In Guatemala the second school term began in June. The government ordered that all public schools open to classroom teaching, at least part time. This, in spite of what appears to be a fairly high number of Covid cases — at least in the San Pedro area. They seemed to have escaped the pandemic earlier in the year, but we have heard from our colleague there that there are now many cases. However, nobody goes to a doctor or the hospital in their area as medical facilities are limited. There have been a number of deaths, especially of older people. There is no sign of a vaccine program in their area either.
In order to help our senior high school students in Chaquijya cope with the difficult education situation, we have sent money for them to buy 12 tablets which can be shared by the 25 students in the higher grades. This will make it easier for them to receive and complete assignments at home.
Our university students are continuing with their distance education and we even had one young woman return to class after taking last term off to help her family earn a living.
We are continuing to fund a food supplement program for those very poor families in the San Pedro area. These are the families and neighbours of our students, mostly day-labourers who have been badly hit by the lack of jobs in the community. Some are families with no male earning an income at all. We are waiting to hear more details about how the chicken project is working in Chaquijya. They had very competent leaders and good community involvement so we are expecting good results!