Volunteers help at colony maternity clinic in Mexico

Teresa Zacharias, Marilyn Mast and Morgan Crowson are volunteers at Clinica La Maternidad in Campeche, Mexico. — Die Mennonitsiche Post

The Clínica La Maternidad (The Maternity Clinic)  in La Nueva Trinidad Colony near Campeche, Mexico, has seen several volunteers come and go in July and August of this year.

Karissa Hiebert, from Arborg, Manitoba, served as head midwife since November 2022 until July 15. This was not Karissa’s first term at Clínica La Maternidad; she had previously served as a replacement midwife for two weeks at the end of 2018 and later as midwife for just over 3 years between 2019 and 2022. Of the 300 or more babies born at the clinic since it opened in February of 2018, Karissa attended 250 of them.

Nela Thiessen came to the clinic at the end of June of this year and returned home to Cuahtemoc on July 29, but will soon travel back to Campeche for another 2-month term. She said, “The women come here from all the colonies for pre-natal check-ups. They do not all give birth here since they live too far away. But we support other midwives in Nuevo Progresso and Chavi.”

Teresa Zacharias, from a local colony, began a term as secretary in June 2023. Also in June, Marilyn Mast, from a New Order Amish community in Wisconsin, U.S., started as a housekeeper for a 6-month term. 

Since Karissa Hiebert’s departure, Morgan Crowson arrived in mid-July to take on a short-term position as head midwife. Morgan is a trained midwife from the U.S. and is the president of New Life Global Missions charitable organization, which seeks to provide the best culturally appropriate care and maternal health education for women in traditional communities. She started two birthing clinics in Ecuador and spent time in Mennonite colonies in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, and later in Peru, working with midwives and providing midwifery services.

The clinic is large, bright and clean and provides on-site housing for staff. It has a large waiting area and several examination rooms. The clinic also sells medicines and vitamins. The midwives give prenatal exams, but a Spanish-speaking female doctor comes to the clinic every Wednesday to do ultrasounds.

The clinic is a 45-minute drive southeast of Hopelchen, Campeche, Mexico. The clinic was founded and continues to be operated by Mexican Mennonite Aid, an outreach organization of New Order Amish in the U.S. Its operations are overseen by their outreach post, Casa de Luz y Esperanza (The House of Light and Hope), situated in Hopelchen.

This article appeared in the September 8 issue of Die Mennonitische Post. Used with permission.

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