Equidad para La Infancia/ Equity for Children and A Chance In Life are releasing a series of brief, powerful videos about life during the pandemic for some of the most vulnerable communities in Latin America. Women across Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico were interviewed to give voice to the challenges they and their children face in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The En Primera Persona (In First Person) project shines a light on individual experiences and the pandemic’s acute and pervasive effects on families living in overcrowded households often lacking basic services and whose parents are now underemployed or unemployed. Through personal conversations with women, the testimonials explore the challenges of gender violence, unemployment and hunger that have been worsened by the pandemic. The series also speaks to the ways in which communities are working to counter the effects of COVID-19 and help families in need.
Videos will be posted to this page weekly.
Señora Todos los Santos Dolores Villalobos Vigil lives in the communities of the Rarámuri or Tarahumara, a group of indigenous people of the Americas living in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Todos los Santos tells us about life in Tarahumara households during the pandemic.
Marcela Suárez is a single mother living with her four children in a small rented room in the outskirts of Cochabamba. Before the pandemic, Marcela sold bottled water and apple juice on the streets of the local market. Watch this week’s En Primera Persona (In First Person) video to learn more about how Marcela and her children are coping with COVID-19.
Leidy and her three children live in a small house in a dangerous neighborhood in Cúcuta, Colombia. Amid the cacophony of her neighborhood, Leidy talks frankly about the challenges of losing her job and needing to keep her three daughters at home because of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Watch the video to learn more about how Leidy and her family are dealing with these difficult changes in Cúcuta.
Nancy and her two children live in a small house in Medellín, Colombia. BNancy and her two children live in a small house in Medellín, Colombia. Because of the pandemic and their resulting lockdowns, Nancy can’t leave her home to go to work. Watch the video to learn more about how Nancy and her family are dealing with these difficult changes in Medellín.
Mrs. Maritza Fuño Diaz lives with her two sons and one daughter in San Juan de Lurigancho, the most populous district in Lima, Peru. Watch this week’s video to hear about how she is getting her family through the many challenges of the pandemic, including accessing distance learning with limited technology.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Gloria, her husband and children live in Gloria’s parents’ house in Guatemala City. Currently, only Gloria is able to work to provide food to her family. To learn more about how Gloria’s family is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, watch this week’s video. Alongside most of Latin America, Guatemala is being hit hard by the effects of COVID-19.
Joana is a single mother of six, who works in Medellin’s informal economy as a street peddler. Darcy is the grandmother and guardian of her two grandchildren: Juan and José Gabriel. Juan is in second grade and José Gabriel Is in fourth grade. The two boys are her son’s children, who were left in Darcy’s care after their mother abandoned the family. To learn more about how this families are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, watch this week’s video.
Nuevo Chimbote, Perú
Nuevo Horizonte is a human settlement on the northern coast of Peru outside the city of Nuevo Chimbote. In this new video Jaime and Yuri give their tesmony on how they are working to keep their six children from falling behind in school without electricity or internet access.
We travel to Guatemala to speak with Sra. Lidia and Sra. Aura, who are weathering the pandemic with their families on farms in Planes de Sumpango. Before COVID-19, Sra. Lidia’s children and Sra. Aura’s grandchildren attended Mother Anna Vitiello school. Now that the school is temporarily closed, the children have returned home to the farm with their caregivers.
Angela’s two daughters used to attend the Veracruz Girl’s Home boarding school run by the Congregation of Sisters Little Apostles of Redemption in Bogota. Angela lives with her two daughters, her sister and her sister’s six-month-old baby girl. The quarantine has made it very difficult for Angela to make ends meet for her household, and the family has found it very stressful to be enclosed inside the house together. For Angela’s daughters, the most difficult aspects of the quarantine are the virtual classes and missing their teachers.
Valle Sagrado, San Juan de Lurigancho, Perú
Mirtha is a single mother who lives in Lima, Peru with her young daughter, Brigid. Their home, alongside approximately 61% of Peruvian households, does not have steady access to the internet. “Aprendo en Casa” is broadcasted daily via television and radio to broaden its reach, but this still remains difficult for many poorer families to access. Mirtha must borrow a television set from her cousin during the week for Brigid’s classes, and use WhatsApp to access school assignments.
Lorena, Victor and Gloria’s druthers attend the John Paul I Girl’s Home in Buenaventura, Colombia. The pandemic has brought economic problems to all three families including unemployment. All three parents have difficulties with distance learning. They don’t have internet access and the necessary tools for their daughters to complete their school work. Lorena, Victor, and Gloria all feel stressed about the current situation, and they are all very concerned about their daughters’ education.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Gisela lives with her six children in Villa Fiorito, a slum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gisela is an activist at “Belleza y Felicidad”, a community center that includes a food preparation, dining and distribution center along with a primary school and art gallery. The program was founded in 2003 and is coordinated by Fernanda Laguna. During the Covid-19 crisis, operational support is provided by help from donations and from community activists’ volunteerism.
Parque Patricios, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Armanda is a political activist and together with her group theythey prepare food for almost 100 people in the town of Parque Patricios, Buenos Aires. This is the second neighborhood with the most homeless in the city. In addition to the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic there is also a food emergency.
Chacra de la Merced, Córdoba, Argentina
Alida is part of the Solidary Women’s Organization of Argentina (OMAS) located in Córdoba, Argentina. OMAS is a Civil Association that works with women in situations of vulnerability, violence or extreme poverty. At this moment most of them are the main providers for their homes because a lot of their partners lost their jobs or are unable to work.