Welcome to IFMSA Guatemala, located in Central America, the capital of the mayan empire, a multicultural country that you will definitely love.
Guatemala officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east,H onduras to the east and El Salvador to the southeast. With an estimated population of around 15.8 million, it is the most populous state in Central America. A representative democracy, Guatemala's capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.
The territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Mayan civilization, which extended acrossMesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved in 1841.
From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced chronic instability and civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms. A U.S.-backed military coup in 1954 ended the revolution and installed a dictatorship.
From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the U.S.-backed government and leftistrebels, which included massacres of the Mayan population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, crime, drug trade, and instability.
Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems, which includes a large number of endemic species, contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot. The country is also known for its rich and distinct culture, which is characterized by a fusion of Spanish and Indigenous influences.
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Poverty and inequality are some of the structural problems Guatemala faces. Inequality – not only of income, but also of unequal access to health care, education and technology, among other things – accounts for the discrepancy in the level of development reported for different segments of the population. Poverty affects more than half the population, but is mainly concentrated in rural communities. Social violence and insecurity, combined with high levels of conflict and the polarization of Guatemalan society, are creating additional obstacles to the country’s development. Alongside growing social challenges related to mining and the exploitation of natural resources, respect for human rights and the exclusion of indigenous populations, these problems impede efforts to draw up a national development strategy. At the same time, they put further pressure on the health-care system which has to cope with the consequences of violence and conflict (it has been estimated that crime and violence cost the country 7% of its GDP in 2012). The monitoring of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicates that in spite of the efforts made, Guatemala still needs to address certain challenges before it can meet the targets for poverty, chronic undernutrition, maternal mortality, HIV prevention, and environmental protection. Total expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP has risen in the last 10 years, but the health-care system continues to rely on private expenditure, primarily out-of-pocket spending. This means that Guatemala has the highest level of private expenditure as a proportion of total health expenditure of any Latin American country. The Guatemalan health system consists of a public and a private sector. The former includes the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Guatemalan Social Security Institute, the Military Health Service, and other government bodies that provide health services. The latter includes various for-profit and non-profit providers as well as traditional local providers. All these coexist within a compartmentalized and fragmented system.
In Guatemala we have access to perform continuous practice in most if not all health care centers in the country, from referral hospitals to health posts in communities. These facilities allow us to establish a strong contact with patients and the community, giving students a broad level of understanding of the diverse needs of the population. Guatemala seeks to awaken the interest and contact with the patient, if you like the contact with people this is the right place, and due to the needs of our health system, our medical students are of tremendous quality.
Guatemala City is a small city, so many activities to do or needs for the population are in relative proximity. The population differ on the means of transport , car use is recommended for safety, convenience and time saving. The main issue regarding transportation is traffic, therefore it is usefult to know at which times you can move around without getting stuck in the middle of it.
Within Central America the citizens of each country are affectionately known by a nickname of which they are proud, but which is sometimes used disparagingly by others, much like the term "Yankee." The term "Chapín" (plural, "Chapines"), the origin of which is unknown, denotes anyone from Guatemala. When traveling outside of Guatemala, all its citizens define themselves as Guatemalans and/or Chapines. While at home, however, there is little sense that they share a common culture. The most important split is between Ladinos and Indians/mayans. Garifuna are hardly known away from the Atlantic coast and, like most Indians, identify themselves in terms of their own language and culture. Guatemala's population is friendly, likes to help , to party and especially to learn about foreign cultures . If you get lost in the city do not hesitate to ask for help they wull provide you.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION