The Integrative Health Project -Supports Acupuncturist’s Clinical Trial in Guatemala

The study is set to begin in two weeks pending final IRB board approval. Afterwards, the protocol could be made readily available in underserved areas where access to conventional treatment is unavailable or unaffordable. It could also be used in cases where the conventional treatment is contra-indicated or has unacceptable side effects. Joan has already given instruction in auricular acupuncture to more than 90 Guatemalan midwives, community health promoters and students. Acupuncture has been well accepted and popular in the community. Her work is supported in part by the Integrated Health Project.

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Panajachel, Guatemala

A New York based Acupuncturist is doing a Clinical Trial on Reducing Blood Glucose in Patients with Type Two Diabetes

This is the first time an auricular (ear) acupuncture protocol is being tested for this outside of China.

Joan Boccino, L.Ac. a doctoral candidate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, is trying to determine if ten small needles inserted in both ears have any effect on blood glucose levels . The “ear only” or auricular point combination she will use is derived from published literature and a survey of practitioners in the field. It is similar to another ear protocol known as the “NADA Protocol.” That combination was originally developed in the context of drug detoxification treatment in the 1970’s. However, it proved so effective that it’s use has expanded for use in general wellness and stress reduction including PTSD. In the US it is used in private practices, community settings, hospitals and by the US military.

Joan developed #BoccinoProtocol with NADA in mind as the NADA protocol has historically been taught to community members who are not “medically trained” in addition to those within the healthcare field.

Dr. BOccino knows the immediate need for pragmatic intervention in diabetes since she has been working in the Mayan Highlands since 2011. In 2012 colleagues and senior students from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine joined Professor Boccino in founding a mission that is still on-going at the Barbara Ford Center for Peace in Quiche. Last year, she brought a successful Traditional Chinese Medicine Jornada to the District of Solola.

This year, her study is being coordinated with the assistance of The Diabetes Club which will provide patients and office space for the research in Panajachel. The study’s criteria calls for patients with a history of blood glucose levels above +125 They also must have the ability to test blood glucose levels — two times a day for four consecutive weeks. Twenty participants will all be issued meters, materials and given instructions for recording their data prior, during and after the study. During the second and third weeks of the study they will receive the acupuncture treatment.

If this study is successful Joan can seek alliances with the Guatemalan government and educational institutions to discuss running a larger study. If results of that larger study are also successful, Joan can work with the appropriate agencies to develop a curricula of certification (and professional acknowledgement) for practitioners trained in this protocol.

The study is set to begin in April pending final IRB board approval. Afterwards, the protocol could be made readily available in underserved areas where access to conventional treatment is unavailable or unaffordable. It could also be used in cases where the conventional treatment is contra-indicated or has unacceptable side effects. Joan has already given instruction in auricular acupuncture to more than 90 Guatemalan midwives, community health promoters and students. Acupuncture has been well accepted and popular in the community. Her work is supported in part by the Integrated Health Project.

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Open Letter on Banking Policy and Indigenous Mayan Women

Banking is difficult for indigenous women and the more uneducated, the more prone they are to victimization in financial matters. On a larger, international scale their formal associations are prohibited from directly entering online markets without a some form of a “sponsor” — The “proxy” is usually an NGO. In hard times the middleman can be a “friend” with a US bank account or a group that specializes in charging transaction fees. But, there are no free markets open to indigenous small businesses.

Espanol sigue…

“But it is the men who are attacking the women. If there is to be a curfew, let the men stay at home.”  Golda Meir speaking about the proposed “legal” cure for a epidemic of rapes.

Banking is difficult for indigenous women and the more uneducated, the more prone they are to victimization in financial matters. Universally women’s associations and women individually have higher hurdles than men.  In Guatemala they are prohibited from directly entering online markets without a some form of a “sponsor” — The “proxy” is usually an NGO. But, in hard times the middleman can be a “friend” with a US bank account or a more organized group  — they are profiting transaction fees.  So, there are no “free markets” open to indigenous small businesses.

