What Is CONPassion?
Vida Para Todos Guatemala’s newest outreach service is correctly named “CONPassion” or, Caring for Our Neighbors with passion.
CONpassion is a project that was placed in our hearts as COVID 19 continues to devastate affected families in Guatemala. With this project we are committing to the families that we will sponsor to fully supply their nutrition needs for a minimum of 2 months. Food Donations will de delivered on a weekly basis to ensure families receive fresh and healthy food.
This new service is based on the model of sponsorship programs, such as scholarships or sponsor a child. But with CONPassion, the sponsorship is for a family who is in desperate need of daily food for survival. Guatemala has been, and still is, being hit very hard by the COVID-19 Virus. For many the situation is truly and sadly desperate.
The latest saying in Guatemala is; “If the virus doesn’t kill us then starvation will.” Families are hanging white flags made of different kinds of material outside of their homes indicating a need for food within. Others are standing alongside of the roads with these white flags signifying they are near to starvation. This is a situation that we at Vida Para Todos Guatemala can, and will, do something to relieve.
How Bad Is It?
Who Has Been Affected?
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected food security for hundreds of thousands of Guatemala’s most vulnerable people. Right now, 1.2 million people are currently in need of emergency food aid – an increase of 570,000 from the beginning of the year – as a result of the loss of livelihoods related to the pandemic. More than 15,000 cases of acute malnutrition among children were reported at the end of May 2020, exceeding the total number of cases reported for all of 2019.
What’s To Come?
As the COVID-19 pandemic gets worse in Guatemala, people are experiencing a further loss of income, combined with a possible health system collapse, which will lead to a further increase in acute malnutrition and lives at risk from lack of medical care.
While infection rates place Brazil and Peru as the new epicenters of the pandemic in Latin America, the impact may be even greater in countries like Guatemala, which are characterized by low public investment, lack of adequate health infrastructure, and large gaps in access to basic systems, including health care.
“More than half of Guatemalan households are having difficulty accessing markets and four out of ten families are using coping strategies that leave them worse off, such as depleting their savings or selling some of their assets,” says Angela Naletilic, Deputy Director for Action Against Hunger in Central America.
In addition, many families are facing a decline in household income as remittances from abroad to Guatemala decline. This is compounded by the loss of approximately 500,000 jobs in the country due to the impact of the pandemic and as well as containment measures. Guatemala is part of a region that could be home to 29 million more people living in poverty by the end of the pandemic.
According to our Project Manager in Guatemala City, and since the date of the referenced source of this information, the situation had worsened and shows no signs of improving any time soon.
CONPassion Family Stories
August 2, 2020
The Family Arredondo:
They are a family of nine members. There are 3 children; two sisters are single mothers with two children each.
The 65-year-old father suffers from diabetes but loves God above all things and is a very exemplary man.
Before the pandemic, he worked as an automobile mechanic, but now he can not work and his situation has become complicated due to the lack of medication to control his diabetes.
The mother suffers from chronic kidney failure and now, unfortunately, her health situation has also worsened and she is retaining water in her left lung, making it very difficult for her to breathe.
Before, the older sisters could work to support their children and the parents, but now, because of the coronavirus, it has become very difficult for them and there is no way to find work. What little they do earn is used in medicine and income.
August 2, 2020
The Family Quilo Sazo:
Before Covid-19 three members of the Quilo Sazo family had jobs and managed to make around $745 a month altogether, now only two of them have been able to keep working. One is a nurse for a public institution, but being someone at high risk, her employers suspended her from her job. A few months later she was called back to work. Even so, they still need around $100 to be able to meet their monthly budget.
The older couple were greatly affected due to the lockdown. The father lost his job completely, while the elderly mother is still trying to figure out how to keep working selling food to workers as businesses were shut down.
Three of the four family members suffer from pre-existing health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, varicose veins, gastritis, and other stomach problems.
August 3, 2020
Familiy Martinez Escalante:
Before Covid-19, four family members had jobs, now only two have been able to continue working thereby reducing their income by a large percentage. One of the members who managed to keep his job had to accept a reduction of his salary to be able to have a job at all, while the other, seeing the shortage of clients due to time restrictions his salary was also reduced considerably.
The monthly budget needed for this family is around $400. Due to the quarantine, they only mange to make around $275 or so. For this reason, they have had days were they only have enough food to eat very small meals once or twice a day.
There are no pre-existing health problems in this family, only one senior member. The kids have all been at home since schools are closed.
August 5, 2020
Meet the Escobar family, they are part of our CONpassion COVID-19 Project.
The Escobar family has three members, two adults and a minor. Before Covid-19, her job was to sell towels and hats on the streets of Guatemala. She has never been able to achieve a stable financial income since their only source of income is whatever she sells daily.
During the quarantine and the lockdown their monetary income has fallen immensely since the only person who brought income is unable to work at the moment.
Members of this family suffer from pre-existing health problems including down syndrome. The minor has been at home because the schools are closed.
August 5, 2020
The Ixpache Estrada family is formed by the mother and her two daughters.
Before Covid-19 she had a job with a stable income making around $450 a month. This amount was sufficinet to meet thier expenses.
During quarantine she lost her job, and being a single mom, she was in need of finding different solutions to pay rent on their house and to buy food for her and her two children.
For a while the girls grandparents could help them financially. This only lasted a few weeks since they also found it difficult to meet their needs. She then found a job selling chicken on tthe streets of Guatemala City. Needing minimum $ 400 to live, now only manage to make around $ 205 a month.
No pre-existing health issues, and babes have been home due to school closure.