COVID-19: Guatemala convicts make face masks

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Around a table in a Guatemalan juvenile detention centre, Jason and a dozen others devote themselves to their new occupation; making facial masks to help in the fight against the Coronavirus.

It’s a way for these prisoners at a juvenile detention center located in the heart of the capital, to make amends for their mistakes and help fight against the virus.

“It doesn’t matter what I have done, now my intention is to help Guatemala. If I ever hurt Guatemala, now I would like to make amends for my mistakes”, Jason said.

If I ever hurt Guatemala, now I would like to make amends for my mistakes.

Francisco Molina is Secretary of Social Welfare at the Guatemalan Presidency. He said today, these young Guatemalans are given life in such an uncertain time.

“These hands that are making these masks today, if in the past they could have been wrong or they could have done some kind of damage, today these hands are generating life, these masks in this crisis represent life and that is what these young people are giving to Guatemala today”, Molina said.

A huge room that can hold nearly 100 people has been made available for these volunteers, who have been perfectly trained by guards and their fellow inmates who have mastered sewing and machine operation.

“If we can give a hand, we want to do it, if we can help others, and we have time because here we have nothing to do, and we also get support from the secretariat with the machines and all that, then I think it was a good idea”, an inmate Josue said.

While the country currently has about 20 cases of Covid-19 infections, including one death, Guatemala is taking measures to protect the population.

President Alejandro Giammattei has announced a partial shutdown of the country’s industrial production in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic in this Central American nation.

A measure that will not affect the food, pharmaceutical and everything related to the production of hygiene and health products.


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