Friends of Cozumel has been delivering dispenses–essential food items–to many families in need throughout the pandemic. Volunteers made deliveries today to the homes of 25 families and the pastors of Vida Abundante church and Centro de Autismo distributed dispensas to several additional families.
Victor, Cristina and their girls met two Friends of Cozumel volunteers outside their three-room cement block house, smiling and excited for visitors. They took us inside and asked us to sit and visit in their main living area. The only furniture in the room was a dresser, refrigerator and a small stand that used to hold a television. The bed that filled the room at one time had been discarded when it got wet and moldy. They still had electricity for now, Victor explained as he made the sign of the cross. He prayed that it wouldn’t be shut off since their payment was overdue. A small fan provided the only bit of relief from the heat.
In addition to basic food and cleaning supplies, we brought the family four plastic stacking chairs, a small square table so their girls would have a place to do their school work and a packet of school supplies for each girl. Evelyn is starting kindergarten and Behlen is in middle school. But Victor explained that learning would be difficult. Classes are still not meeting in person due to Covid-19, so students are supposed to tune into lessons on television and send assignments to teachers using WhatsApp. But in this case, the family television is in a pawn shop and their internet was turned off when they couldn’t pay the bills. They didn’t know how the girls would access their school work.
Work is scarce. The island has been hit hard since the economy is dependent on tourism, No cruise ships and very few land based visitors led hotels, restaurants, attractions and their suppliers to release employees or make drastic cutbacks on hours and salaries. Victor said he made 100 pesos that day at his job as a waiter. That’s equivalent to about $5 US.
The dispensas provided by Friends of Cozumel will feed the family for a few days.
“We don’t have food. We can’t buy drinking water,” Victor said. “Muchas gracias from my family from all my heart for your very good help at this moment.”
– Phyllis from Nebraska
Below are some photos from this week’s dispensa distribution. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.