As the whole world deals with COVID 19 pandemic, each place adapts according to its own realities. The first cases in Guatemala appeared in mid March, the national government quickly established measures like closing schools, prohibiting public bus transportation, shutting the borders, limiting businesses and shops, establishing a curfew. To ensure the safety and well being of Pueblo a Pueblo staff and the people we serve, we postponed all face-to-face meetings and trainings and started working remotely. Since the schools shifted to remote classes, the school libraries remain closed.
All these measures have helped reduce the spread of cases, but have had great impact in daily life and economy. This has had a dramatic impact on the communities we serve, including the ones that have participated in Pathways to Literacy project, leading to widespread food insecurity as most people live day-to-day, are in the informal economy, and rely directly and indirectly on tourism.
Pueblo a Pueblo analyzed what the short and long term impacts to the communities we work with and we determined the most immediate are increased food insecurity, and loss of family incomes. These will cause even more impact long term on education, health and malnutrition. To reduce immediate food insecurity we set up donation drives, with help of some matching grants, to collect funds to distribute food baskets to prioritized families we serve. This includes members from the School Library Support Group in Patzilín Abaj.
In the medium and long term we've started adapting our projects to the changing needs of the communities we work with so that our actions lead to more positive impact. As we continue to adapt, we will provide food baskets to people in the communities we serve.