Sigue Adelante is a program aimed at confronting women’s health issues in Guatemala. Sigue Adelante began in 2008 as an educational initiative for adolescent girls. A six-week curriculum covered self-esteem, nutrition and diet, personal hygiene, as well as sexual health and behaviors.
In the summer of 2010, Sigue Adelante will focus on another major women’s health concern in Guatemala: cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths among women of reproductive age in Guatemala. Many of these deaths would be preventable with the implementation of routine screening programs. Working with a local non-profit, ALAS, our project will measure the prevalence and risk factors associated with cervical dysplasias in rural Guatemala. We plan to examine current access and barriers to screenings in a cultural context through surveys. Additionally, focus groups in Santa Rita will illustrate the main health concerns in rural Guatemala. Future directions of the project include evaluation of HPV prevalence in rural Guatemala and further work with the community of Santa Rita.