Changing the Tide in the Region

When 19-year-old Adrianna became pregnant, she didn’t understand what had happened. “My boyfriend said he was taking care of himself,” she explains. Adrianna, who lives in the Victor Gonzales squatter settlement in El Callao, Peru, with her 11-month-old son and five other relatives, hadn’t received any sexuality education. She knew what a condom was, but not how to use it. “I would have liked the school to teach girls about sexuality, how to protect ourselves, avoid infections, and avoid surprises later,” she says.


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A Regional Fight for Comprehensive Sexuality Education

In August 2008, at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, health and education ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean signed a historic agreement—the Ministerial Declaration, “Preventing through Education”—to dramatically increase young people’s access to comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services by 2015.


Related:
¿Qué Pasó Con Lo Firmado?: I Demand My Sexuality Education

Communicating Contraception

Manon Parry’s engrossing book, Broadcasting Birth Control: Mass Media and Family Planning, takes readers through the arguments early sexual and reproductive health advocates had


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Carmen Barroso to Receive Population Institute’s Global Media Award

Carmen Barroso and Michael Brune of the Sierra Club will receive the Population Institute’s Global Media Award for Best Opinion Piece for “Women at the Center of a Sustainable World.” Their blog, published by The Huffington Post on World Population Day, brings together two important constituencies in support of family planning and gender equality: environmentalists and women’s rights


Related:
Sex and Sustainability Make Good Bedfellows

Youth Take Action in Ecuador

We are an agile and sophisticated network of advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights that works in nearly every country throughout the Americas. IPPF/WHR works side-by-side with individuals and organizations to strengthen their advocacy skills and develop robust civil society coalitions. We invest in youth leaders by building their capacity to shape the policies that affect their lives and to hold their governments accountable. Together, our network works to ensure that policies and programs meet the real-life needs of local communities.


Related:
The Fight Against Femicide in Ecuador: An Interview with Tatiana Ortiz

A Day in the Life of a Mobile Health Unit

The Mobile Health Unit team consists of a nurse, doctor, educator, and driver who work three weeks straight, visiting a different community each day. In Zudáñez, Bolivia, the team packs a vehicle with a stretcher, an oxygen tank, intravenous kits, a ready supply of contraception, and dozens of medications for common sicknesses. Then they set out for remote communities like Rodeo Grande. The journey is only 160 miles, which would take approximately four hours, but given the conditions of the roads, the journey takes about eight hours. This is what happens once they arrive:


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Medicine on the Move in Bolivia

Medicine on the Move in Bolivia

In a region characterized by high rates of adolescent pregnancy and great income inequality, our services—which include contraception, gynecological consultations, and cervical cancer screenings and prevention—are more essential than ever. Our Mobile Health Unit initiative travel through remote countryside and traverse on impassable roads to bring health care to rural and poor communities in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.


Related:
Bolivian Youth Turn Their Needs into Reality

The Caribbean Misses the Mark on Gender-based Violence

We’ve reached the end of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a time set aside to internationally recognize the atrocities committed against women and girls and recommit to putting a stop to them. Despite the campaign, Caribbean women and girls were brutally assaulted and killed during those sixteen days. While families are heartsick and mourning, the public overlooks critical factors in their debates. In many ways, we have missed the mark—again.


Related:
An Open Letter to Caribbean Men on Gender-based Violence

Community Health Promoters in Mexico

During a trip to my hometown of Zacatecas, Mexico, I spoke with volunteer health promoters at Mexfam who are making critical changes in their communities. Many of the areas where the health promoters live are plagued by high rates of poverty due to the lack of job opportunities and unpredictable droughts that disrupt the harvest.


Related:
My Heart, My Home, My Work

Face to Face in the Metro

This month, Guttmacher Institute released an in-depth study on the relationship between unintended pregnancy and abortion rates in Mexico. Five years ago, abortion became legal in Mexico City, and our local partner, Mexfam, has played a critical role in providing high-quality abortion services.


Related:
Mexfam Thrives Despite Threats to Safe Abortion in Mexico
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