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COVID-19 Update 19 June 2020

It’s becoming draining to write these reports. Over the past few weeks, I’ve kept hoping to be able to write you about how the growth in cases in Guatemala has abated. Unfortunately, case growth continues to be about 50% week-to-week. Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The words of the Gospel today take on a special significance with the challenges we’re facing right now.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

May we learn from our Savior and find rest in His Most Sacred Heart.


Coronavirus in Guatemala by the Numbers

11868 confirmed cases in Guatemala

9127 active cases

449 deaths

2290 recuperated

1134 confirmed cases in Region 2 (Western Guatemala including Huehuetenango)

101 confirmed cases in Huehuetenango


IMF Approves $594 Million in Emergency Assistance to Guatemala

In what authorities are calling a response of support for the Guatemalan government programs launched to counter the effects of coronavirus on the most vulnerable families and the business community, the International Monetary Fund approved $594 million in emergency financial assistance to the Guatemalan government. Using the Rapid Financing Instrument, the IMF hopes to offset some of the expenditures from the Guatemalan government assistance programs and catalyze additional support from other development organizations.

Neighborly Assistance

The main form of assistance across Guatemala continues to be neighbor-to-neighbor assistance. Some wealthier families are attempting to find ways to support those most vulnerable in their community. This type of assistance has many limitations. Nevertheless, it often serves as the only type of assistance reaching people in remote rural areas. In a photo attached to this update, a government official distributes corn purchased from his own resources to help one rural community.

A Different Kind of Market

Some communities are finding ways to keep necessary economic activities alive. Markets in Huehuetenango often are confined to small, cramped areas with many vendors side-by-side in close quarters. In a community near Santa Eulalia, vendors coordinated with government officials to move their market to an open field allowing for appropriate distance between market stalls. These coordinated adjustments to life hopefully will have an effect on the continued spread of the virus while allowing people to make a living to support their families. Photos of the market in Pett are included with this update.