2020 was a year full of new challenges. Our lives were and still are affected by the Coronavirus in many ways. “Social distancing,” “sheltering in place,” lengthy hand washing, face masks, empty shelves in markets are things that were not part of our lives just a year ago. Add to these layoffs, loss of income, unforeseen medical expenses – and some found their lives completely upended. For our friends in Anapra, this added to their already difficult situation.
In March, we diverted our funds for community events, like VBS, Mother’s Day and Children’s Day, to help with Coronavirus relief, but we quickly learned that it wasn’t going to be enough. Each month the generosity of others shined! This year was certainly different from the last, but was a wonderful example of what we can do when we support and love each other.
Virtual Learning in Anapra
Like many students in the world, Anapra students experienced an ever changing education this year; from televised review lessons, printed paper and text messaging their teachers to a fully on-line education. We were humbled by your gracious donations! We surpassed our goal of $8,000 and were able to provide internet for families and devices for each student.
With the border closed and nearly all schools virtual, the demand for devices is still high. So far we have found and purchased 7 laptops for high school and college students and 3 tablets to try out with some elementary students. The Core Team in Anapra continues to look for tablets for elementary students and will purchase them as soon as they are found.
Some school families are still trying to get internet access. We are able to help 14 families with internet access for the 6 months. For those without internet access, we are providing assistance for pre-paid minutes on their parents’ phones.
Each month, the core group and volunteers in Anapra buy, separate and bag beans and rice for 36 families and 20 abuelas. COVID-19 brought new stresses to the community with the loss of jobs, and factory closures and restrictions, many families faced financial hardship like none we’ve seen before. Thanks to donors like you and large contributions from Southeast Minnesota Lutheran Synod, Lakeland Church prayer group and Border Servant Corp, extra kitchen staples, cleaning supplies and masks were provided to each family and abuela since March and continue into the new year. For many these extras put meals on an otherwise empty table.
9 – College students
13- High school students
22 – Middle school students
21 – Elementary students
Sponsorship covers tuition, school supplies and for some, transportation. Sponsored families help the community in return – running the library, maintaining the mission house, and meeting monthly for a service project.
Christmas dinner baskets were provided to 36 families this holiday season. 22 abuelas were sponsored this year by the Anapra community. Due to COVID-19, students were only able to visit 1 abuela, Petra, this year delivering food, good cheer and yard clean up. Manos Amigas continues to provide firewood during the 4 winter months for all abuelas. They use firewood to heat their homes and to cook.
Irene (Anapra Abuela)
Olga (Anapra Abuela)
Reyes (Anapra Community)
Eluteria (Anapra Abuela)
Patrocina (Anapra Abuela)
Nicolas (Anapra Abuelo)
Peggy (Student Sponsor)
Vickie (KC Volunteer)