PYEC Director Anna Coleman measures how much Joaquin Smith has grown since the Youth Center had to shut its doors during the pandemic.
Photo by Caitlyn Coleman

The Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center (PYEC) reopened its doors on May 17, after fourteen months of closure due to the COVID pandemic. The preparations for a safe reopening were thorough, with minor adjustments for safety measures. 

Over 27 youth returned within the first hours of opening to enjoy the relaxed company of their peers. The center was filled with laughter, a few happy tears, and lots of love. 

Caitlyn Coleman, the PYEC Program Coordinator, along with Anna Coleman, the director, have been busy with forthcoming activity plans for the youth center in the coming months. Much of the activity will be utilizing the outside space of the center, including the garden project. Masks and safety behavior are required by all who gather at the youth center. The hours of operation will be different, allowing for proper sanition between gatherings. 

Even with the mitigation procedures in place, the smiles in the youth’s eyes were plentiful as they walked through the front door. One youth summed up the evening by stating, “It’s so good to be home!”