Community Health

Discrimination, poverty and gender inequality inhibits essential, quality health services in Central America & Mexico.

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Social, economic and cultural factors in Mesoamerica act as additional barriers for marginalized communities to access public health systems. Western medical practices that dismiss ancestral traditions often result in the alienation of Indigenous peoples from formal health services, which contributes to high levels of malnutrition and high maternal and infant mortality rates. Despite servicing Indigenous populations, health care workers are rarely provided training opportunities in ancestral medicine, and Indigenous peoples have limited access to care in their own languages.

Moreover, widespread financial hardship, combined with sexism and discrimination, have led to Central America experiencing the highest HIV/AIDS rates in all of Latin America. Emotional and physical violence against women worsens the spread of HIV/AIDS, and people living with HIV/AIDS are stigmatized.

What We Do

Together with our partners, we support actions that embrace the best of local health care traditions and modern medical practices. Horizons strives to strengthen the role of civil society in pressing governments to deliver on their commitments to public health, and on HIV/AIDS issues in particular.

Horizons is committed to:

  • Raising awareness of the inherent value of ancestral medicine, and governments’ commitments to addressing HIV/AIDS issues,
  • Increasing citizen pressure on governments to improve health care services and policies for Indigenous peoples and ensure compliance related to public health,
  • Funding studies on traditional Indigenous medicine that explore the impact of HIV/AIDS on Indigenous, Afro-descendant and other marginalized communities,
  • Promoting holistic health care by incorporating both ancestral and western medical practices, and encouraging dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health practitioners,
  • Educating communities to combat discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS.


Featured Projects

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Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Transforming Indigenous Lives (MNCH)

Association for Health Promotion, Research and Education (PIES). This project is generously supported by Global Affairs Canada.
Department of Totonicapán, Guatemala
Project Duration:
Mar, 2016 – 2020

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Maternal, Newborn and Child Health – Guatemalan & Canadian Public Engagement

Association for Health Promotion, Research and Education (PIES). This project is generously supported by Global Affairs Canada.
Canada and Department of Totonicapán, Guatemala
Project Duration:
May, 2017 Apr, 2019


Migrant Worker Outreach Program

Led by Horizons in Canada
Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada
Project Duration: 
Yearly, April - November