nurses to work in clinics, community projects, and hospitals. The program will need support for training materials, computers, laboratories, need-based scholarships, and professional mentorship. We believe that all people should have access to healthcare in their maternal language.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Increase the number of auxiliary nurses who speak Maya languages to provide safe, higher quality preventative and curative healthcare in Sololá.
  2. Create a new opportunity for professional education and employment in a region where these are lacking.

How you can help:

  • Share fundly campaign (when activated) on your social media pages and write a personal message about why this cause is important to you
  • Create a fundraiser for your birthday for the nursing school
  • Post flyer in your place of work (especially if you work in a healthcare setting)
  • Share flyer with nursing or medical mailing lists or Facebook Groups and add a personal message
  • Share flyer about the K’aslimaal/Hospitalito Atitlán School of Nursing with friends, family, and colleagues who you think might be interested in the project and encourage them to donate using the QR code below: