I sincerely hope this update finds you well, and in good health. Today, I have a brief update to share with you about our work in Mexico as well as our operational pause in light of COVID-19.
With respect to the global pandemic, our top priority is and will continue to be the health, safety, and well-being of our staff, volunteers and the communities we serve. For this reason, effective March 12th, All Hands and Hearts temporarily suspended all operations, withdrawing over 400 staff and volunteers from seven program locations in the US and around the world in 72 hours. After careful consideration, our leadership team has now determined that it is unlikely we will be able to restart our volunteer-driven operations before September 2020. However, our commitments to beneficiary communities remain resolute. As of September 1, we expect to begin reopening programs on a case-by-case basis, based on local government guidelines and the advice of medical experts.
Prior to our operational pause, our assessment team was working to identify a community in Mexico that needed some help repairing an earthquake damaged school. They found not one, but two, both of which are located in the Oaxaca region. Once it is deemed safe to engage our staff and volunteers in the field, our focus will be on repairing Escuela Secundaria Paulo Freire and Escuela Primaria Insurgente Vicente Guerrero. Our work will include demolition, rebuilding and retrofitting, WaSH rebuilding, and landscaping. We remain fully committed to starting this program as soon as possible so we can provide more children with a safe place to learn and grow. We hope to have our teams back in Oaxaca by the end of the year!
I look forward to updating you again soon. Thank you for your support!