EntreMundos’ COVID-19 Relief Response Project & GoPhil’s Rapid Response Fund

by Corinne Yank, GoPhil Communications Manager

EntreMundos, which aptly translates to “between worlds,” is an intermediary partner of GoPhil, meaning they sometimes re-grant funds from GoPhil to smaller organizations in Guatemala. During the COVID-19 crisis, this partnership has proven to be especially important.

“Those closest to the problems understand the issues more deeply,” is one of GoPhil’s core values. As a locally-led Guatemalan organization with an expansive network of over 1,000 local partners, EntreMundos ensures emergency relief funds are funneled to lesser-known grassroots groups spearheading powerful relief work at the community level. In conjunction with sub-grants to these groups, EntreMundos offers capacity building, learning and networking opportunities to support the overall health and sustainability of the groups themselves.

At the beginning of May, with support of a GoPhil donor to the Rapid Response Fund, EntreMundos started a COVID-19 Relief Response Project with the mission of supporting vulnerable populations in Guatemala that have been affected by the restrictions mandated by the government for the containment of the virus.

EntreMundos identified and teamed up with eight grassroots groups located in different regions of the country to lead and implement relief efforts in their local area. The organizations were selected based on having suffered economic losses related to COVID-19, having a healthcare focus, having diversity in terms of location, and having a proven track record of successful collaboration with EntreMundos and other organizations.

The 8 implementing partners are: 

The project is ongoing, but has supported the following relief efforts since the beginning of May:  

  • Emergency food support for over 500 families;
  • Access to clean drinking water for 350 families;
  • Awareness-raising activities, including informational videos in Mayan languages,  reaching over 20,000 families;
  • Personal protective equipment for medical professionals;
  • Hygiene products for over 100 families;
  • Medical consultations for close to 500 individuals.

In addition to these impressive outcomes, this project has strengthened relationships among EntreMundos and the 8 partner organizations. They are eager to continue working together and explore opportunities for future collaborations outside of this project.

“Similarly to other Latin American countries, in Guatemala, the coronavirus pandemic has not only caused a sanitary crisis but has also uncovered the social inequalities in the country. Many people can’t stay home right now because they don’t have a choice, they depend on daily work to survive. This project has managed to give some relief to the grassroots that are working hard to keep their diverse communities safe and healthy. It has also relieved the economic burden that many families are experiencing, supplying them with food and other first necessity items… We hope to be able to keep supporting vulnerable communities through this project- taking the next steps to collaborate with more organizations that are fighting for a more just and equal Guatemala, especially in these times.”

• Yessica Pastor, Entremundos •

Compare this project and impact with the fact that, in the grand scheme of things, 96% of humanitarian funding is funneled to international rather than local actors. Partnering with local grant-making organizations like EntreMundos is a central piece of GoPhil’s ongoing work to shift more power towards the local, micro level. During times of crisis, when community needs are at an all time high, this partnership has become an essential aspect of our response strategy in Guatemala. 

A very special thank you to the entire GoPhil Community for your continued support of EntreMundos and for helping to make all of this possible. Impact is not made in isolation, and this ongoing collaboration between GoPhil, EntreMundos and the 8 implementing grassroots organizations proves that to be true.