Many countries in Latin America are taking precautions to avoid an onslaught of cases as the coronavirus pandemic continues to strain health resources around the world. Similarly to the United States, countries throughout Central and South America have implemented partial lockdowns, bans on large events and gatherings and travel restrictions. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama and the Dominican Republic also put forth a joint regional plan to address the global emergency.
Due to rampant socio-economic disparities and fragile public healthcare systems, Latin America is reportedly in a particularly fragile position as the virus begins to enter its borders. Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil said the virus is a media trick spurred by his political foes and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua organized huge support rallies under the theme “Love Walk in the Time of COVID-19,” the exact opposite of what’s needed to encourage social distancing.
The picture is bleak at an international level, but one of the few things that have tempered anxiety and fear is the image of humans trying to lift each other up. Similar to what we’ve seen in European countries such as Spain and Italy, people in Latin America and the Caribbean have met new quarantine measures with gestures that show their own shared hope and resilience. Whether it’s breaking out into communal song or hosting online block parties from their balconies, here are just a few examples of the small acts of kindness and optimism in the region:
Panamanians applauded, cheered and banged pots and pans to thank first-responders who have been fighting on the frontlines of the health crisis.
They also blasted reggaeton in unison and had a social-distanced version of a neighborhood block party to the sound of Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s “Tusa.”
In Peru, people have united at 8 p.m. to honor health care workers every night.
Some patrol officers have also attended to their nightly shifts while blaring “Contigo Peru” from their squad cars.
In cities like Medellín, Colombians took a moment to applaud police, healthcare workers and other members of the community who have lent a hand during the crisis.
DJs have given the people the perreo party they want by hosting online parties.
One Twitter user captured musicians in Valencia standing on their balconies, playing for their communities at a distance.