Still trying to blend Q’eqchi traditions with Western Medicine and having fun doing it.

We’ve got a clinic now and are finally getting to use it! On this trip (October 6-11th), an attending physician from the University of New Mexico will be joining us, in addition to the usual CHILA members: Will (basically built the clinic with his bare hands) and Amber (his wife, also built the clinic and is an OB-GYN resident), Scott (founding member of CHILA and returned Peace Corps volunteer – and can eat a spoonful of ground red chile powder as a party-trick). Megan, the country director from IAHA (Inter-American Health Alliance ( is also joining this trip to help assess what additional steps are needed to move things towards the Primeros-Pasos model (




Ricardo, the Q’eqchi Mayan medicine man, will be seeing patients while we’re there, just as he has for the past 7 years.

Since we have an attending physician from UNM who has agreed to come down, this trip will act as an official educational rotation for resident physicians from the US. I’ll be meeting with representatives from the ministry of health, physicians from Coban, and hospital administrators from nearby cities to initiate collaborations to function within the existing healthcare system.

We are looking forward to seeing patients and meeting with the women’s group!! They are always so much fun.

Brian Smith, M.D.

Resident Physician at UNM Hospital


Chila Inc.