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Constanza remains on lock-down, and we're doing our best to contribute while staying inside. Based on the current needs and our capabilities, we've focused our latest efforts on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep healthcare providers and other frontline workers safe.

Please enjoy this picture of Clyde (a very good boy rocking a very comfortable t-shirt), then read on below for more details.

Puente PPE

For Healthcare Professionals & Others on the Frontline
Last week, we worked with our longtime partners Health Outreach Foundation (HOF) to provide another 85 n95 masks and 50 visors to the Morillo King hospital in La Vega. This gear is sorely needed and scarcely available -- an article published Friday claims that ~50% of this hospital's staff has Coronavirus symptoms. Constanza patients with the virus will likely be sent down the mountain to Morillo King for treatment, so it's especially important for us to help their brave healthcare workers stay safe as case growth continues.

HOF also helped us provide 300 pairs of gloves to the school at Arroyo Arriba, which is managing food distribution for thousands of local residents. One of our volunteers, Jani, is the school nurse and coordinated this donation to assist her fellow workers. (Side note: this school name should look familiar, as we previously build a basketball court there and have used it as a site for medical missions with HOF for over a year now).

With protective masks growing increasingly scarce and expensive, Puente's own Crismary Gutierrez decided to get creative. In the past few days, Crismary has personally sewed >100 masks for local health clinic workers in Constanza. These providers were previously reusing disposable masks for days on end given the national PPE shortage, so Crismary's washable masks are a big improvement on what they previously had to work with. The masks also becoming a trendy fashion accessory thanks to Crismary's stylistic touches, as you can see below. This is just another example of the ingenuity and determination that make Crismary such an indispensable member of both our team and the Constanza community.

With the latest donations and creations, we've now provided the following PPE in total:
  • 300+ masks (~200 n95, 100 homemade)
  • 60 hazmat suits
  • 65 visors
  • 400 pairs of gloves
Donate Now
(Previous Updates, ICYMI)

Donating Medical Supplies and Protective Sanitary Equipment
  • On Friday, we purchased protective gear for the entire hospital staff of Constanza -- 30 hazmat suits, 15 n95 masks, and 15 visors
    • We also purchased 30 additional hazmat suits for the city's emergency service and waste management workers who are putting themselves at risk to provide essential services during this time
  • Over the weekend, we helped Constanza's mayor source 20 new hand washing stations from Wine to Water, one of Puente's wonderful partner organizations in the DR
    • The stations are currently being placed in every high-traffic location that remains open during the shutdown (clinics, grocery stores, etc.)
    • City Hall has agreed to sanitize each station on an hourly basis and refill the hand soap supplies as needed
  • Earlier last week, we donated >100 protective masks and pairs of latex gloves to Constanza's medical clinics
  • In total, we've now donated nearly $2,000 worth of equipment directly to Constanza's healthcare providers and government workers serving on the front lines of the ongoing battle against COVID-19
    • All these donations are requested by the city's mayor and director of local healthcare clinics. We anticipate them coming to us with more needs in the coming weeks, so please consider donating to help us respond quickly as the situation evolves
Educating Residents on How to Stay Safe and Informed
  • On Thursday, we created an instructional video on how to build a DIY hand washing station. This video is going viral in the DR and has been viewed >100,000 times!
    • Our Executive Director Scott Coppa learned this tactic out of necessity as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Constanza -- his house did not have reliable running water, so he built a station like this and found himself washing his hands far more frequently
  • Early last week, we sent text messages to every resident in communities where Puente has completed a project providing additional guidance on hand washing, social distancing, and relying on real news
  • Throughout the week, we've posted additional social media content and shared updates from reliable news sources in the DR. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to view these posts and more
Providing Financial Support to our Employees and Volunteers
  • We have now provided >$1,000 in total to the families of our employees and volunteers as they gear up for a painful period of isolation without usual paychecks coming in 
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