Indigenous Caribbean Network

Health Care In Indigenous Guatemala: Book Review

Indigenous peoples around the world are at the center of many conflicts: natural resource management, intellectual property rights, sovereignty, identity, and health care to name just a few. In each country, and among each indigenous group, these conflicts differ. Adding to the complexity of each idiosyncratic conflict is the continued encroachment of non-indigenous (primarily Western) cultural practices, exacerbating specific situations for each indigenous group. The country and indigenous people of Guatemala are no exception to this mix – or emerging pluralism – of the old and the new, indigenous and non-indigenous, ancient and modern. Health Care in Maya Guatemala, the newly published book from the University of Oklahoma Press and edited by Walter Randolph Adams and John P. Hawkins highlights this contemporary dance of conflicts by specifically examining health care among the indigenous Maya peoples.

Covering a range of issues effecting the indigenous Maya peoples of Guatemala – specifically three neighboring K’iche’ Maya communities in the central west highlands – the book offers Central American specific examples of cultural, institutional, and behavioral health care perspectives. Further, the editors have made sure to include several chapters on specific aspects of the nature and treatment of various conditions, such as midwives, childbirth, development, dentistry, and depression. As such, the book is well rounded and encompassing, making it accessible to specialists, applied researchers, and interested or concerned individuals. Furthermore, because the chapters come from several years of field school programs held for advanced undergraduates, this book is an excellent text for medical anthropology courses.

Read the entire review of Health Care In Maya Guatemala: Confronting Medical Pluralism in a D... here.

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Comment by Peter N. Jones on March 22, 2009 at 10:14am
Thanks for the feedback. I agree, a page of useful links could benefit everyone. I am trying to do that with the Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources site - to make it a kind of portal of information, resources, and links. But we could also set one up here. The key is to make it findable so that people looking for information can find it. Let me know, I can also set one up on the other site if people want.
Comment by adem medina cardona on March 21, 2009 at 8:26pm
thank you for the link! I think we could use a page of useful links here that we all seem to collect along our paths, that way we can share
Comment by Peter N. Jones on March 9, 2009 at 5:25pm
Glad you found it informative. I try and do as many reviews of books on indigenous peoples as I can, most are posted on the Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources site.

Comment by adem medina cardona on March 9, 2009 at 3:09pm
thank you for your review
i hope that we have more postings such as this


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