by Trina PaStarr
Eleven traditional midwives gathered excitedly at the Centro de Salud in Yaruca on Saturday to take part in a midwife conference organized by Dar a Luz Honduras in collaboration with the partner organization Un Mundo. With all their combined experience, these midwives have been practicing for over 340 years and have guided more than 6,000 babies into the world –what wisdom! The goal of this workshop was therefore not to assume (as many have) that these women have little accurate knowledge of birth, but rather to provide an opportunity for mutual collaboration, validate their skills and their practices, and proceed with cultural sensitivity, respect, and support. Donna Mitchell, Midwife from Alabama, shared her knowledge about Post-partum Hemorrhage and Infant Resuscitation, while Doulas Catia Flachsmann and me, Trina PaStarr, helped with translations, enactments of birth scenarios, and other logistical organizing. All involved expanded their knowledge as well as their appreciation for each other’s support, talents, and wonderful energy. Certificates of Participation will be rewarded to the traditional midwives to further empower and validate their work.
Special thanks to Silvia for organizing the collaboration workshop and to Alberto Menjivar for his organizing support and for driving the Toyota Pick-up into the mountains full of women, food, and educational materials – not a light job!