"I think the health personnel really need to humanize themselves," Henry Wilber Sánchez Ocampo, former nurse and current student in the Midwives Project, said in Spanish. "Attention has become very technical and biomedical … After getting more into midwifery, I opened my eyes to the things that are bad and how much there was to work on in that sense. The students have to come to deeply know the different cultures and religious beliefs in our country; not just know them, but understand them and therefore respect them without making value judgments about them."
   Even though Indigenous women now have more incentive to seek professional health care during pregnancy, Indigenous women in rural areas still face obstacles when seeking health care at the time of birth. Sixty percent of Bolivia is Indigenous, and many of those people live in rural areas. Transportation to hospitals is not always available, especially not quickly enough to transport a woman ready for childbirth.

More than luck
   Delia Cañari, a mother of two in her early 20s, lives outside of Sacaba, a village closest to Cochabamba — a town to which a taxi might travel once a day. Cañari, who wears a colorful woven sling to carry her infant and a flat brimmed hat to hide the sun, is an energetic Indigenous woman who sells nuts and fruit in the market of Sacaba. She gave birth to both of her sons in her bedroom with help from her husband and motherin- law.
   "It was hurting a lot, and that's how I knew I was about to have them," Cañari said in Quechua. "I called my husband when I was feeling pain in my stomach, but he was busy in the market."
   Cañari had previously planned to have her children at home. She was lucky she had no complications during the births, but she said she knows many people who have lost their children or died in childbirth. Cañari beams with love for her two sons, as Cory hides sheepishly behind her leg and Miguel Ángel sleeps soundly on her back in the busy market, seems to justify the pain of natural childbirth and the potential danger of giving birth at home.
   Cañari said she had visited a doctor in Cochabamba during her pregnancy to ensure her baby was healthy and would have no complications during birth. She had also hoped to benefit from the government's subsidy program but couldn't collect any money because she didn't have the proper paperwork, including a birth certificate.
   In order to be happy, to live well, Cañari said all she needs is to sell enough produce in the market to help support her family. She works hard, growing everything that she sells and taking care of her two sons all the while. They go with her to the market; they are with her as she prepares her fruit and nuts to sell; they are with her when she prepares dinner, when she rests, when she sleeps.
   But 43 out of every 1,000 babies born don't survive. Students like Silva, Chura and Sánchez are working to change this.
   "When the opportunity came up," Sánchez said, "I didn't doubt for an instant to participate for the importance that the project and main goal carried: Save the life of the women and newborns of my country."