As a result of the pandemic, popular canteens are multiplying in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

With a saucepan under her arm, Paulina Vegas walks every morning the hundred meters separating her home from the popular self-managed canteen of Peñalolen, on the heights of Santiago de Chile. “I leave my container at around 11:00 am and collect it full at 1:30 pm. It is the only solution I have left to feed my family,” admits the discreet waitress, who has been out of work for two weeks.

Like her, thousands of Chileans have been deprived of income since Friday May 15 and the establishment of strict confinement in greater Santiago. The region has been hit hard by the pandemic; confirmed cases of Covid-19 quadrupled in three weeks. In the capital, 98% of intensive care beds are occupied. About a hundred patients have already been transferred by military aircraft to hospitals in southern Chile.