The first two months of 2020 were packed with activities and changes. Majo, our charismatic Garden of Hope teacher, prepared to move on to a new life in Spain. For two months she worked with and trained her replacement, Johnny, who has brought his own great energy and knowledge to the Garden. As Salina has relocated from Guatemala to the United States, Sonya took over as administrative director of Juntos Podemos, TWCG's sister organization in Guatemala. Programs in El Hato expanded a little bit. The teachers in El Hato's public school recognized the difference our afternoon tutoring program has been making in the education of their students and encouraged us to expand, so our partner organization, Las Manos de Christine, committed to providing an extra tutor four days a week instead of two. Attendance at the expanded tutoring hours significantly increased compared to last year.
Unfortunately, all that came to an abrupt halt in March as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world. Like many countries, Guatemala shutdown its schools and many other activities -- to an even greater extent than the United States. We at Together We Can Guatemala and Juntos Podemos have tried to do what we can, within the restrictions imposed by the Guatemalan government. And expenses have NOT decreased, as we have continued to pay our employees.
We look forward to the day when schools can once again open safely. The children in Guatemala will need these programs even more than ever, having lost so much valuable time at such a critical juncture in their lives.
For more detail on our first-quarter activities, check out our April 2020 newsletter.