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Dear Esperanza Volunteers and Friends,
Esperanza International, in partnership with Fundacion Esperanza Mexico, is dedicated to providing a safe working experience for all our Volunteers during their stay in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. In response to recent inquiries, we would like to take this time to address recent concerns surrounding the Zika Virus.
What is Zika?
According to the Pan American Health Organization, “Zika is a mosquito-borne illness that is new to the Americas.” There have been confirmed cases of Zika in Mexico, however the outbreak is largely concentrated in the southern tropical states of Chiapas and Oaxaca which border Guatemala. There have been zero reported cases of Zika in both Baja California (the state in which Tijuana is located) and Baja California Sur.
Am I at risk for Zika while working at Esperanza?
Due to its dry climate year-round Baja California is considered low-risk for the Zika virus. We are doing everything in our power to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne Zika at La Posada Esperanza, including but not limited to: removing still water from our pond and converting it into a garden, cleaning and covering gray water tanks, replacing any damaged window screens, cleaning any standing water at all times, and stocking First Aid kits with mosquito repellent. We will also be educating our families in the community about removing any still water.
How can I protect myself?
We recommend Volunteers take the following precaution, as recommended by the CDC, while working in the community: cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Where can I learn more?
We encourage all travelers to educate themselves and recommend the following links and articles below for more detailed information concerning Zika:
- Zika Virus and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know by Providence Health
- CDC Zika Virus in Mexico
- CDC Zika Travel Information
- Mexico’s secretary of health website
We want to thank you for your continued dedication to Esperanza, your presence in our communities has made our work of cultivating global citizens and providing safe and dignified housing possible for the past 30 years. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Program Director, Celina Rodriguez (619)573-2006, firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you for your support.
Greg Harkness, President, Esperanza Board of Directors
Ernesto Aguilar, President, Fundacion Esperanza Mexico
Monica Fragoso-Peralta, Director, Fundacion Esperanza México