COVID-19 in Ciudad Peronia, a double-edged public health crisis.
Updated: Sep 3
Surging COVID-19 cases and widespread loss of income has created an unprecedented health and hunger emergency in a country with already abysmally sub-standard public health system. The youth organizers of Peronia Adolescente respond to the humanitarian crisis through a lens of equity and community-building.
Photo by Edgar Tuy, local Peronia filmmaker and youth organizer.
The number of Guatemalans facing acute hunger has doubled due to the Corona virus lockdowns and now over 1.2 million people are in need of emergency food supplies. Ciudad Peronia, a city of roughly 100,000 inhabitants does not have it's own hospital and the majority of it's residents work in the informal economy and depend on daily earnings to eat. The harshly-enforced government lockdown and curfew measures aimed at preventing the virus' spread have threatened the precarious balance of Peronia families that already teeter on the brink of survival.
Photo: Edgar Tuy
For young people the virus has brought isolation and exclusion from the educational system for those without internet access or perhaps even electricity at home. Peronia Adolescente has enlisted the support of it's network of youth leaders to check in on families, and provide hard-copy materials for distance-learning at home and as well as offer companionship and emotional support to children during this difficult time. Sadly, several of our young students have lost beloved family members due to suspected virus cases.
Two teen participants in Peronia Adolescente's leadership program work on homework on the sidewalk outside of their home.
Peronia Adolescente youth leaders have re-prioritized their community organizing work for the year to respond in solidarity to the urgent need for food, masks and hygienic supplies in the community. While the leaders dream of returning to practicing art, celebration and comparsa in the streets of the community, they are now trading their carnival mask for a more somber one, and coordinating an effort to get food staples, distance learning and hygiene supplies to Ciudad Peronia families in need.
Youth leaders distribuiting supplies in their community.
Peronia Adolescente youth leaders have re-prioritized their community organizing work for the year to respond in solidarity to the urgent need for food, masks and hygienic supplies in the community. Currently, the youth leaders coordinate an effort to get food staples, distance learning and hygiene supplies to Ciudad Peronia families in need.