Dear Sister Parish family, friends, and supporters:
On behalf of the Sister Parish, Inc. Board of Directors I want to share with you that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we, as an organization, are committed to practicing physical distancing and social solidarity. While the physical distancing is a change for us, as it has significantly impacted our delegation schedule and community visits, we remain committed to solidarity and fostering mutual understanding, peace and justice.
As all our staff members currently reside in Guatemala and El Salvador, we are taking precautions to protect them and maintain their livelihoods. As a Board, we realize that we are fortunate to have such capable and committed staff members who already work from home and we know that their communication skills will be different while community visits are not permissible (Guatemala and El Salvador are both essentially closed and under curfew), but will remain a key component of our mission. We are also exploring what we can do to support our Sister Parish communities in the South during these uncertain times. While the focus of our mission and vision is relationships, we know that there will be some specific material needs that communities will face if or when they are impacted by the crisis.
These challenges are unprecedented, but not insurmountable. We ask for your prayers and support for the health and safety of everyone in the Sister Parish family—North and South—and ask you, if you are able, to continue to support us financially as well. The loss of delegations (our main source of revenue) will be felt this year and possibly for years to come, however, we can already see glimmers of hope and opportunity for the relationships we have been building for years between and within countries to come together, especially at times like this. Sister Parish has social solidarity covered.
Maria Van Der Maaten
President, Sister Parish, Inc. Board of Directors