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Covid-19 Impact On NYC’s Garifuna Community

Hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy. As you’re aware, New York City has emerged as the epicenter of the global 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

New York reported 16,162 statewide deaths as of Friday, April 24 including 422 more fatalities in the past day of New Yorkers who have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Friday, the state reported 11,544 deaths of New York city residents, or 16,665 deaths, including “probable” and not just “confirmed” cases.

Searching social media networks, I have identified fifty one Garífuna deaths in New York City since April 2. This alarming number is equivalent to 83% of the Garifuna people killed in the Happy Land Social Club Fire, on March 25, 1990.

In response to this tragic situation, Hondurans Against AIDS, Inc., has organized the USA and Central American Permanent Emergency Team.

The team has organized the following three committees:

  • Medical
  • Food justice
  • International Policy

As part of this effort, Hondurans Against AIDS, Inc.‘s Casa Yurumein is one of World Central Kitchen’s designated sites distributing fresh, individually packaged grab-and-go meals to Garifuna families, including approximately three hundred living in Homeless shelters, as well as Garifuna seniors, many of them living alone, disconnected from family and social supports during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For more information about the USA and Central American Permanent Emergency Team, contact Katy Gil at (347) 520-4311 or Mirtha Colon at (718) 213-5439

In addition, The Bronx Community Relief Effort, is a $10 million fund to support effective, on-the-ground operations that are focused on meeting the most essential needs of the Bronxk community. This includes filling gaps in public financing and broader grant programs. If you have questions about the program, feel free to email me.

Finally, If you know of a Garifuna who has died during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please click here to submit their name in order to update our records.

Stay home, Stay safe and healthy.

José Francisco Ávila

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