The “new normal” in Los Cabos resembles the situation in many other parts of the world: social distancing, face masks (mandatory on buses), economies reopening at less than 50% capacity. After the state governor, Carlos Mendoza Davis, officially declared BCS downgraded from the “red” category to “orange” on June 16, there was a rush to resume previously normal activities such as attending parties and crowding onto beaches. Those activities came with a spike in COVID cases, a government warning, and then a correction. Mendoza Davis has promised more ventilators and oxygen monitors to combat the virus but warns, after the deaths of 3 BCS medical doctors due to COVID, that health care workers are a valued commodity in short supply. Meanwhile, a representative from the San Jose del Cabo airport (SJD) has reported no increase in the number of flights entering Los Cabos but an increase in the number of passengers on each flight. And the Los Cabos Hotel Association has stated that 85,000 tourists visited Los Cabos in June, 2020, significantly down from 200,000 in the same month last year.
Meanwhile, Liga MAC staff have been conducting telephone wellness checks on Liga MAC’s students and their families and can report that none have contracted the virus. However, treatments for pre-COVID conditions (kidney condition, cancer, lupus) have been neglected as doctors are only treating emergency patients in hospitals. An arguably graver situation exists regarding employment. Family breadwinners working in the construction industry have been called back to their jobs but on a part-time basis while others especially older workers with health issues have been let go. And employers who advanced workers’ wages during the crisis are now calling in those advances as employees return to work. Elva and her team have found family members embarrassed to share the true nature of their situations but after some coaxing uncover that dietary nutrition has been severely cut back due to limited budgets, meals are deficient in protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and some families have taken in relatives increasing the strain on the household budget. But, the good news is that thanks to Liga MAC’s many sympathetic donors, nearly $11,000 USD worth of food vouchers has been issued to our families so that they can enjoy nutritious meals. In addition, Liga MAC has been working with the Community Alliance of BCS to distribute a second round of “despensas” (food baskets) to 128 families.
Typically at this time of the year, Consuelo, Karen and Elva would be testing applicants for our educational support program to select those with the aptitude, good grades and work ethic to receive help continuing on to the next level of their education. However, this year not only has the process been slowed by school shutdowns but also by funding shortfalls. Due to the wide reaching effects of the pandemic, Liga MAC’s Board of Directors has taken the necessary but difficult decision to reduce the number of students receiving support for the coming school year. Additionally, the Board has cut costs wherever possible and made the decision not to replace an employee who left in March. Even with these cost cutting measures it is possible that no new students will be accepted into the program this year. In the coming weeks, we will revisit these decisions based on available funding.
On a positive note, thanks to your donations in 2019, 76 students graduated this school year – the largest group of Liga MAC graduates in the past five years! If you are considering making your annual gift to Liga MAC this year or are a new donor and wish to help, please consider donating now so that with your help Liga MAC can support as many students as possible!
We recently sent out a survey designed to aid Liga MAC’s Board of Directors decision making. It takes less than 2 minutes to complete and will help us to better serve you, our donors and volunteers! Thanks to those that have already responded; if you haven’t yet, we welcome your response.
Thanks to your support, this Summer 76 Liga MAC students have obtained their high school diploma.This is the largest group of Liga MAC graduates in the past five years!In this short clip (1:27 min) we present you some of our awarded students and a lovely thank you note from one of our brightest and most committed students of the 2020 class.
Since 1997, Liga MAC has helped to nourish, heal and give opportunities for education to thousands of individuals in the community of San José del Cabo, B.C.S. Mexico. This includes over 6,700 grants to children and young adult since 2004.