COVID-19 has hit Latin America over the last month and it has had devastating effects. Hospitals and morgues are reaching capacity and bodies are scattered throughout streets. Ecuador has seen the number of cases skyrocket in their major cities since the beginning of April and remote villages are now stopping all traffic into their village. While this strategy has slowed the spread of COVID-19 into villages, it has brought on a different set of challenges that are proving to be equally devastating as the virus.
María’s village, which is hours from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, is shut off from the outside world. Food that would be brought into her village is no longer being transported. Not only is María terrified by the virus, but she is also threatened by starvation as her community faces food shortages. In addition, María’s income recently came to a sudden halt. Since her village has shut off from the outside world, she is no longer able to go to the market to sell her goods. With no food and no income, COVID-19 is one of the many very real fears María is facing.
There are thousands of individuals throughout Ecuador facing similar challenges as María. The CHOICE Humanitarian Ecuador team has recognized and prepared for the needs of remote villagers by creating a plan to provide seeds for increased food production and animals for animal husbandry programs. The CHOICE Ecuador team is currently working in multiple communities and impacting thousands of people by providing resources and training to increase the production of food in villages to combat the shortages they are experiencing.