COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Bolivia

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Bolivia

Last Updated: 07/09/2020

COVID-19 cases are rapidly rising in Bolivia, more than tripling since the country began reopening economic activities in early June. Bolivia’s health ministry estimated that the peak of infections would hit between August and September. The government has announced an extension of national quarantine measures through July 31. Social distancing and the use of masks in public places are required, and curfews are in place from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Classes and other public events remain suspended. All borders remain closed and international flights are suspended.

Group activities at all Compassion child development centers remain on hold. Under the updated government regulations, delivery of food is permitted from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, so partner churches are working to provide food, disease prevention materials and hygiene supplies to beneficiaries and their families. Since the crisis began, they have delivered 166,027 food packs and 52,035 hygiene kits to vulnerable children and families. They are also checking in with families via phone to provide spiritual and emotional support. Compassion Bolivia has deployed teams of physicians and psychologists to support our frontline church partners, and recently conducted a child protection video class that more than 81,000 children and their families participated in.

A family stands with food supplies

megaphone IconA Message From Compassion Bolivia’s National Director

Hear from Mario Vasquez, National Director of Compassion Bolivia, as he shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in Bolivia.

Recorded: 05/31/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Bolivia?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Bolivia, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in Bolivia are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are working to create virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams. They continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 166,027 food packs and 52,035 hygiene kits to children and their families!

A young man sits on a chair outside smiling

child reading IconStory From the Field

Humberto Flores, pastor at The Victory Church, a partner church with Compassion in Bolivia, was desperately trying to provide registered children and their families with food. After seeking approval from the local government for days, he finally received permission.

One of the first homes he visited was that of 17-year-old Jose and his grandmother, Maria. When Pastor Flores entered the home, he found Jose lying in his bed, writhing in pain. Immediately, he took Jose to the hospital.

"At that moment, one doesn't think,” says Pastor Flores. “One has to act and not be negligent. That's why we decided to take Jose urgently to the hospital, where he received emergency surgery for a digestive tract issue. The doctor told us one more day and he may have died.”

In the end, Jose and his family got much more than a food basket — they got a God-ordained visit at just the right time. Compassion is currently helping the family pay for Jose’s medical bills as he continues to recover from his surgery.

“If the pastor hadn't arrived, I would have gotten very bad,” says Jose. “I can't imagine how it would have ended. I'm thankful to the pastor; he was like sent from heaven, by God."

How can I pray for Bolivia?

This month, will you join us in praying for health professionals in Bolivia? Many put their own lives at risk as they try to slow the pandemic. You can also visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for weekly global prayer guides.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Bolivia
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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