Covid Update in Zihua

Well, I can’t say I am any less frustrated with the COVID situation now than a few months ago. We are now down to the Yellow on the Stoplight system and our mayor said yesterday that he feels very strongly that we will get the green light by October. Currently, we are allowed to have 60% hotel occupancy in hotels and restaurants. I ventured out for lunch yesterday in Zihua only because my meeting with the mayor was delayed by an hour and I was starving. I was pleasantly surprised that they took my temperature, had hand sanitizer, masks and the tables were spread apart. The food was disappointing but I felt safe.

50% of usual winter visitors have said they are still planning to come. Insurance including Covid is available so I expect that number to rise.

Schools are televising lessons, or online so the majority of students are receiving lessons, but there is no interaction with the teacher so not the best but better than none. Our Por Los Ninos scholarship students in high school and University now all have computers and internet so hopefully, they will be able to maintain their good marks. However only 70% of the students have their books, we have been printing off worksheets and, in some cases, whole books. That meant purchasing a few more printers for teachers. Our favorite teacher Rosario from Centenario was up all-night copying lessons for her students. Teachers send their students lessons via What’s App and they have to print them off and send them back completed. Most students don’t have the bus fare to get to the nearest store to have them printed off never mind pay for the printing. We are working on fixing this!

Computers are scarce as everyone who can afford to purchase one has. There are no tablets to be had either. We have scrounged every good used tablet around. Students are trying to do their lessons on cheap cell phones.

The teachers feel school will not reopen until January they are fighting to keep them closed to stay safe for as long as they can. Families are close in Mexico and no one wants to have anyone in their family get sick.

This has been a huge economic challenge for many of our families, we are still delivering 300 food hampers per week and we have now added fruits, vegetables, and eggs to at least half of the families, who had absolutely no resources. Unemployment is easing but as people come off our lists more come on. Our two community kitchens are still going strong. Our bill this month from the Fruteria was 25,441. pesos. That is a lot of fruit and vegetables.

Last week we had the displeasure of Tropical Storm Hernan which flooded many homes and caused huge mudslides but the people are resilient!

This little cutie came running out and said his parents were both sick but could he please have a food hamper. Of course, he could! Thank you again for your support and your donations, it is amazing but we are coming into our 6th month of helping our wonderful Mexican people. Now if we can just find some more computers for our bright students. Sam’s Club notifies me when any come in that are affordable.

I have 4 new students that need sponsors, for the moment Por Los Ninos is covering them because we can’t let a student with a 95% grade point average drop out of school for lack of resources but we can’t do it all. If you would like to lend a hand please email me and I will send you their profiles. Some incredible relationships are formed through sponsorship.

5 September 2020