Some women fear banking because they don’t know how to evaluate institutional offerings. They  often believe that they need to “pay for help” in filling out the forms.  Recently, a woman was talking to a group of twenty Katchiquel speaking women, who had assembled around her in the park. The leader was warning them off of contracting with a group offering the services through COLUA/Micoope because the fees were very high. I did not stay ro see what she was offering.. 

Craftswomen crave access to world markets, but tiny enterprizes are bound by too stringent requirements.  Said differently, the regulations in place to constrain a likely (male) perpetrator unduly limit women’s participation.

There is no way around this fact..

Policy makers need to turn back the clock to the 1970’s and reexamine restrictive “language”… at least, in Guatemala. Non domestic legal documents, such as Articles of Incorporation for a cooperative, routinely, include woman’s marital status. Such documents are silent about men’s relations. If we are tied to our marital status, then, loan and financing  vetting processes should be re-calibrated to reflect men’s overwhelming position as the titled possessors of real property.  Applications need  to value such things as a woman’s possessions/tools such as loom, inventory of yarn or finished goods, occasional income produced from garden and livestock.

For forty years, organizations have come into being to assist women in offering individuals micro-credit but no one is addressing the gender bias that unfairly puts the “curfew” on women because of the men.

“Pero son los hombres que están atacando a las mujeres. Si ha de haber un toque de queda, dejar que los hombres se quedan en casa. “Golda Meir hablando acerca de la cura propuesta para una epidemia de violaciones.

La banca es difícil para las mujeres indígenas y el más ignorante, más propensos que son a la victimización en los asuntos financieros. Incluso en una escala internacional más amplia de sus asociaciones formales no pueden entrar directamente a los mercados en línea sin una cierta forma de un “patrocinador” – Esto puede ser una ONG, un “amigo” con una cuenta bancaria o un grupo que se especializa en el cobro de tarifas de transacción. Pero no hay libre mercado para las pequeñas empresas.

Muchas mujeres temen con razón la banca porque no saben cómo evaluar ofertas institucionales. A menudo creen que tienen que pagar por la ayuda en el llenado de los formularios. Recientemente, una mujer estaba hablando con un grupo de veinte mujeres que hablan katchiquel, que se habían reunido a su alrededor en el parque. El líder les estaba advirtiendo fuera de la contratación con un grupo que ofrece los servicios a través de COLUA / MICOOPE porque las tasas eran muy altas.

Artesanas anhelan el acceso a los mercados mundiales, pero en el post-9/11 mundo, Enterprizes de la mujer sometida a las exigencias demasiado estrictas. Dicho de otra manera, las regulaciones para restringir una probable agresor (masculino) limitan indebidamente la participación de las mujeres.

No hay manera de evitar este hecho ..

Los responsables políticos deben reexaminar “lenguaje” … por lo menos, en Guatemala. Documentos jurídicos internos no, como el Pacto Social por escrito en esta década, incluyen el estado civil de la mujer y no dicen nada acerca de los hombres de. El proceso de investigación de todo para las mujeres debe ser re-calibrado para reflejar la posición abrumadora de los hombres como necesitan ser cambiados a valorar las cosas tales como las posesiones / herramientas de una mujer como telar, inventario de hilo o productos terminados, los ingresos ocasionales poseedores de bienes inmuebles y aplicaciones producido a partir de jardín y la ganadería.

Durante cuarenta años, las organizaciones han llegado a ser para ayudar a las mujeres en la oferta de los individuos microcrédito pero nadie abordar el sesgo de género que pone injustamente el “toque de queda” en las mujeres debido a los hombres.

Oxlajuj B’atz’ Hosts Dining for Women Members at Lake Atitlan

Panajachel, Solola,Guatemala – 12NOV14
LUCYLynGregPat
Two women from, Dining for Women came to visit last week.

The two women were on unrelated missions and did not know each other (until later.)  Judy Duggan and Lynn McLenahan each took the time to drop in at Oxlajuj B’atz’ offices to ask questions, to visit the shop and to meet with some of the artisans.

