CHENGDU: When primary schools in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, reopened on May 6, Pedro Diaz, a Spanish sports coach, also resumed work after two months of online coaching.
Pedro, a PE teacher working in a sports training school, has been living with his Chinese wife in the city for five years. He had to work at home to coach his students due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Before the Lunar Chinese New Year, Pedro took his two-year-old daughter back to Spain, and then the two returned home at the end of February, because Pedro was worried about his wife when the epidemic was reported in China. In mid-March, the situation in Spain deteriorated, and Pedro called his family in Spain every day to stress the importance of self-protection and tell them to always wear masks and wash their hands.
“Since my wife is Chinese, we paid close attention to the epidemic very early and knew the gravity of the situation compared to most Spanish,” Pedro said. He also joined a WeChat group, which was organized by Spaniards living in China. They donated money to purchase masks in China to be sent to Spain. Alberto Carot, a sports consultant living in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, is the organizer of the WeChat Group. What was happening in Spain was always on his mind.
“There were only about a dozen people who joined the group, and we were all friends. Then we found more Spanish people,” Alberto said. Among the group, some were in charge of designing posters, some raised donations, some purchased masks and other materials, and some contacted Spain’s Consulate General in Guangzhou. “We also have two Chinese friends in our group, and they helped us translate and contact local mask suppliers,” Alberto said. “We have so far raised nearly 370,000 yuan (about 52,310 U.S. dollars) and donated 67,800 masks through the Spanish Embassy in China.”