1962 – The Behrhorst Clinic is Founded

Dr. Behrhorst founds a vitally needed medical program in Chimaltenango for the Kaqchikel Maya, the Behrhorst Clinic and “Hospitalito.”

It will grow into a creative center for health and community development, pioneering an array of village-based programs.

It was just a matter of time before Doc parted ways with the Lutheran Church and its Antigua-based work. He was now on a trajectory of working with the underserved Kaqchikel Maya, an additional undertaking which the church was unable to fund. Doc took a major risk of finding independent funding, including selling his Kansas home and cashing in his savings and life insurance policies so that he could focus on Chimaltenango.

In Chimaltenango, once-wary people began to turn to the Gringo Doctor, and his mission there began to take shape. He rented a small building near the square to use as a clinic. The modest clinic included space for people from distant villages to spend the night.

Dig Deeper:

Click the image or text below for a deeper look.

Physician to the Mayas: The Story of Carroll Behrhorst 

by Edwin Barton, Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1970.

Narrative of Doc’s first decade in Guatemala.

Hortensia Otzoy de Cap’s memories of the early years. Voices Today. p 4.

Shifting Identities: The Transformation of Community Health Workers in Highland Guatemala. (2015)

by Jonathan Maupin, Annals of Anthropological Practice, 39(1), 73-87.

A multi-decade study of Behrhorst health promoters by medical anthropologist and grandson of Carroll Behrhorst.

Read more about Jonathan Maupin in The Behrhorst Ripples, pp 18-20.