The Battle Against Hunger in Volcanes
The Coronavirus has brought the entire world to its knees. Here in Mexico, the first case of Covid-19 was found on February 27, 2020. Since then, as in all places where it is found, the disease has spread rapidly and exponentially. Although the federal government has been slow to act and has taken a “it’s not that serious attitude,” the governor in Jalisco state where we live decided, correctly in our opinion, to close all schools and all public places which were a threat for the spread of the virus. Despite these efforts, Jalisco is currently the state with the second most cases of Coronavirus.
“I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them
the solutions they will be moved to act.” – Bill Gates
Not long after the closures of schools, the Canadian and American governments advised any of their citizens who were visiting abroad to return immediately because the borders were going to be shut down for all “non-essential” travel. A big majority of Canadians and Americans rushed to the airports to fly home. The Puerto Vallarta airport was so overcrowded with foreigners leaving for their countries that it actually had to shut down because of lack of capacity and safety measures.
For Puerto Vallarta, a city who depends on tourism, the departure of the backbone of our economy (foreign tourists and visitors) has been catastrophic. No one has felt this catastrophe more than the people living in the poorest colonias (neighborhoods) of our city, especially in Volcanes and its surrounding areas. With no work to be found, and without the benefit of paid leave for workers in the informal economy, most of these people are struggling to feed their families. People in these colonias do not have the luxury of disposable cash to help them stockpile food for the coming weeks.
Because of this situation, and because we know the situation in Mexico will get worse in the coming weeks, we are preparing to start a food bank headquartered here at the Volcanes Kids Education Project using the school facility and operated by some of our teachers, especially the ones who live in Volcanes. The idea is to purchase basic food items and necessary supplies in bulk and distribute them to the neediest families here. In organizing this food bank, we are aware that we will be placing ourselves at risk of the virus, however, we are convinced that the need in these colonias is too great to ignore. Of course, we will take all necessary precautions and follow all protocols and orders issued by the WHO.
A few weeks ago, before the food bank idea was thought of, Andy and Dina Heese donated $5,000 pesos and this money was able to help feed ten families for two weeks. This means that $500 pesos, or $25 US dollars, can feed a family for two weeks.
If you are interested in helping us in the battle against hunger here in Volcanes, please make a donation through our Donation Page. We know all of you are going through some tough times as well, as written above, this disease has brought the entire world to its knees, but if you have the capacity to help please do so. Your donation may literally save lives and it will definitely help people stay fed during a very difficult time.