Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project (GUAMAP)

A Good Idea


GUAMAP formed as a non profit organization in 1994 to assist refugees returning to Guatemala from Mexico and Honduras. With only nine doctors for every 10,000 people, health care services in Guatemala are only available to the 60 percent of the population that live in or near a city. Medical needs of people in the rural areas are largely covered by nursing aides, rural health technicians, midwives, and unsalaried community health promoters. GUAMAP's partner, the Asociacion de Servicios Comunitarios de Salud (Association of Community Health Services - ASECSA), is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that has been training health promoters to work in rural Guatemala for over 25 years. In association with ASECSA, GUAMAP trains health promoters in basic acupuncture techniques to address common acute and chronic disease conditions such as diarrhea, digestive ailments, arthritis, headaches, malaria, and gynecological conditions. GUAMAP also supplies sterile, disposable needles, herbs, and other equipment. Acupuncture is an effective, low cost remedy that fits well with traditional Maya medicine.

Goal / Mission

The goal of GUAMAP is to train rural community health workers to provide remote settlements in northern Guatemala with access to sustainable, low-cost, low-technology, effective health care through the use of acupuncture.

Results / Accomplishments

Since 1995 GUAMAP’s volunteers have trained 125 health promoters from 22 communities. GUAMAP and GUAMAP trained health promoters have recorded 5000+ treatments and are developing a method of data collection to record the outcomes.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Laurie Melrood
Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project
PO Box 85371
Tucson, AZ 85754
(520) 623-6620
Health / Alternative Medicine
Health / Access to Health Services
GUAMAP and the National Association of Community Health Services (ASECSA)
Acupuncture Today
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Tucscon, AZ
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