The Last Partera is a documentary film in production about women empowering women in the Turrialba Valley of Costa Rica.
In the rural Costa Rican village of Tres Equis, Doña Miriam Elizondo has delivered more than 2,000 babies. At 95 years old, she is the last living partera (traditional midwife) in the Turrialba Valley.
As Doña Miriam approaches 100 years old, her ability to provide care to the region’s expectant mothers is limited. Without a partera to assist them through pregnancy, many women in the Turrialba Valley are left with no option but the public hospital, where they receive minimal care and are often denied choice in the way they experience childbirth.
Yet, like the miracle of birth, hope prevails. The Turrialban women have been organizing to improve access to quality healthcare. Aided by American nurse-midwife Rebecca Turecky, they have opened a women’s center to promote reproductive and maternal health. A new generation of Costa Rican women is now fighting to improve maternity care and humanize childbirth.
Research from around the world confirms the benefits of midwifery, demonstrating that educating and empowering women to choose how they give birth should be a top priority for advocates of women’s health. Through the stories of Costa Rican mothers and midwives, The Last Partera will make an original contribution to the continued fight for women’s reproductive rights.