New Mexico pueblo gets creative with vending machine for face masks

The Pojoaque Pueblo thinks outside the box when it comes to keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, community leaders placed a vending machine filled with free surgical masks inside the Pojoaque supermarket for members of the general public. people don’t have access to things. Tests or masks, so we try to make it as simple as possible,” said Karl Duncan, executive director of the Poeh Cultural Center. The innovative idea came to the staff members of the cultural center last week. Like other areas of New Mexico, Duncan said the pueblo has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among its population. With the new concept, people can now receive the necessary supplies without any unnecessary contact. “Last year we had a lot of drive-in events. We were giving out personalized masks and things like that,” Duncan said. here. We wanted to keep everyone safe.” More than a thousand face masks were provided by the Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal Police Department. The cultural center’s coordinator, said half of the supplies had already run out on the first day the vending machine worked. He and his wife now spend their time keeping up with demand. “Every day is kind of an experiment, trying to see how long you can make them last,” said Viarrial. “In the morning, my wife and I are there bagging masks, so that in the afternoon, we can have plenty of them. “Despite the hard work, Viarrial said he would not stop if early. All in hopes of protecting those both on and off the reserve. “You can protect yourself, but it won’t do anything for the whole community. If we want to heal, we have to do it as a community,” Viarrial said. Leaders are already discussing adding more vending machines throughout the pueblo. addition, such as the N95.

The Pojoaque Pueblo thinks outside the box when it comes to keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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On Thursday, community leaders placed a vending machine filled with free surgical masks inside the Pojoaque supermarket for members of the general public.

“A lot of people don’t have access to things. Tests or masks, so we’re trying to make it as easy as possible,” said Karl Duncan, executive director of the Poeh Cultural Center.

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Pictured: Jake Viarrial restocks the Pojoaque supermarket vending machine with surgical masks.

The innovative idea came to the staff members of the cultural center last week.

Like other areas of New Mexico, Duncan said the pueblo has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among its population.

With the new concept, people can now receive the necessary supplies without any unnecessary contact.

“Last year we had a lot of drive-in events. We were giving out custom masks and things like that,” Duncan said. “[However] we’re trying to reduce the number of people coming in, and there’s a slight increase here. We wanted to protect everyone.”

pojoaque pueblo gets creative with face masks
pojoaque pueblo gets creative with face masks

More than a thousand face masks were provided by the Pueblo de Pojoaque Tribal Police Department.

Jake Viarrial, tourism coordinator for the cultural center, said half the supplies were already sold out the first day the vending machine operated.

He and his wife now spend their time keeping up with demand.

“Every day is kind of an experiment, trying to see how long you can make them last,” Viarrial said. “In the morning my wife and I are there packing masks, so that in the afternoon we can have [the vending machine] full.”

Despite the hard work, Viarrial said he won’t be stopping anytime soon.

All in the hope of protecting those inside and outside the reserve.

“You can protect yourself, but it won’t do anything for the whole community. If we want to heal, we have to do it as a community,” Viarrial said.

Leaders are already discussing adding more vending machines throughout the pueblo.

Discussions also focus on the types of masks provided and the inclusion of more, such as N95s.

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