Earlier that week, the OB office had been perusing the International Quilt Show site and wondering what it would take to make such detailed, non-traditional quilts in their communities.The Grand Prize winning quilt was $10,000USD. Teh winning quilt loked as if it were at least Queen sized.

Could Oxlajuj B’atz’ women ever find enough space to layout and assemble the jigsaw puzzle of materials?  And, more important, would there be any handicraft buyers willing to tote such an expensive and suitcase hogging item.  The understated 1st prize winner resembled a 19th century lithograph. It was as detailed as any Currier and Ives landscape. It was complete with tiny village houses and suggestions of others set on distant hills.  The elaborate design shows a sparkling river winding under bridges at sundown. And every cloud, each top hatted pedestrian and the illusion of reflections and vast space had been created with countless shreads of gossamer and gingham.

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Judy would unknowingly reignite this conversation when she showed us a photo of a seven panels displayed together as a blazing wall hanging.  The 1’x4’ banners were each from a different country that DFW supports. The elements were relatively small and because of that size such a creation might be possible. The photo was mighty inspirational.  Each of the pieces packed an authentic punch because of the local materials and carefully embroidered words. Some used home photos printed on fabrics. The ladies noted that there was even one from Guatemala showing the familiar three high pyramid and strong geometrics. Judy had won the quilt and was traveling around to the places it represented gathering material for a book about it.

See QuiltDIVAS/caption]

Judy had come to further study “Women Empowering Women” so, Lucia sat her and down and told about how OB does it one workshop at a time with the artisans. In five years, OB has trained women in self-esteem, imparted organizational and leadership skills, developed a radical sense of entrepreneurship and, best, caused these trainings to be replicated by the recipients.  The OB model first develops diagnostic criteria, then, targets a skill set based on that and, rolls out the program –to be tweaked, mastered and shared.  Ana gave Judy a synopsis of some preliminary results of a recent survey.  (They showed that although OB initiatives had doubled income among the artisans, they were still making less than half the minimum wage: $90 a month.)

Last October, Lynn had come to Guatemala with a DFW delegation and she was welcomed anew to the OB’s new headquarters on the main shopping street of Panajachel.  A Mayan mini-ceremony (complete with pine and candles) completed her review of “heritage” projects blooming at the lake.  Later, she and her husband, Greg, visited the women of Las Rosas cooperative in Patanatic.

The DFW women’s paths would cross in front of the fire at  Jenna’s B&B and they were able to review what they were experiencing.  Judy’s trip will continue to Asia and Africa.  While Lynn and Greg settle down and started installing Mayan Families’ efficient wood burning stove projects. They will certainly be back

Both visitors had been focused on meeting the Oxlajuj B’atz’ community and OB hopes that they were able to get real sense of the value of their contribution.
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Oxlajuj B’atz’ Hosts Marketing Workshop for Cooperatives

Espanol Sigue

Oxlajuj B’atz’ planned an ambitious two day marketing seminar for twenty-five Mayan artisans. The women arrived at OB headquarters prepared to work over night. That means that they came without children and could really concentrate. Lucia Chavez prepared sessions to introduce the concept of creating a “line” of goods. And, beyond that, she would instruct the managers on how to evaluate the progress of the group of offerings, how to code and how to take inventory. This is sophisticated stuff for artisans of any stripe.

To accommodate the low literacy rate of the group members, exhibits were prepared with clever symbols to indicate phases that a line goes through. At the top left of each sheet was a star, further down was a (cash) cow and to the right toward the lower left was the dog. The object was to place the craft items that each cooperative creates into one of the categories. The under-performing “dogs” were to be discontinued and the “cow” would need to be elevated to “star” status. After this induction, the artisans had the vocabulary and concepts of Seventh Avenue “Rag Traders.” They spent much of the day reviewing the goods from each group using the new rubric.

