By Scott Garrison, Buena Onda Founder
It’s a strange, rough time in the world right now. Here in Guatemala, we are under an essential lockdown, with all borders and public transportation closed, businesses and schools shut for the foreseeable future, and a national curfew from 4pm to 4am. It seems that most everyone is listening to the regular advisories and the number of confirmed cases in Guatemala is very low. Daily life now may be uncomfortable and frustrating. We know it will pass, but the questions and uncertainty keep us unbalanced.
Even with the personal challenges, we at Buena Onda are thankful for many things. We have wholesome food on our tables and we can go to the markets when supplies get low. We are able to communicate with family, friends, and colleagues without disruption. We are able to continue working online or finishing projects around the house. We have comfortable and safe places to call home, our lights are on and our water still runs, and, even though we can’t see them, our friends and loved ones remain healthy. We are fortunate and grateful for all that we do have.
For most of Guatemala, though, the coronavirus crisis compounds already severe shortages in health care, nutrition, education, and safe living conditions. Guatemala is not a ‘top down’ country, and the needed rebuilding must happen at the community level. We will need your help. If you were considering a visit to Guatemala before the important social distancing and restricted travel set in, we encourage you to keep those ideas alive in your mind. When you feel confident to resume life in its new normal, your participation in the community development work that had been happening, and will need to restart, is going to be invaluable.
Come with your family, with your school, with your colleagues, or come by yourself. You tell us how you want to contribute and we’ll work with you to find the perfect project. Buena Onda works with a great variety of community projects across the country, and your skills, energy, and expertise can be applied conscientiously within our network of inspiring partners. You can help Guatemala’s vulnerable communities develop safeguards against other crises that arise out of poor conditions. You are part of the solution. Every moment you spend in Guatemala is going to make a world of difference.
We know there have been and will continue to be great shocks around the world. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Do what you need to do to stay healthy, active, and in good spirits. The virus will be controlled. If we feel good in our own situations, then we can begin to help those around us. And we will be eager to receive you with big smiles when it is your time to come to Guatemala!