Maya Health Initiative
Maya Health Initiative
The mission of this initiative is to promote health and prevent illness for the Q’anjob’al Maya people in Nebraska and Q’anjob’al Maya territory in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states.
Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.
Advancement of Maya Medicine
Consistent with the declaration, we incorporate Maya medicine alongside Western medicine into all of our health programs, listed below, in Nebraska and in our homeland. We have also held events at our Maya community center for people to learn about Maya midwives, herbalism and other healing practices.
Monthly Health Promotion Initiative
Meeting once a month, this initiative is a bi-lateral learning program. Maya community members share Maya history, worldview, spirituality, culture, and medicine. In turn, the Maya Community Health Collaborative, a Creighton University School of Medicine student organization, shares with the Maya community their knowledge of physical health, mental health and healthy living based on their training in Western medicine.
Indigenous Peoples Health Fair
For the last five years, this event has brought together Creighton University medical students and faculty and members of the Maya community to provide basic health care and health screenings to indigenous peoples and educate healthcare professionals about the presence of indigenous peoples, including Maya, in urban areas.
Maya Health Project in Maya Territory
Since 2015, students from the Creighton University School of Medicine CURA Project, in collaboration with the Q’anjob’al Maya Government and Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim, have visited Maya territory annually to provide medical care to communities there. We are currently analyzing how to continue with this project in the time of COVID-19 and also working to activate two community health centers in Q’anjob’al Maya territory that currently lack health providers.
The Maya Health Assessment Study
Conducted for the first time from 2017-2019, this study is a tool to understand the health status of the Maya community in Omaha, Nebraska. The understanding it provides positions us to implement evidence-based health promotion and health intervention programs that will improve the health, access to healthcare and the general well-being of Maya people. We hope to conduct this study on a continual basis in order to keep learning about the state of health and the impact of our programs in the Maya community.