We face a year of pandemic
When we first heard the word COVID19, we thought it would be momentary and our lives would go on as normal. On January 30, 2020, the epidemic was declared an international public health emergency by WHO.
On February 29, 2020, the first case of COVID19 was confirmed in Ecuador. On March 19, a nationwide lockdown was declared, with the suspension of classes, mass events and quarantine of international passengers.
In that period of time everything stopped; and the world was locked in their homes. At SALEM we were forced to suspend all our planned activities and send our work group to be with their families.
Mindo became silent and its streets deserted. Businesses closed and for a moment we felt an atmosphere of loneliness. A few weeks later there began to be an economic and food need, as Mindo’s economy is driven by tourism. But we could not stay without doing anything. At that moment we thought we should go beyond limitations and share our human values, which connect all brothers and sisters into one global human family.
For the first time on March 21, 2020, SALEM together with some Institutions, created the “Food Bank”. We wanted to be active in supporting those most in need, with the provision of food packages. Local volunteers were born to help separate large food donations into smaller boxes for the families. Our effort brought relief to the low-income population. Weekly, this assistance was delivered through the distribution of a combination of dry goods, vegetables and fresh fruits.
The initiative to send packages of donated seeds began after only a few weeks. Soon, SALEM families who signed up for the Home Garden Initiative discovered how to grow food in the green spaces around their homes. What started as a small sprout has become a spiraling life force, evolving into thriving family gardens throughout the Mindo community.
On Monday, September 7, 2020 the SALEM Ecuador team welcomed the first children to the educational and recreational spaces of the SALEM Center in Mindo, Ecuador. The SALEM Center is back in action!
Our volunteers helped us to distribute the food kits by sectors. There were 5 strategic points for the delivery, avoiding an accumulation of people. The strongest strategic point was SALEM. We are happy because we managed to reach about 160 families.
In times of crisis our human values remind us how we are implored to act towards our fellow men! We will overcome and we will be victorious in our communities!
Since its inception, the great work of SALEM Ecuador has been funded through the very generous long-term contributions of our donors.
To all our donors we say: Thank you!