I hope that you and your family are well! I am frequently asked by supporters of Mayanza, "what's happening in Santiago?" and so I wanted to send you some updates and let you know what is happening in the community.
In the next week, the airports will be opening and the restrictions are gradually loosening throughout the country based upon the number of cases reported in each department. As you can imagine, the rate of testing is low as there is limited access to testing and people fear the stigma that accompanies a diagnosis. Although restrictions are beginning to lift, many of the artisans and other people who work within the tourist industry continue to struggle to feed their families.
We have responded to these needs in a number of ways. We have formed some new partnerships with other organizations and friends in Sanitago. I am excited to share how your generous donations have helped us respond to the crisis that has evolved from the COVID restrictions in Guatemala since March!
1. COVID Prevention Program: Mayanza partnered with the Artesanos de Puerta Abierta, a group of artisan mothers from a school that we collaborate with, Puerta Abierta, to design, create and distribute 1500 environmentally friendly reusable face masks. We also purchased 680 bars of hand soap and our health educator, Lola distributed them in the communities of Tzanchaj, Chacaya and Santiago along with education about mask use and hand washing. In addition, over $2,000 was sent to purchase masks, gloves, disinfectant and other personal protective equipment for frontline responders in Santiago. For the school community of the David LaMotte School in Tzanchaj, each family was given a month's worth of hand and body soap that is so important to prevent the spread of COVID and other infectious diseases in Santiago.
2. COVID Food Insecurity Response: We partnered with a grassroots organization called Olla Comunitaria who have provided 400 bags of food that can feed a family for a month and 730 individual meals to members of the community in need. Since May, we have worked with 30 vulnerable women and their families in the community of Tzanchaj by providing bi-weekly supplies of nutritious food, hygiene supplies and health education. Additionally, we partnered with an organization in San Lucas Tolimon called iMAP to plant a garden with nutritious food for a family and monthly food for a family of 6 which benefited over 57 people, 4 organizations and 2 local businesses in the process. Finally, we partnered with the Sparks Foundation to provide a bag of food and hygiene supplies to 186 families in two of the school communitites that we support, Panul and Chu'ul.
3. COVID Treatment Program: Mayanza partnered with Respira, a Guatemalan supported company that manufactures high flow oxygen cannulas for the support of COVID related respiratory dysfunction, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases to the Centro de Salud CAIMI clinic and Hospitalito Atitlan. These are the two health centers for the community of Santiago Atitlan.
I hope that you can see the breadth of areas that Mayanza is working within Guatemala. Your generous donations are putting food on the table for so many families and we are collaborating with a number of organizations to transition our response to a community generated, more sustainable, long term solution to food insecurity in Santiago. More to come in our next update!! If you are able, please consider a donation to help us to continue our work in Guatemala. Every donation goes directly to helping to feed the families of this community.
Stay safe and warmest regards from the team at Mayanza!
Lola distributes masks, soap and education.
Women receive education, food and hygiene supplies