Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Ann Miles

Second Advisor

Annette Hamel


Within Maya populations in rural Guatemala, childbearing is considered a sacred and spiritual experience, in addition to a physical one. This country is home to some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in Latin America, along with the largest disparities in health care, primarily between the indigenous Maya and ladino women (Schooley 2009). The use of biomedical reproductive services remains surprisingly low among the Maya, while it is continually rising in the ladino populations. To increase the overall reproductive health care in these indigenous communities, attention must be given to the understanding of Maya’s beliefs, therefore enabling quality care to be provided that is culturally acceptable. To bridge this gap between economic, social, ethnic, and cultural differences between the Maya and ladinos, there must be an increase in respect from the ladino population for the Maya’s traditional practices and an integration of health care services.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

thesis power point, USE.pdf (337 kB)
Defense Presentation