The Jewish Community of Guatemala (Comunidad Judía de Guatemala) has donated food and cleaning supplies, as well as protective gear, to the Villa Nueva Specialized Hospital, for use by medical, administrative, and custodial staff at the medical center.
The donation was made at the initiative of Jewish Community President Rebeca Permuth de Sabbagh, who conferred the assistance to the hospital’s director of financial administration, Billy Aragón Castillo.
Permuth underscored that the Jewish community of Guatemala was indebted to the essential workers who risked their lives each day at the hospital so that the general public could remain at home safely, in adherence of social distancing requirements.
The donation was made in the memory of Moisés Beer Mizrahí, former community president, who passed away this week. "In the Jewish religion, when a person dies, we are called to perform mitzvot for the elevation of his soul,” said de Sabbagh.
Executive Director of the Jewish Community of Guatemala Ilán López stressed that the goal was to propel a grassroots movement of communities in the country committed to showing their appreciation to the doctors and medical staff on the front lines of the war against COVID-19. "We hope this campaign inspires other communities to do the same,” López said.
The community’s donation included 70 coats, 225 pillows, 150 blankets, 200 masks, 250 bars of soap, 220 individual alcohol gel, 84 tubes of toothpastes, 265 toothbrushes, 392 shampoo envelopes, 47 packages of wet toilettes, 170 sanitary pads , 100 hand towels, 80 gallons of disinfectant solution, 80 gallons of bleach, 80 gallons of hand soap, 165 gallons of gel alcohol, 15 boxes of face masks, 11 boxes of latex gloves, 200 protective glasses, 220 protective suits, and 220 bags of food.
The donation was contributed through the CADENA organization, the mutual aid arm of the Jewish Community of Guatemala, which has worked in the past with entities such as the Cancer League and the Red Cross.
Yehudi Sabbagh, president of CADENA, said his organization was also dedicated to ensuring that all communities have access to clean water. They have so far delivered water filters to homes in Fraijanes and Tecpan, and in the Tactón village of Amatitlán, installed a manual water plant to purify water from a well, benefiting 400 families. Sabbagh added that they are currently working on a campaign with the United Fund to deliver more water purifying kits to various communities in the country.