What the United States Can Learn From Colombia to Deal With COVID-19
The best way to overcome difficult moments is with the help of friends, that's how hundreds of businesses in Colombia are resisting the crisis because of COVID-19.
This is a difficult time for all of us, but the way we face it changes the way we pass these days of health and economic uncertainty and social tension.
In Colombia, fourteen days after the start of the national quarantine to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, some sectors have begun to organize themselves to resist in solidarity, to maintain as many jobs as possible, to take care of the productive chain of which they are a part and, especially, the well-being of all.
Solidarity is a gesture that has emerged from the bars of New York to the Givenchi factories and the streets of London, but remembering other cases helps us understand that we are not alone and that, just as these people have done, we too can get organized to help others and find support.
Mucho Mercado Solidario (Solidarity Market)
Mucho is a Colombian company that sells perishable organic products directly to your home. What they started doing was buying crops at risk of being lost due to the disruption of the distribution chain and making packages of groceries for the vulnerable population.In just over two weeks they have secured 743 donors, 554 packs delivered and 25.6 million pesos collected (about $6,500, at current exchange rates).
#ApoyoMutuo (Mutual Support)
A group of Colombian independent bookstores partnered to display a virtual showcase of books from Colombian independent publishers. Every two days they privilege a different bookstore, which exhibits four different books. The books are on sale, to be picked up after the quarantine is over. Each bookstore has committed to inviting each buyer to a coffee.
Thus, using the social networks of all, they rotate the attention of potential buyers, seeking that the greatest number of them survive.
#YaNosPillamos (We'll see each other)
This is a restaurant association that is selling bonds to redeem once the quarantine is over. All the restaurants have committed to use all the income obtained by this means for the support of their entire staff. In the 6 days of the campaign they have already collected at least $43 million pesos, represented by 320 bonds, which has served to pay a minimum wage for 48 employees of these restaurants.
This is an application developed in Colombia in which they are selling bonds to support different businesses. There is both the option to support a business and to register one's own. In the 15 days it has been running, they have already saved 1 business, impacted 375, have 750 businesses registered, have received 2,903 purchases and collected a total of 217,396,000 pesos (more than 55,600 dollars at current exchange rates).