Please Help us Prevent Starvation by Providing Food and other Aid to the Mayan Villagers in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala

UPDATE, July 7, 2020 - The Rotary Club of Poulsbo Washington has donated $2,880.00 Canadian funds to the Guatemalen Relief Program!
 
UPDATE, June 16, 2020 - Disaster Aid Australia has signed on as a Collaborating Country Partner and have donated $4,500.00 towards the Guatemalan Relief Program!
 
UPDATE, June 1, 2020 - Disaster Aid UK&I have signed on as a Collaborating Country Partner and have donated $3,500.00 towards the Guatemalan Relief Program!
 

Donate now at:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/49533

Most Mayans are marginal farmers or work at minimal wage for the 22 families that control 80% of the land in Guatemala. Key right now is Covid-19 induced unemployment and lock-down shelter-in-place.  Many markets are closed and villagers are unable to shop for food. People are literally starving in their homes.
All supplies to be locally sourced. The Mayan Women’s Groups in San Lucas Toliman and San Antonio Palopo know how and where to obtain and distribute supplies. 
 
The funds raised by this special appeal will be distributed by Disaster Aid Canada with the assistance of Canadian Rotary Clubs (Ladysmith, Chemainus, and Nanaimo) and the Mayan Women’s groups with whom the Rotary Clubs have collaborated for years in local projects. (Click Read More)

 
 
 

Food Aid for the Mayan Villagers in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala - Continued

Disaster Aid Canada donated $1,000.00 to provide emergency support for the 2 villages on May 22, 2020. Since then we have raised close to $13,000.00 to prevent starvation. Thank you for your generosity! We will be able to help these communities with more food soon through your donations.
 
UPDATE: June 16, 2020
Provided by Jacqueline Mealing
 
The Covid “lockdown” stops the spread but creates severe famine
After three months in lockdown the Mayan villages are mostly safe from the virus but suffering serious famine. No one is allowed out of their house except for essential services resulting in no money, no food, and emotionally fraught severely undernourished children in families.
 
For the first time young boys are now permitted to go out with dad to search for cooking wood in the forest, a welcome break. We provided a propane tank refill for 25 women last week and best of all, 250 families are now regularly receiving essential food and nutritional supplement. For this essential service, we are grateful to Disaster Aid Canada, Rotary and very generous friends. Families are quietly smiling behind their essential masks. Very severe fines are levied for not wearing a mask or children leaving the house.
 
Santa, a mother of six, is our lead volunteer. She has converted the lower room of her cement block home to a warehouse and distribution centre for the selected recipients. Each day she excitedly phones or chats with me on what’s app, a free phone service and video chat. She sadly describes the plight of the children confined in their tiny homes for over three months with no TV toys or interaction with playmates.
Volunteer mothers have joined in with packaging the goods. We order food by the truckload for this town of 9000 inhabitants. Their only crop are terraces of green onions for commercial markets.
 
The town mayor lives elsewhere, and only arrives every few weeks to supervise spraying the homes with chemicals. You my friends, are the only ones offering basic food and emotional support to this town. It is easy to help with food or items for the kids by contacting Disaster Aid Canada. 
Jacqueline Sheppard
 
 
UPDATE: May 26, 2020
Provided by Jacqueline Mealing
 
These are indeed forgotten communities in the world stage. The town being assisted has a population of 10,000 in a crowded space with no agricultural areas for growing food. Traditionally it has onion terraces to serve the needs of restaurants in the capital which is now impossible. There is no sign of the virus. However, as a precaution the government has done the following. The ruling has been in place since April 5.
  • All children must be kept inside the house or a $500 cdn will be levied
  • No one may leave the department area of Solala except specially licensed trucks, all others may travel by foot
  • The town has been sprayed twice with chemicals by a suited professional company
  • The food must be ordered and trucked into the town. The transport costs $40cdn.
  • Everyone must wear a mask or heavy fine is levied
  • There is a daily curfew from 5pm to 5 am or police will put the culprit in handcuffs.
  • Only convenience stores are open and public market for limited hours three mornings  a week
  • There is no work
  • The community is dependent on weaving and ceramics but have no orders.
Our distribution of food is handled by four Mayan volunteer women who keep us in touch by cell phones. They have personally visited all of the 300 families on the list that receive food once a month in  groups of 150. The food is bagged according to family size; mainly corn, beans, oats, rice, sugar some eggs and a nutritional supplement for children.
All are very grateful and dependent on the kindness of Canadians at this time and sincerely thank you. We will update with receipts and photos. I have been helping in this community since 1994 and have not witnessed anything like this!
- Jacqueline Mealing, Rotary Club of South Cowichan
 
Please Help us Provide Food and other Aid to the Mayan Villagers in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala 
Donate now at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/49533

Due to the impact of COVID-19 in Central America there is an urgent need for food, soap and personal protective equipment for the marginalized Mayan villagers living in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala, particularly in San Lucas Toliman and San Antonio Palopo.

Disaster Aid Canada has been informed by Canadian Rotary Clubs (Ladysmith, Chemainus and Nanaimo) that have been involved in sustainable development projects in the area for several years, that people are under a strict lock-down and on the verge of starvation. There are dire food, hygiene and PPE needs including masks. Workers have no jobs, there is no social safety net and the communities including markets are under complete lock-down.

The funds raised by this special appeal will be distributed by Disaster Aid Canada with the assistance of Canadian Rotary Clubs and the Mayan Women’s groups with whom the Rotary Clubs have collaborated for years in local projects.
 
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