Since the middle of March, COVID 19 has changed lives in San Antonio Palopó. The schools have closed, the market tables are empty, roads are closed to outsiders, and travel to other towns and markets is not allowed.
For the past 4 weeks, our partners Candelaria and Gregorio have worked with a coalition of community groups to purchase basic food supplies and organize food distribution. Lists of families in need are being shared with other groups to ensure there is no duplication and help gets to the most vulnerable.
This week, La Casita staff, volunteers, and scholarship students sourced, bought and distributed a bundle of food to 200 families – 25 lbs. of corn, 2 lbs of rice, sugar, spaghetti, oil, coffee, eggs, laundry soap and hand cleanser. This will help for at least a month. Each bundle costs about $22.00 CAD.
Each of these families has come to La Casita and waited patiently. Our staff and volunteers, including our young scholarship students, have ensured social distancing and hygiene rules are followed. They help package up the supplies. Most women carry these staples on their heads, hiking up the mountain side to their tiny homes.
La Casita continues to promote and provide educational activities within appropriate health and safety guidelines. Our new teacher Evelyn and her assistant Lidya have been working with very small groups or individuals. Evelyn has developed a lesson and Story time for TV, which is being broadcast on a local channel for free. As the Ancianas can no longer come to La Casita for their lunches, Petrona is cooking them a meal that is delivered by volunteers once a week, and in addition they are receiving a package of basic food supplies.
We will keep you posted with more details on the efforts to assist San Antonio through this crisis. And we are so grateful to our donors, who have allowed us to respond with speed and flexibility to the greatest needs in the village.