Most of you are aware of our personal connection to Guatemala. Rachel’s adopted son Ruben was born there. Our founder and former advisor, Joan, has retired to Antigua.
Joan writes: Visiting shelters is tough. Freddy and his mom, pictured here, are only alive because they were on the second floor of their house in San Miguel Los Lotes. They waited two hours to be rescued as the lava was too hot to walk on. They lost everything included two nieces and a number of grandchildren. Another shelter receiving more help was having a birthday party for a girl who turned six today. The kids are oblivious but the adults are struggling with the fact that they can’t go home again. It is not there anymore.
There are people living in shelters in Antigua and other places. Everyone is doing something. A group started by a chef is cranking out thousands of meals every day, people are playing with the kids, listening to horrific stories. I am trying to locate a parrot belonging to a ten year old who can’t stop crying. Yesterday I found out that there are some that were rescued. They are with a government wildlife group. Fingers crossed.
One woman lost fifty members of her family. Children, grandchildren, mother, nine siblings and their families. Nina (see below) is spending her days schlepping supplies to an uncrossable river (as the road has been destroyed). The residents of a village of 7000 are forming a bucket brigade across the river to move the supplies. Everyone is doing something. No one is idle except for the government.
Just in case you were meaning to help the displaced people in Guatemala here is a link. This organization is run by a long-time client of mine, Nina Joergensen. She has served the affected communities for over twenty years and knows many of the people. They are so relieved when they see her enter the shelters. Some 4,000 people need new homes, new everything and psychological support as well. Please do what you can and donate to Guatemala Disaster Relief.