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Around the world, this summer has been a battle against COVID-19. In Neltume, Chile, it is no different. The small businesses we have worked with through the Huilo Huilo Foundation are struggling to fight the economic turmoil that the coronavirus has brought with it and which will remain until October at the earliest.

Primarily, the Neltume economy relies on tourism to the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve. With travel mostly suspended, the reserve is closed, and the businesses are trying to get by. It has been interesting to work with them to adjust to the new circumstances. So, we’ve spent time adding information about each business’s new policies to control the coronavirus to their web site. Also, we’ve translated many documents to English in hopes of attracting more tourists when they do reopen.

As we get close to the end of this program, it is time to start looking closer to home

again. COVID-19 continues to affect so many communities. Through an on-campus organization, I am motivated to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) and the diabetic community through the pandemic. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of facing symptoms and even dying of the coronavirus, so it is important that they see additional encouragement.

My organization is focused on raising money to support JDRF and I am excited to be a part of the fundraising team. We are working on planning an on-campus event during the fall semester and may introduce other initiatives as well.

Coronavirus relief will continue to be necessary beyond the creation of a vaccine. Economies will take significant time to recover, and it is unlikely COVID-19 will be completely eradicated soon. I am hopeful that I will be able to stay involved throughout the uncertainty the virus brings. However, it is time to move on from Neltume and begin looking inward at my closer communities.