DULCENOMBRE Belmonte Poyon gets up, has her breakfast, then sits down at her sewing machine for a seven-hour marathon.
Using a mix of her own materials and some donated fabrics, the 55-year-old gets to work on creating masks for her neighbourhood near the heart of Sevilla.
But this is not just a one off gesture of solidarity amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this is her everyday life, and has been for a month.
In fact she has now singlehandedly – with the help of ‘assistant’ hubby Juan, 58 – made 600 masks.
The social worker has been non-stop sewing since her local religious brotherhood, in the Pino Montano neighbourhood, put out a call for help on social media for locals who could help fill in for the lack personal protective equipment (PPE).
“The goal was to make 10,000 masks and in the end we have made 25,000 between 80 of us,” Dulcenombre told the Olive Press.
“The brotherhood initially gave me surgical cloth but I ran out after making 400 masks for them…then I felt a bit lost and helpless so I decided to continue making masks on request, using my own elastic and fabric that people donated to me.
“I also have an assistant in the form of my husband, who has been furloughed, he cuts the fabrics and elastics ready for me to sew.”
At the end of March, Sevilla was at the peak of its coronavirus curve and the second hardest hit province in Andalucia.
It now, fortunately, has the virus well under control and will enter Phase 0 of the deescalation plan next week. But, in what is a good sign, people are remaining on guard and are keeping Dulcenombre busy with mask orders.
The mother-of-two is increasingly focusing on making masks for children after locals complained they could not find any in the pharmacies which fit their little ones, they were also initially expensive before Spain introduced a price limit.
All of the masks are commissioned on Facebook or by word of mouth.
Dulcenombre added: “The neighbours have been really appreciative, especially at the beginning when there was a real shortage.
“I pay for the elastic and will never take money for the service.
“At the moment I will be making masks as long as they are needed and I have stocks of cloth and elastics. I have made more than 600 and I hope to do many more!”
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