This thesis evaluates the programs, activities, and relationships of Enfoque Ixcan, a non-profit eye care project providing services to a rural area of Guatemala.
I conducted ethnographic interviews with key stakeholders of the organization and carried out participant observation in the Ixcan region of Guatemala in February 2006. The research focused on gaining an overall understanding of the structure and function of the organization. The objective of this study was to determine avenues to build a stronger and more sustainable eye care program through the evaluation of the organization.
Three themes emerged from the research: 1) obstacles of geography, 2) need for education and 3) the effects of transition on the Ixcan and Enfoque Ixcan. Recommendations were made to the organization in conclusion of this research and included such suggestions as: 1) increase communication with the current health facilitator and work to hire a part-time eye health promoter in order to increase care and lessen the demands placed on the health facilitator, 2) identify and build “social capital” resources to increase organizational learning, 3) continue to clarify information in writing in order to overcome misunderstandings that have occurred in the past, 4) build financial stability as a means of creating a stronger and more sustainable organization.