Coding is another matter. Apparently there was confusion about prior systems and many codes needed to be revised to conform to the current model. By having the women come to the center and learn the task, the ability to generate codes was advanced and OB hopes that this will sharply reduce ambiguity in the field. The class would go on to exercise this new skill in the context of selecting and ordering a group of “cows” into a cohesive line.
The women had voted, earlier in the session, to continue making original and fine goods and to position their store for the up-market shopper. Lucia told them that their choice meant they would have to carefully merchandise the line to attract those customers. The sessions broke out onto several tables. One group was stacking chocolates and coffee, others arranged the long scarves in color order and investigated different ways of folding and displaying the woven items, others evaluated stuffed toys and mini-hacky sack key chains.

The next morning they would clean out the store in order to take their first inventory. This activity was a bit of a shock. They discovered that many items that the cooperatives had delivered to be sold were missing. The sense of confusion around this loss provides sufficient incentive for them to repeat the process every six months. Lucia confirmed that there was no money for insurance for theft or loss at the store and she thought that getting a Business Interruption insurance for 700 OB members would also be prohibitive.
The women returned to their studios with awareness and a fresh focus knowing that on Monday, their store will open with an order that they affirmed and contributed.

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Oxlajuj B’atz ‘ previsto un ambicioso dos días seminario de marketing por veinticinco artesanos mayas. Las mujeres llegaron a la sede de OB preparado para trabajar durante la noche. Eso significa que ellos vinieron sin hijos y realmente podían concentrarse . Lucía Chávez había preparado dos días de sesiones para introducir el concepto de crear una “línea ” de los bienes . Y, más allá de eso, ella daría instrucciones a los administradores en la forma de evaluar los avances del grupo de ofrendas, cómo codificar y cómo hacer un inventario . Esto es algo sofisticado para los artesanos de cualquier índole .

Para dar cabida a la baja tasa de alfabetización de los miembros del grupo, exposiciones fueron preparadas con símbolos inteligentes para indicar las fases que una línea atraviesa . En la parte superior izquierda de cada hoja era una estrella , más abajo había un (efectivo) de la vaca y de la derecha hacia la esquina inferior izquierda era el perro . El objetivo era colocar los artículos de artesanía que crea cada cooperativa en una de las categorías. Los “perros” de bajo rendimiento se interrumpieran y la ” vaca ” tendría que ser elevado a la condición de “estrella” . Tras esta inducción , los artesanos tenían el vocabulario y los conceptos de la Séptima Avenida ” Rag Traders. ” Pasaron la mayor parte del día la revisión de los bienes de cada grupo utilizando la nueva rúbrica.
Codificación es otro asunto. Al parecer hubo confusión acerca de los sistemas anteriores y muchos códigos necesarios para ser revisado para ajustarse al modelo actual. Al tener las mujeres vienen al centro y aprender la tarea, la capacidad de generar códigos era avanzada y OB espera que esto reducirá notablemente, la ambigüedad en el campo. La clase se encendería ejercer esta nueva habilidad en el contexto de la selección y clasificación de un grupo de “vacas” en una línea coherente.

Las mujeres habían votado, más temprano en la sesión, de continuar la fabricación de bienes originales y finas y para posicionar su tienda para el comprador hasta el mercado . Lucia les dijo que su elección significaba que tendrían que mercancía cuidadosamente la línea para atraer a esos clientes. Las sesiones estallaron en varias mesas . Un grupo estaba apilando chocolates y café , otros organizan las bufandas largas en orden de color y se investigan las diferentes formas de plegado y la visualización de los artículos tejidos , otros evalúan los juguetes de peluche y mini- Hacky Sack llaveros.

A la mañana siguiente iban a limpiar la tienda con el fin de tomar su primer inventario . Esta actividad fue un poco de un choque . Ellos descubrieron que muchos artículos que las cooperativas habían entregado para ser vendidos faltaban . El sentido de la confusión en torno a esta pérdida proporciona suficiente incentivo para que repetir el proceso cada seis meses. Lucía confirmó que no había dinero para el seguro por robo o pérdida en la tienda y ella pensó que conseguir una interrupción del negocio para los miembros OB también sería prohibitivo.

Las mujeres volvieron a sus estudios con la conciencia y un enfoque fresco a sabiendas de que el lunes , su tienda se abrirá con un orden que afirmaban y contribuyeron .