UVG’s response to coronavirus in Guatemala

April 25, 2020

Many of our supporters have been wondering how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting people in Guatemala in general and specifically the students served by the US Foundation for the University of the Valley of Guatemala (USFUVG). Although the situation is challenging for all of us, I am happy to share that students and staff at the University of the Valley of Guatemala (UVG) are not only adapting but contributing greatly to Guatemala’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

Coronavirus in Guatemala

The first case of COVID-19 in Guatemala was identified on March 13. As of April 23, at least 384 cases of COVID-19 have been identified, and at least 11 people have died. Some 30 people have recovered, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

The government has been aggressive in trying to stop the spread, implementing a 4pm to 4am curfew beginning on March 22, even during the Easter celebrations. The curfew was relaxed slightly on April 19, but the country remains largely shut down.

For more information about coronavirus cases in Guatemala, visit the Ministry of Public Health’s website (in Spanish).

UVG Students Move Online

Classes at all of UVG’s campuses moved online as of March 17. Students are adjusting to learning in a different way, finding adequate resources at home, and most of all, being far from their fellow students and professors. But they have risen to the challenge!

“Receiving classes online with the tools that the university
offers is a great opportunity to continue with our courses,
making the most of our time at home and continuing
our academic formation. It is a very different experience,
but we are learning a lot.
Mónica Ovando
Agroforestry Engineering, UVG-Altiplano
Berkley Cone Fund scholarship recipient

We are active in our online classes, taking advantage
of the technological tools to be able to continue our
education as professionals. We are adapting to the
current situation in our country and in the world.

Hanzel Avendaño
Agroforestry Engineering, UVG-Altiplano
Berkley Cone Fund scholarship recipient

UVG Leads the Way

UVG has long been the academic leader for science and technology in Guatemala. The university is leveraging this expertise and important partnerships to do its part to help combat coronavirus in Guatemala. A few highlights:

  • Thanks to a decades-long relationship with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UVG is helping to create a strategy for monitoring the outbreak as well as and verifying and distributing test materials. Read more (in Spanish).
  • Engineering students are building ventilators to distribute to hospitals across Guatemala. Read more (in Spanish).
  • Mechanical engineering students are using 3D printers in the Makerspaces to produce face shields for first responders and medical personnel. Read more (in Spanish).
  • The Industrial Process Center is producing hand sanitizer. Read more (in Spanish).
  • The Center for Health Studies and Department of Computer Science are working on an app where people can self-report cases of COVID-19 to help epidemiological surveillance efforts.
  • The Sustainable Economic Observatory, which receives funding from USAID, is making recommendations for how Guatemala can begin the economic recovery.

We are so grateful your continued support for USFUVG and students like Mónica, Hanzel, and Any. Your generosity means so much, especially in these uncertain times.