Trifinio Center for Human Development

Program overview

In 2011, our center and Children’s Hospital Colorado entered into an agreement with the Guatemalan Foundation, created by the owners of AgroAmerica, to create the Trifinio Center for Human Development. Our goal is to improve the lives of the children and families of the employees working in the banana and palm oil plantations run by AgroAmerica, as well as people living in the surrounding communities.

These are impoverished communities with high rates of maternal illiteracy, food insecurity, maternal depression, child malnutrition, and child developmental delay. There is a lack of clean drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and limited access to medical care for women, mothers and children. As a result, these communities have high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity and neonatal mortality.

After ongoing strategic planning and community engagement, we created a birthing center, family medical clinic, dental clinic, pharmacy, and a community-based program for mothers and children—“Creciendo Sanos: madres y ninos” (Growing up healthy for mothers and children). With these initiatives, we aim to provide excellent patient care that meets the standards of United States medical practices in rural Guatemala.

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Are you a medical resident or fellow who is interested in a global health elective in Guatemala? Learn more about our program and how you can participate.


Nurses and auxiliary nurses are providing programming called “Creciendo Sanos: madres y ninos” (Growing up healthy for mothers and children) to enroll mothers early in their pregnancy and providing four group prenatal care visits, making newborn home visits during a baby’s first two months of life, and providing monthly group child group sessions that integrate health, development, nutrition, and hygiene education and track height and weight measurements through age 3 years.

Within a short two-year time frame the Center for Global Health and the foundation have designed, built, and fully operationalized the health care facility and Creciendo Sanos community program. A sophisticated data collection system using smart phone technology allows for rapid cycle evaluation and quality improvement interventions.

Our specific aims include:

  1. Increase safe delivery practices by providing prenatal screening and education, increasing referrals for high-risk pregnancies, decreasing birth complications and lengthen birth spacing though reproductive health programs through the maternal-neonatal segment of a program called Creciendo Sanos
  2. Decrease neonatal morbidity and mortality by identifying neonatal danger signs and increasing clinic/hospital referrals for sick babies.
  3. Decrease childhood mortality and improve early childhood growth and development outcomes through Creciendo Sanos.

The Center for Human Development decreased the cost barrier to families,which is important to families that may make only enough to put food on the table and have little left over for anything else. A visit at the clinic is less than $5 versus at least $25 at the closest hospital plus the cost of transportation and the loss of a day's wages.

Edwin Asturias, MD headshot

For years I have dreamed of building a health clinic in rural southwest Guatemala where I grew up. The Trifinio region is the poorest part of the county where more than 60 percent of children test positive for parasites because of contaminated water and poor sanitation. It is exciting to think of the possibilities we have here to improve the health of not just our community but also to create an innovative health model that can be replicated around the world.

– Edwin Asturias, MD, Director of Latin American Projects

Center for Global Health

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

CU Medicine Building

13199 East Montview Boulevard

Suite 310

Mail Stop A090

Aurora, CO 80045

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