Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Our Response to COVID-19
As the threat of the COVID-19 has approached Guatemala in the past weeks, we’ve been vigilantly monitoring the situation and preparing for how to best serve our communities with vital programming, while assuring that Mayan Families is diligently working to protect the health and safety of communities that carry many extra risk factors due to malnutrition and a severely under-resourced medical system.
Last week, Guatemala had its first confirmed cases. In recent days, the Guatemalan government has taken swift, firm, and necessary actions to limit the spread of the virus, which is so important in a country where the vulnerability of the population, especially in the Mayan communities where we work, is so high.
As an organization, we are committed to keeping the families and communities that we work with as safe as possible, and thus must diligently adhere to the policies set forth by the Guatemalan government in the past few days.
The government has closed borders, schools, and offices, and has highly restricted transport within the country until at least March 31. This means that until further notice, we have no choice but to express caution and follow these precedents by adapting and suspending our programs.
During this time, we will be actively working from home, with a focus on developing alternative ways to work and serve our communities under these new circumstances. This could include activities like supporting families directly through money transfers instead of delivering food baskets, or by providing supplies directly to local hospitals and firefighters, a step we have already taken.
We are also working harder than ever to look to the future and strategize alongside the communities, to together face the long-term systemic impacts of this difficult situation. The need for education, malnutrition support, and economic development here in Guatemala is now more pronounced than ever, as the economic and nutritional impacts of this pandemic will be devastating for the families and communities we serve.For our friends around the world, we hope that you are safe and healthy, and we are incredibly thankful for your support during these difficult times. To contribute to Mayan Families and support the very necessary work we are doing and will continue to do, we ask you to donate here.