COVID-19 Response

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

Across rural Guatemala, Covid-19 has created new health threats for some of our most vulnerable communities. Jobs and incomes have disappeared, and malnutrition, which was already at devastating levels, has continued to increase. The pandemic has overwhelmed the country’s health care system, making it even harder for people with conditions like diabetes and cancer to get the care they need. 

The number of children with acute malnutrition in Guatemala has tripled since 2019. Every 30 minutes, a child with acute malnutrition is detected in Guatemala. Prensa Libre 6/5/20

Even before the coronavirus was detected in Guatemala, Maya Health Alliance | Wuqu’ Kawoq and our supporters began mobilizing to protect our communities. 

Leveraging our core strengths, we quickly built a powerful,
comprehensive response:

We helped more than 300 health care workers return to their rural health posts.


  • We started with our own team, securing personal protective equipment (PPE) so they can continue to work safely.
  • At the request of our partners at University of San Carlos, we  purchased PPE to enable 320 medical students to return to work at remote government health centers that had been without doctors for 6 weeks. 
  • We’ve provided online training for hundreds of doctors in Guatemala on how to deal with COVID19 patients.
  • Our team was among the first in Guatemala to be fully vaccinated.


  • We created and shared some of the country’s first protocols for safety in the office and in the field.
  • We organized the COVID19-502GT WhatsApp Group  to share information and resources. The group has grown to include more than 180 members from over 100 different organizations.
  • We created our COVID-19 Resource Page to share this information more broadly.

We’re leaning into longstanding partnerships with non-profits, government, and funders to expand the reach and capacity of our coronavirus response efforts.

We’re doing everything possible to make information on the coronavirus accessible to all.


  • We’ve produced a set of 10 videos on COVID-19 in Spanish and seven Mayan languages. Audio versions are available via WhatsApp and Facebook and broadcast via radio. See them here! 
  • We’re translating in Kaqchikel for the University of San Carlos medical hotline.
  • Working with partners, we’ve created dozens of video, radio, and social media educational messages about Covid and vaccines in the Mayan languages of K’iche, Tz’utujil, Kaqchikel, Mam, Q’eqchi, Q’anjob’al and Ixil. These messages, which cover everything from how to quarantine in close quarters to vaccine safety, reach millions of people daily.


  • Using our established infrastructure for home care and telemedicine, we’ve continued to provide service to our 20,000 patients. 
  • We’re maintaining our community health clinics using screening and social distancing measures in common areas.
  • We launched Conectados GuateVida, a COVID-19 hotline for rural Guatemalans in Mayan languages. This project earned an award from the Guatemalan Secretariat of Technology and Science.

We’re staying connected with our patients using telemedicine, clinic, and in-home visits.

We are stepping up our fight against malnutrition with food deliveries and nutrition guidance.


  • We’ve provided emergency food supplies  for 1,000+ families with support from the United Way and other partners. Families receive enough to feed a family of five for a month.
  • We have kept our 60+ local staff safe and employed.
  • We’re supplying ongoing nutrition guidance and supplements for 500+ children. 

With the help of our dedicated staff and supporters, we’re committed to sustaining high quality care in rural Guatemala throughout the pandemic and beyond.