Since its inception in 2008, Manos Abiertas has taken in interns from all over the world. We keep developing our program so interns have a satisfying and enriching experience.
We accept interns, usually midwives or midwifery students as well as students of related professions, nurses and students of Public Health programs for example. Our interns have the opportunity to participate in all of our clinical practice. We practice the American model of professional midwifery adapted to the local circumstances, focusing on highly personalized, respectful and empowering care.
Manos Abiertas Founder, Hannah Freiwald, graduated from Materidad Luz (MLL) in El Paso, Texas in 1994 and follows the philosophy of MLL. We are working to become an official clinical site for midwifery schools in the US, but so far we have been recognized as such by each school individually.
We prefer that our interns have already completed or at least started a midwifery program.
Doulas are very welcome, also professional alternative healing therapists and nurses/nursing students.
At least basic Spanish language skills are a requirement.
We are activists in Sexual and Reproductive Health with a feminist approach (it would be nice if the intern shared our approach).
We are looking for highly motivated, flexible and happy individuals.
Once here, you have a conversation with the director about your expectations and ours, so that you will get the most out of your stay. The director is your direct contact for any questions, concerns or approval for time off.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON GUATEMALA
All year round we have pleasant early summer weather. It rains between May and October. Bring light clothing, a jacket, a sweater and a few pairs of light pants.
Security is a problem here, as it is in the rest of the world. Do not be careless, do not walk alone in the dark and avoid unsafe areas (mostly in Guatemala City).
In general, no vaccines are needed. It is very unlikely to contract a tropical disease in the climate of Antigua Guatemala. Traveler's diarrhea is very common and unfortunately there is no treatment.
Manos Abiertas is located three kilometers outside of Antigua Guatemala. It is a quiet rural community. We are on one of the two main streets and during the day buses to Antigua go by every five minutes. The local market is around the corner.
We have been asked about the legal status of our interns here and unfortunately there is no legal status for them. Everything an intern does falls under the responsibility of the principal. We will evaluate your level of experience and choose your tasks according to your ability.
Our interns are available twenty four hours a day. You will be observing consultations and will be asked to help with routine tasks like taking weight, blood pressure and histories. The more you know, the more you will be able to do. That includes delivering babies under supervision, when you feel ready and we trust that you have the necessary knowledge. We ask that during your stay you propose a project that will benefit the clinic - something that interests you specifically and you want to share. Possible examples are: drafting a proposal, a decoration for the clinic or an educational project. You can also choose to work on various projects already started. We ask you to submit a proposal to the principal with enough time to complete your project by the end of your stay. In addition to the project, we ask you to add two points to the interns' manual for the benefit of future interns and also to fill in a satisfaction survey at the end of your stay.
Interns at Manos Abiertas live in a shared room with access to a shared bathroom and kitchen. Accommodation is included in the cost of the stay. Both clinics have wireless internet. If you do not choose to bring your own computer, you have access to a computer with Internet at Manos Abiertas after office hours. There is plenty to do in Antigua at your leisure: shops, restaurants, bars (carefully!), Salsa classes, cooking schools, art galleries, cultural events, etc. You can ride horses (talk to the director), climb volcanoes, visit coffee farms, go to the sea, see Mayan ruins.... The list is long.
If you need to improve your Spanish, there are many language schools in Antigua, or we can arrange for a teacher to come to the clinic if you prefer.
Time to travel must be arranged in advance with the director. Ideally, you finish your stay with us and travel later.
COMMITMENT AND COSTS
Once you have decided you want to spend time with us, you need to confirm your stay with the principal and make a full payment to reserve your place. The minimum stay is of 6 weeks. We receive many requests, so please try to arrange your stay in advance. Unfortunately we can give no returns on your money if you change your mind. We ask for your payment to secure your dates. We charge US$250 per week for your stay. It includes a room at Manos Abiertas and kitchen and internet access.