In this difficult time of COVID lock-down, the La Casita team of scholarship students and community volunteers continues the work of getting food to 200 needy families.
Because of the government’s lock-down on transportation and people’s lack of mobility under strict curfews, food security – access to basic food staples – is a huge problem. While La Casita projects continue to adjust to very difficult conditions, we’ve also been distributing food to the poorest families of San Antonio Palopó.
Once a month the families come to La Casita to receive corn, beans, protein powder, milk, eggs, rice and hygiene kits. They are also given information on nutrition.
This month, La Casita staff provided some basic information about vegetable gardening and the use of vegetables in cooking, as well as offered some vegetable seeds and fertilizer, so that small gardens can be grown and used to enrich their diets. They haven’t had vegetable gardens due to the topography but now we are encouraging them to try planting in recycled containers or to try even in a tiny bit of ground.
The older scholarship students continue to work on their studies with Evelyn at La Casita and on-line. She is also offering a StoryBook time with learning aids for younger children on a local TV Show.
Wearing masks and social distancing has been a slow learning process but it seems that awareness is improving. The scholarship students are developing a little side industry sewing face masks, giving them to the Ancianas, and selling them to the local villagers.
We are hoping to ship some to Vancouver Island to encourage their efforts.
The avocado and mushroom crops from La Casita garden have been quite successful and are being distributed to the Ancianas and volunteers.
The Ancianas are so relieved that their twice weekly lunches are being brought to them now that they can’t go to the Casita.
In May, Guatemala reported 7,055 cases of COVID 19 and 252 deaths. The nation is largely made up of rural communities with very little income and very few testing sites so we know there must be many more cases and deaths. The pandemic is straining health care systems and compounding the hardships of the poorest people. While there are no identified cases in San Antonio Palopó yet, other villages around Lago Atitlan have been hit hard. In Guatemala, white flags are being raised to indicate hunger – sadly it may be that this country faces two health emergencies – hunger and COVID 19.
It costs about $22.00 CAD per family for the Casita Group to distribute basic food staples for one month to the poorest families. Food security is a growing issue and will most likely get worse in the coming months as COVID 19 moves through the villages. A donation of any amount towards the distribution of food will be gratefully received.
Your generosity means so much to these people.