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Virus shatters Latin America’s middle class dreams

By Adam Jourdan, Aislinn Laing, Maria Cervantes and Diego Oré

BUENOS AIRES/SANTIAGO/LIMA/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – When the coronavirus hit Chile and abruptly cost Lorena Rodriguez her job, the 47-year-old nanny took a painful decision to pawn her jewelry – gifts from decades earlier – for cash.

Like more than half of Latin Americans, she worked in the informal sector, looking after two children in an upmarket area of the coastal city of Valparaiso but living comfortably on joint income with her husband of 700,000 pesos ($905) a month.

Then suddenly, worried about infection risks from Rodriguez’ bus journey to work, the family cut her job in March.

Without a contract, she could not receive benefits like unemployment pay or social support, despite living in one of the region’s wealthiest nations. A 100,000-peso ($126) emergency payment from the government soon ran out, forcing her to the pawnbroker.

“It was a last

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Boothwyn ER nurse, wife put restaurant dreams on hold to cook for community

BOOTHWYN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A Delaware County couple who had to put their business on hold due to the pandemic used their skills to help others in need.

The “coming soon” sign outside of one restaurant in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania has been up since March.

Marion Grayson and her wife, Colleen Peden, wanted to start selling their home cooking at Matilda’s Country Kitchen in April.

“Then of course, what are you going to do? You can’t open a restaurant during a global pandemic,” said Grayson, a co-owner of the restaurant.

Suddenly, Colleen found herself

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