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Field Team Evaluates Women’s Work Exposures and Kidney Health in Guatemala

Building capacity for local researchers

minute read

Written by Lyndsay Krisher on April 12, 2024

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) are in the middle of the first year of data collection for a study with female agricultural workers in rural Guatemala.

Building on Jaime Butler-Dawson’s 3-year study with women workers and community members, the current grant entails a 5-year study examining the effects of heat, air pollution, and kidney toxins on the health of women working in the sugarcane industry in Guatemala. This interdisciplinary project will address the epidemic of chronic kidney disease occurring internationally, especially in low- and middle-income countries across the globe, and is among the first to focus on women in the region.

This study is a collaboration with Colorado State University and Pantaleon, one of the largest agribusinesses in Latin America. CHWE has partnered with Pantaleon since 2016 on projects evaluating and addressing the health, safety and well-being of the sugarcane company’s 18,000+ employees.

Our work prioritizes building local capacity to conduct research in the communities where we operate. Our interdisciplinary, multicultural field team is a mix of faculty and students from the U.S. who work alongside local staff and trainees from Guatemala. This benefits the research while also providing opportunities for team members to collaborate and problem-solve with individuals from different backgrounds and lived experiences, enriching the learning process for everyone.

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