Ecuador 2019

COVID-19 & CWB : Program Cancellation

Dear Supporters, 


Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 we cancelled our tour to Colombia (scheduled to depart March 12th). We are cancelling all programs through the end of April, after which time we will reevaluate. 


Cancelling the tour 14 hours before departure was a hard decision. CWB – USA spent  months organizing a tour to the Venezualan/Colombian border. Cancelling the tour represents the loss of hundreds of hours of work. However, protecting our audience is our primary concern. Once we framed the decision in terms of our values, and the most recent World Health Organization guidelines, it became clear that our presence could potentially harm our audience. 


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global pandemic, and has recommended that everyone cease non-essential travel and cancel public gatherings. 


  • The ethical decision-making for each tour includes the following questions: Will we cause harm? Is this the right time? In this case, it’s clear that the only way we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by halting our international travel. 


  • A cholera epidemic hit Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. It was brought to the country by a humanitarian aid worker. The worker was so energized by their desire to help with earthquake relief that they neglected to follow other precautions. I share this example as a reminder about CWB’s commitment to do no harm. In this situation, CWB – USA knows our desire to help can put others at risk. 


As Executive Director, my commitment is to serve the audience. It’s hard to accept that at this moment, that means cancelling the show. We appreciate your continued support as we navigate uncertainty. While we won’t have tours over the next month, we will continue to connect with you over shared experiences of resilience. 


In Gratitude,


Naomi Shafer

Executive Director, CWB – USA


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