Expansion of Eco-Alianza Food Security Program Made
Possible by Continuing Generosity

Eco-Alianza Staff Photos
Socially-distanced recipients await vouchers in Eco-Alianza’s shaded courtyard

As we reported to you on May 15, Eco-Alianza’s Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program for Unemployed Workers received a huge boost from a 2:1 donation challenge match generously made by an anonymous donor of the International Community Foundation.

Responding to our April 7 request for donations, nearly 300 donors kindly opened their hearts and their wallets to help tour guides, waiters, housekeepers, groundskeepers, entrepreneurs, fishermen, stylists, and a huge array of professionals and laborers who were suddenly unemployed when nearly all part-time residents and tourists left Loreto at the height of this year’s tourist season because of the pandemic.

Eco-Alianza staffers assist distribution of despensas at MiniSuper Dylan

When matched 2:1, the contributions created a significant opportunity to help carry Loreto families through the months when typically, there are few tourists and fewer jobs. Eco-Alianza Treasurer Linda Kinninger confirms that every cent of the donations and the match will go to buy food and hygiene items from locally owned stores to fund the program. Salaries for Eco-Alianza staff members, working on the program from home and on site, are being paid from funds generated through last year’s GALA auction.

In the first month of the food voucher program 1,122 workers received despensas (food “pantries”) containing 21 types of food and cleaning products. Going forward the despensas will contain 24 products. Each worker has been verified as being recently laid off, employed with reduced salary, or otherwise unemployed. Workers were given vouchers for the first and second half of May and for the first half of June. Program statistics show that the family size of the workers receiving support averages four, meaning 4,488 Loretanos are already benefitting from the food security program, and the program continues to expand because of need.

Projections for the coming months are currently being calculated and will be shared in our upcoming Soundings electronic newsletter later this month. The program’s twice-monthly distributions will continue at least through August.

Colorful despensas await Food Security Program recipients

In addition to feeding unemployed workers and their families, the program benefits the local economy and the employment of local food store workers, who assemble the despensas and distribute them as recipients bring in their vouchers. Most other food security programs on the peninsula purchase pre-packaged despensas from businesses in mainland Mexico. The funds that flow to the 10 participating stores throughout the Loreto communities for the most part stay in the Loreto economy and recirculate.

Eco-Alianza’s Executive President Hugo Quintero states: “In our interactions with the program’s beneficiaries all of them have expressed great gratitude to the generous donors who made this happen. For them the help has brought hope for their families in a time of high uncertainty.”

Additional donations may be made online through the Eco-Alianza website at ecoalianzaloreto.org . Individual questions are welcome and may be emailed to info@ecoalianzaloreto.org .

The United Nations celebrates World Oceans Day every year on June 8. Many countries have celebrated this special day since 1992, following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that June 8 would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day.”

Each year there is a specific theme and normally a huge conference exploring the theme, with dozens of associated activities celebrating the world’s remarkable oceans. This year the theme is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean,” but predictably, there will be no large gathering. However, that is where you benefit!

This year’s U.N. World Oceans Day will be a free Virtual Event from 10 a.m. To 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Presentations by many of the world’s leading ocean voices, including Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau will be available for free streaming. All you need to do is register at https://unworldoceansday.org/2020 .

We Look Forward to Seeing You Soon!

Photo courtesy of Richard Jackson

The Gulf of California is warming up day by day and businesses throughout Loreto are preparing to welcome tourists and part-time residents. Alaska Airlines renews regular service to Loreto today, albeit at a reduced schedule for the summer. Please visit www.alaskaair.com to make your advance reservation.

As you may have heard, Loreto is still a veritable oasis of good health compared to most of North America. Local residents and businesses plan to keep it that way, and already are taking important steps through the Punto Limpio (Clean Point) program. For some it’s involving re-designing inside establishments, remodeling, or rearrangement.

As of mid-May, 95 Loreto hotels and restaurants already had registered to receive the federal certification, which includes consideration of social distancing, screening, hygiene, and face masks. A Punto Limpio training program also has begun. Visit https://setuesbcs.gob.mx/punto-limpio .

And while you’re making plans, please mark your calendar for our rescheduled One Ocean Film Festival (October 16/17) and the Eco-Alianza 13th Anniversary GALA on November 14!

Watch for Our Soundings e-Newsletter Later in June

In addition to more good news about our still-expanding Food Security Program, a fascinating Nature Notes by Tom Haglund, and beautiful images by Rick Jackson, we will celebrate the success of the Bay of Loreto National Park (PNBL). The Park just earned a management effectiveness ranking in the top eight out of 129 protected natural areas in Mexico. Why? We’ll ask PNBL’s director, Israel Popoca. Watch for Soundings on a device near you, and share it with a friend!