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Critical Support Continues Under Curfew


As of Monday June 1 cases of Covid-19 in Guatemala stand at 5,087 with 108 deaths. Due to early preventative measures, cases, thus far, are not in numbers seen in other countries but an exponential rise would be catastrophic for towns such as Jocotenango. The economic situation and medical infrastructure in the country is hugely concerning. There are reports from hospital staff and patients of mishandling of tests, lack of sanitation and poor discharge procedures. Economically, income opportunities for our families, such as working at the market or selling items to tourists, have completely disappeared. A governmental family benefit payment is in progress, which would give £100 per family for three months. Despite their need, it is unlikely that these funds will reach many of our families.

The ‘state of calamity’ legislation has been extended until July 5. Unlike some other countries, the vulnerability of the population and weak infrastructure raises the stakes even higher for our families. We continue to hope that the government implements preventative measures considering all Guatemalans, irrespective of their economic situation. And so we step up once more. Our mantra is advocate, prevent, and prepare and our Hope Hero staff rise to the challenge every time. We are pulling out all of the stops, with our staff working cautiously and tirelessly on the complex logistical puzzle of reaching our 385 families with food, homework, medicine, and sponsor letters.

On Friday 29 May our fourth hamper distribution reached 377 families in 5.5 hours. Wow. A huge, complex effort with all of our staff rising to the challenge.  We also distributed medicines and hygiene packs to identified groups in need of support. The remaining bags were distributed on Monday, due to the weekend lockdown.

We recently called every one of our students that we could reach and learned that many parents can no longer afford internet data, so in addition to the food and preventative supplies, all School of Hope students received two weeks of printed homework and five weeks of reading. Sponsor letters were also happily received. We will continue to publish homework and videos from teachers in Facebook and Whatsapp. Parents of junior high school students turned in their last two months of homework when they picked up their hampers. We are delighted and humbled that they are continuing to study in such precarious circumstances.

Hamper Contents

- 3 lbs of whole beans
- 2 lbs of corn flour
- 2 liters of powdered juice mix
- 2 lbs of powdered milk
- 1 bag of cereal
- 1 lb of sugar
- 2 lbs. of oatmeal
- 1 lb of incaparina
- 3 lbs of rice
-1 liter of oil
- 3 lbs of pasta
- 2 packages of tomato sauce
- 1 dozen eggs
- 5 instant soups
- Disinfectant
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer