As with any work, sometimes plans change and pivoting is required. The year of 2020 did exactly that for Esperanza. The onset of COVID 19 brought its wrath on the world. Like all countries, Guatemala has been hard hit. With an economy built around agriculture and manufacturing, the country nearly shut down. For much of 2020, the government limited travel between communities and resources in and out of the country came to a near halt. Roads were closed and rural communities such as Nimasac were cut off from city centers where aid might be available. Esperanza suspended several projects that were underway. New projects were undertaken to meet immediate community needs.
COVID-19 Emergency Aid Projects
Read below the videos to see more about the two relief efforts for Nimasac.
Covid-19 Relief #1
COVID Relief Project #1:
In May of 2020, the “COVID Caring for Nimasac” campaign was created through GoFundMe Charity. With a modest goal of $1,200, Esperanza hoped to provide struggling families with a few food staples to offset emergency needs due to lost income. Our goal was exceeded by nearly threefold, raising a total of $3,370. Esperanza was able to provide emergency aid to 90 families. Each family received ten pounds each of rice and beans, two bottles of cooking oil, one gallon of hand sanitizer, a smaller bottle for easier use, and eight reusable facemasks. With the support of staff, these aid packages were purchased and delivered before the start of June.
Covid-19 Relief #2
Covid-19 Relief #2
Through the support of a Cary Presbyterian Memorials and Endowments grant of $3,500, Esperanza was able to provide a second round of relief to Nimasac families in mid-September. Esperanza distributed over 4,000 pounds of food (corn, rice, beans, sugar, cereal and oil) and two washable, reusable masks to 102 families. The purchase and distribution of supplies was managed by Esperanza staff members in Guatemala. To further support the local economy, the face masks were made locally. Community coordination and distribution was managed by community members in Nimasac.
COVID Relief #3, March 2021
As the COVID pandemic rages across our world, we have continued to check in with our Guatemala staff about the status of our brothers and sisters in Nimasac.
On March 19, Martin Maldonado reported that although the economy is slowly starting to open up, there is still a substantial level of food insecurity, and additional relief would be greatly appreciated. In response, on March 22, the Esperanza Board allocated $3,000 for our third round of COVID food relief. These funds provide 104 families each with 40 pounds of beans, rice, corn, sugar and cereal, and cooking oil. On March 23, we then issued an invitation for our supporters to join with us to make our COVID food relief delivery as meaningful as possible. A gift of $30 would help us add one more family to the list. As of March 24, supporters generously responded by donating over $1050 more, allowing 150 families to receive food relief, many of them widows and the elderly. The food was distributed in early April.
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Together, we are making a difference in our world! Thank you!