Ryan and I are very excited and honored to be participation in GUAMAP as supervising teachers this September 16th-21st 2013. GUAMAP is a non-profit organization that sends Spanish-speaking acupuncturists to teach and train rural health workers called “health promoters”.  GUAMAP also provides a full range of medicines, needles and treatments supplies to selected villages in northern Guatemala.


Acupuncture in rural Guatemala is carried out by rural health workers called “health promoters” who are usually educated formally through the sixth grade and then receive special training in basic medicine for their communities.  Heath promoters learned basic acupuncture concepts through training provided by the National Association of Community Health Services, (ASECSA).  ASECSA is the non-governmental organization (NGO) with which GUAMAP partners in Guatemala providing strategic support for our training courses and for monitoring of trainees.  GUAMAP is moving away from basic training and now offers specialty courses to the “health promoters”.

 As part of their presence in the community clinics, they also are looking to promote the use of local plant medicines, and re-supply acupuncture needles of various sizes.


For over 3 000 years, Traditional Chinese Practitioners have relied on medicinal herbs and acupuncture to successfully treat millions of people.  There is historical evidence of a Mayan puncture method in Central America that is similar to early Chinese acupuncture.  Training in acupuncture as preventive and curative medicine began in Guatemala during the 1970’s, was used by communities in exile during the 1980’s, in Mexican refugee camps and then resumed in Guatemala in 1990’s.  The method has been eagerly accepted by rural communities and its use is growing.


As thrilled as we are to be involved in this project, we need money to help support the printing of booklets for the “health promoters” that will be of great help for them as reference and educational material.  As well the money we obtain from donations will help buy tools like needles and ointments for treatments that we will use in the supervising clinic.  And last but not least, the donations will help with the logistics of traveling and for making this project a reality now and in the future.  Our vision is to go to Guatemala once a year to have continuation of the teachings.

To donate please click  GoFundMe

If you decide to donate please add a message saying the money goes to GUAMAP Project and that you Irene’s contact.


A lil bit about Ryan 🙂


Ryan is a Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner since 2003. He graduated from the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences in Nelson, BC at the top of his class, and received  his DTCM (diploma of Traditional Chinese Medicine).  After several years of living in China he returned to vancouver  working as a teacher and clinical supervisor, as well as working in private practice.  Ryan is also a detox specialist with Vancouver Coastal Health.    One of Ryan’s mayor influences for learning TCM and acupuncture was the idea of possibly taking the medicine to underdeveloped parts of the world.  He has had the opportunity to do this on two occacions.  In 2006 he went to Guatemala and in 2010 he went to Mumbai.   Ryan is proficient both in spanish and Mandarin Chinese in addition to his native english.  He immensly enjoys conversing with his patients and welcomes andy questions or inquiries.