CHILA seeks to provide quality healthcare to our Q’eqchi communities while respecting their cultural practices and traditions.
What are you supporting when you support CHILA’s mission?
When you support CHILA’s mission, you are saving lives
When you support CHILA’s mission, you are alleviating suffering
When you support CHILA’s mission, you are making magic happen…
There is a magic in seeing someone smile because they finally found someone who is listening. There is magic in the relief that is felt when you help someone feel better. There is magic when you connect and engage and show someone that you understand.
CHILA is a non-profit health clinic in Chisec Guatemala and all of our services are offered free of charge to anyone who walks into our clinic. We rely on supporters like you to help us provide the highest quality of care for the residents of Chisec and her surrounding regions and connect our patients to living healthier lives.
Your gift provides:
~Highest quality of primary medical care
~Medication and treatment for acute and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, etc.
~Diagnostic Tests such as blood tests, ultrasound, radiological exams, biopsies etc.
~Specialty Consults such as orthopedic, pediatric, oncology, surgical etc.
~Transportation to hospital and clinic visits in Coban (2 hours), Guatemala City (6-8 hours) and other locations
~Monthly Diabetes Clinic
And so much more….
Your support does more than just provide medical services for the community. Through educational opportunities, healthcare professionals and ancillary personnel are trained by CHILA to continue to provide care to their community in conjunction with telemedicine support with Dr. Smith. By growing opportunities for the the local community, your support helps to strengthen their healthcare structure from within and helps to encourage local independence.
Access to healthcare is so much more than an open clinic door. It is access to clean water, access to education, women’s rights and gender equity, food security, addressing domestic violence, access to functioning roads, transportation systems. The health of a person is reliant on so many factors that are happening in a culture and in a community. Your support is helping CHILA address the many issues that continue to affect health outcomes and access to healthcare in the Chisec community.
In March of 2020, CHILA just completed what would be, unknowingly, the last annual dental and medical mission with Kindness in Action due to the pandemic. 2 weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and the border was closed and just like that, our in-person clinics ceased operations for over a year. Like all the countries in the world, COVID-19 hit the communities of poor and disenfranchised the hardest. But the CHILA team of Chisec rised to the occasion. The team immediately gathered all the reliable scientific information that was being presented and they were one of the first to organize educational videos on virus information and prevention, proper hand washing techniques, and self-care and mental health awareness during quarantine all in the Q’eqchi Maya language. They organized seamstresses to mass produce masks for the community with proper distancing and mask wearing observed. They put together and delivered PPE packs to the staff of the local Centro de Salud and delivered food parcels to those communities that were having hardships with food security. Here is what your support is provided:
~Oxygen concentrator machines
~Oxygen delivery supplies such as masks, nasal cannulas, nebulizers
~Medications packs with Tylenol, steroids, cough medicine etc.
~Vaccination education and outreach with the local healthcare system
~PPE and disinfectant supplies
~Provide high-quality primary care for the populations of rural Guatemala
~Strengthen and work with the existing community healthcare system
~Preserve Q'eqchi Maya traditions and incorporate traditional Maya herbal medicine as part of our treatment modality
~Strengthen the activities of the local Women's Groups as partners in healthcare access
~Provide all healthcare in the native Q’eqchi Maya language
~Deliver excellence in healthcare no matter the ability to pay
Our History and Our Present:
CHILA was started by Brian Smith, MD in the town of Chisec, Guatemala. Brian served as a member of the Peace Corps in the region and witnessed firsthand the lack of access to healthcare for the population in the area. Once he returned to the United States, he changed his vocation from engineering to medicine. He entered medical school and became a physician while concurrently traveling back and forth to Chisec to build and open a medical clinic. CHILA has grown with the belief that no person should die or be denied healthcare because of where you were born. After years of providing care to many people in the region, CHILA was recognized as a nonprofit organization in 2019.
Currently, CHILA funds a small group of local medical professionals in Chisec who we pay to provide ongoing and prescribed care for chronic and complex medical conditions. Dr. Smith and a contingency of volunteer medical providers from the United States travels to Chisec several times a year to hold clinics in our Chisec location as well as a variety of villages in the region. During these clinic days, we see cases of varying levels of complexity. We are able to treat common ailments during these clinic days as well as establish longer term care plans for more complex and chronic issues. We provide all these services with translators who can speak in the native Q’eqchi language.