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Guatemalan Maya Center provides food, gifts for insecure families at holiday drive-up event

COVID-19 forces cancellation of annual Christmas party
Posted at 6:24 AM, Dec 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-20 06:25:38-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth Beach had to cancel its annual Christmas party.

"Every year we do a large Christmas party for the community. This year, because of COVID-19, we couldn't have our typical party," said Mariana Blanco, assistant executive director of the Guatemalan Maya Center.

Instead, Blanco said, the center decided to hold a drive-up holiday and distribution event for insecure families in the community.

"We're going to be distributing food," said Blanco. "We're going to be giving out actual lunch (and) dinner."

"A lot of people, they (lost) their job," said Olga, a volunteer and client at the Guatemalan Maya Center.

Olga, volunteer and client at Guatemalan Maya Center
Olga is a volunteer and client at the Guatemalan Maya Center.

Olga, who didn't give her last name, said her family participated in the event and received food and gifts.

"This is good for them," said Olga. "They get happy."

In addition to food and gifts, hygiene kits were given out to families.

"We want to make sure that our community is well informed," said Blanco. "We're also passing (out) COVID-19 flyers with information about the vaccines."

Blanco said for a community that does so much, it was the least she could this holiday season.

"We work with a lot of the farm workers here in South Florida, and so the need is obviously great," said Blanco. "They are the ones picking our food and we decided, as an organization, that this Christmas we're going to make sure to put food on their table as well."