COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Guatemala

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Guatemala

Last Updated: 07/09/2020

As the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, Guatemala remains on lockdown. Many in the country have lost their jobs, and malnutrition is on the rise amid food shortages and increased prices. A curfew is in place from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., and large public events and gatherings are prohibited. Closed are schools, churches, sports activities, shopping malls, restaurants, and public and private organizations, except for pharmacies and hospitals. All individuals must wear masks in public spaces.

As a result, all Compassion child development centers are closed. Frontline church partners have worked within curfew guidelines to deliver 139,190 food packs and 41,560 hygiene kits to children and their families. Additionally, they have facilitated medical support for 1,842 individuals. Staff members continue to reach out to children and their families through weekly phone calls, and often pray with caregivers and children during these times. They have also distributed art kits and children’s magazines.

A family stands with food supplies

megaphone IconA Message From Compassion Guatemala’s National Director

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

Recorded: 05/31/2020

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Guatemala?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Guatemala, 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?

At this point, all centers in Guatemala are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities 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 139,190 food packs and 41,560 hygiene kits to children and their families!

A family stands with food supplies

child reading IconStory From the Field

Compassion’s frontline church partners in Cotzal and Chajul, Guatemala, knew that the pandemic would have devastating effects on the families living there. Most people already were barely surviving, and now mandatory quarantines and strict curfews meant most had lost their jobs.

Child development center workers assembled food baskets containing vegetables, rice, beans, sugar and cereal. But when they set out to deliver the parcels to vulnerable families, they quickly ran into challenges. The strict curfew and restrictions on using private vehicles made the job difficult.

Church staff reached out to local authorities, and once the police understood the situation, they were eager to help, even loading the groceries into vehicles to be delivered.

"Working with the police was unexpected,” said Williams de Leon, a Compassion partnership facilitator for Compassion’s work in that region. “They helped out and expected nothing in return! What an amazing experience, people united to serve people. This pandemic is bringing out the best of humanity."

How can I pray for Guatemala?

This month, will you join us in praying for the many Guatemalans who are experiencing malnutrition as a result of 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 Guatemala
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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