The Integrated Community Health Program, Petén, Guatemala was initiated in 1994 in Guatemala and continues the work begun by Concern America in the refugee camps in Mexico where Guatemalans sought refuge as they fled from serious repression in their country in the early 1980s during Guatemala’s civil war.
There are currently 380 HPPs, Midwives, and Environmental Health Promoters, including those receiving specialized training in women's health and dental health, working with the program and providing health care, health education, and sanitation measures to a population of approximately 180,000 people.
Each year, the community-based health care workers trained by Concern America provide (on average) 150,000 high-quality, low-cost health consults, including those in the program’s HPP-run teaching clinic. The community health workers trained and accompanied through the program, as well as the population served by their work, are mostly campesinos (“of the land”) and include representatives of several Mayan ethnic groups including Q’eqchi’.
Additionally, field volunteers work with communities on appropriate technology projects in the region which include working with a team of local community members to develop clean water systems, fuel-efficient stoves, and and environmental health education.
In addition, Concern America accompanies to the Spoonmakers of Petén, an income-generation cooperative that produces fair trade, hand-carved, wooden kitchen utensils, enabling families to earn a steady, supplemental income.