The Devastation In Guatemala
Area affected by the June 3, 2018 eruption of the Fuego volcano.
1.7 million people were affected by the last eruption of the Fuego volcano in central Guatemala. Those closest to it payed the highest price, leaving hundreds dead and thousands homeless and in desperate situations. There was little time to evacuate once the explosion happened. Thick streams of lava covered nearby villages and crops were destroyed for a 12 mile radius by the volcanic debris. The volcano sits about 9.9 mi west of Antigua, one of Guatemala’s most famous cities and a tourist destination, and just 27 miles southwest of the capital, Guatemala City.
AS IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH
Total there are thirty-seven volcanos in Guatemala; including Fuego, there are 3 considered to be active.
Guatemala experiences an inordinate number of earthquakes, some of which register quite high on the Richter Scale. There is a correlation between earthquakes and volcanic activity. The best example of this correlation between volcanism and seismically active zones is the “Ring of Fire” skirting the Pacific Ocean which includes Guatemala.
What We Do To Help
Even to this day, there is so much need to cover for that crisis alone. The area near the volcano is largely agricultural and the displaced people will need new farming tools, seeds, starter life stock and shelter. True a great deal of progress has been made, but that does not mean that everything is back to normal. Perhaps it never will, but we keep working on providing the solutions as mentioned.
To date we have supplied 3,000 bottles of water, basic food items, tooth paste and other hygienic items for a targeted group of people. The provision of agricultural supples is being researched so that donated funds have the optimum impact.
We Provide The Following (and more) To Those In Need
Chronic malnutrition is rampant in Guatemala affecting more than 50% of children under 5 which results in other medical problems. Helping with rice, black beans, corn meal, cooking oil, and other food items we provide help them fight the dreaded epidemic. Other high protein foods and drinks also have a positive effect on malnutrition.
Safe drinking water in Guatemala is not a given and the area effected by the eruption of Fuego Volcano only worsened an already serious problem. A person can go without food for several days, but not so without water. We are working to secure funding to purchase water filters for distribution to the effected families.
Personal hygiene in rural Guatemala is problematic in and of itself given the relatively scarce availability of hygenic products. The devastating eruption of Fuego only exagerated this problem. No water, soap, toothpaste and other personal hygiene products were not immediately available making it easy for diseases to spread.
The delivery of trash bags and brooms may sound a bit odd, but the fact is that volcanic ash, if it becomes wet, will solidify and basically turn into cement. It was therefore necessary that effected communities in the blast zone receive trash bags and brooms so the ash would not wash into the drains and harden into cement with the rain.