20 Mar COVID-19 in Guatemala, Update from Dorie’s Promise
According to the calendar, we should be readying our home to host a team from Michigan tomorrow. Unfortunately, the global pandemic has completely altered every aspect of life for all of us. Most importantly, our children and the staff of Dorie’s Promise are safe at this time. Like you, our lives have changed dramatically in a matter of days and we are discovering a new normal in our home.
Last week, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Guatemala. President Giammattei and the Guatemalan government quickly enacted protocols to slow the spread of the virus, drastically impacting Dorie’s Promise. At this time, all non-essential businesses are closed, our borders are closed, and all public transportation has been suspended throughout the country.
Given the seriousness of the illness and the restrictions enacted by the government, our daily routines have been significantly altered. Our highest priority is the health and safety of our children and staff.
The New Normal at Dorie’s Promise
Beginning last week, our director implemented new safety measures at Dorie’s Promise:
- Members of our staff over 60 years old are staying home during this time.
- A team of special mothers and teachers will be living at Dorie’s Promise full-time for the next 3 weeks. Their sacrifice allows our children to be cared for well and limits our exposure to the virus by those outside our home.
- Our administrative staff will alternate shifts in the office to ensure our children and those caring for them are supported and safe in our home.
- Sufficient supplies of food, hygiene and cleaning items, and medicine are on hand for the next 30 days.
- All mission trips to Dorie’s Promise have been suspended through May. We will reevaluate our mission trip schedule as the situation progresses based on guidance from government authorities and our medical staff.
“As director, I feel so proud of my staff who have been working extra hours to have a plan to try to keep our children safe. Our medical team has implemented new controls before the staff goes into the children’s houses every morning. Our psychologists and social worker have created new daily routines for each house and group of children. Since they cannot go outside, we need to keep them busy the whole day with different activities. Our teachers are dedicating time every morning to reinforce the learning with each group of children according to their grades. The administrative staff has helped to implement the new procedures and get involved with the children.” –Alejandra Diaz
At this time, our home is safe and our children are healthy. We know you care about the children and staff at Dorie’s Promise. Over the next few weeks, we will give you regular updates about our home and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us.
As the world fights COVID-19, please join us in prayer.
We know your life has been disrupted too. You are practicing social distancing, may be facing a business closure or loss of income, your children are most likely out of school, and the anxiety of not knowing what’s ahead is overwhelming. Our greatest strength amid hardship is unity in prayer. Join us as we pray for the health, safety, and wisdom of everyone fighting this virus worldwide.