Covid-19 update: The delta variant has ravaged Guatemala, with almost all municipalities in Red or Orange status (High cases per population). The communities that were previously isolated and relatively COVID-free are now seeing deaths and peaks of cases as locals returned to work and their regular lives. Even though mandatory mask-wearing has been in place since March 2020 and social distancing restrictions are in force across the country, the vaccination rate is at a low 1.6% and doesn’t appear to be moving fast. We watch and wait to see what eventuates and help where we can, with little health infrastructure, hospitals at 93% capacity and collapsing, and a slow voluntary-vaccine rollout. 


NURSING HEART’S commitment to supporting the vaccine rollout. 

“Careful consideration must be taken when initiating and supporting the vaccine drive in Guatemala”, says Blanqui, our community coordinator. Guatemalan’s still feel nervous and insecure about the government and their health services. A question we have heard frequently is, “do we know the vaccine is the covid vaccine and not something else?” With an inbuilt and deep seeded distrust with the government, our biggest questions has been; How can we support the communities with education and access without pushing them and imposing ideas that may jeopardize the trust we have built over the years? When working in Guatemala, trust is so important. 


After deep reflection, discussion, and listening to the needs, fears, and desires of the communities, we are offering on request:


  • Information and health resources to those who request more information and to the leaders of the communities
  • Transport to and from vaccine centers 
  • Masks and alcohol gel for those who have to travel
  • Follow-up post vaccines and reminders of second doses
  • Support financially or in any other form as requested and within the constraints of our mission


It’s a shame we didn’t develop our Community Health Worker program previously. We would have had a vital resource to provide valuable support to the populations but are content knowing that this service is coming soon.

How are we helping support our partner communities during this crisis?

During this public health crisis, Nursing Heart cannot be visiting any communities providing our usual health screening services. For this we have decided to pivot our focus to meet the current public health needs of our community partners. Our first step with our re-tweaked mission is to provide support to the most vulnerable populations; The elderly and those with chronic conditions. 

Diabetes and Hypertensive Club

Nursing Heart is continuing to hold an abridged version of the Diabetes and Hypertensive club every month by supporting the members with medication distribution under strict hygiene protocols.

The members of the club, most of whom are above the age of 60, will be some of the first recipients of the food and care packages that will be delivered in the coming weeks. 

‘Hogar de los ancianos’ 

The home for the elderly in San Martin Jilotepeque will be part of the first group to receive this aid. This initiative has come from us remaining in contact with our community leaders and analyzing their situation, identifying where they need support. Blanqui has been in communication with the nuns who run the home and they have expressed that they rely on local donations of food to survive. Due to the economic struggles facing most people, the donations of food and supplies have reduced or stopped all together.  

What’s in our care packages? 

We are providing a month’s supply of fruits, vegetables, grains, personal hygiene products, and cleaning products including alcohol gel for the whole family. For the aged care home we are also providing adult diapers. 

If you are able to give a gift of a care package, just $50 provides enough food and hygiene products for a family for a month. Thank you and be well,

Jade Parker-Manderson
Executive Director

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