Working Together for the Community
In order for our students to be successful, a holistic approach, combined with a quality education, is key. This means doing what we can to ensure that the basic needs of our students are met and that they have a safe environment to live and learn.
In partnership with over 20 local Guatemalan organizations, we worked on addressing some of the more urgent needs that our students and their families faced during the pandemic.
Two of our top priorities in 2021 were: making sure that community members had access to vaccines, in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and get our students back on campus; and providing clean water to our community for drinking, cooking, and proper sanitation.
Our first on campus vaccine clinic was held on September 28th, where we were able to vaccinate 648 people! This was significant for those in our community who often are not able or willing to travel farther out to other clinics. It is also a testament to the trust that we have earned through the years among the people in the garbage dump community.
Our second vaccine clinic was held on November 30th, with 366 people showing up, including 12 young people who received their first Pfizer shot!
Both events were in conjunction with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of Guatemala and were only possible because of the dedication of our staff in Guatemala, who assisted from early morning until late in the evening.
We hope to have more clinics, if possible, in the future.
We once again partnered with the local municipality and REDES, a group of Guatemalan nonprofits, to bring much needed clean water to the community. Water scarcity is a major, ongoing problem in Guatemala City for a range of factors – including issues with infrastructure and an ongoing drought. However, the pandemic has made the problem far worse and many people do not have access to clean water for basic necessities, let alone sanitization, in the 8 neighborhoods throughout Zone 3.
During 2021, our partnership was able to provide deliveries totaling roughly 117,000 gallons of water to the community! With a heightened need for sanitizing and hand washing, this has been vital to the community during this difficult time.
We are incredibly thankful to the organizations that we worked with during the pandemic and are looking forward to further collaborations in the coming year. Despite the return to campus, there will still be a lot of work to be done.