Our Story

Dr. Erica McElroy is an Emergency Medicine physician who visited the town of San Juan La Laguna with her church group. She realized that there was a strong need for access to quality and culturally sensitive prenatal care and birthing services and felt called to make a difference in the local community. She found out about a clinic model in Northwest Guatemala called Casa Materna, developed by the non-profit organization Curamericas, which was the ideal solution for rural communities like San Juan and surrounding towns. The clinic utilizes a local staff of midwives and nurses to attend normal births and recognize danger signs that require a visit to the hospital. Dr. Erica began working with San Juan locals to develop the project and soon teamed up with Dr. Jessica Oliveira, the Director of Salvando Madres, a nearby non-profit working to give formal training to traditional Mayan midwives. Dr. Jessica had previously been a Physician Assistant working in obstetrics and gynecology and could bring the subject matter expertise and experience working in this cultural context. In November 2016, the casa opened its doors to mothers and midwives in San Juan La Laguna and surrounding towns.

Founders Dr. Erica and Dr. Jessica
Founders Dr. Erica and Dr. Jessica
Working with the local government to establish the Casa
Working with the local government to establish the Casa
Local staff plant medicinal herbs in the Casa's new garden
Local staff plant medicinal herbs in the Casa's new garden