Guatemala has been left reeling by the most violent volcanic eruption since 1974.  The Fuego volcano has spewed lava, ash, rocks and deadly hot gas onto hillside villages, killing 69 people so far. More than 3,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, while the entire community of El Rodeo is said to be buried.
 
As soon as the volcano erupted, Rotary in Guatemala and the District Governor 4250 were in touch with ShelterBox Operations and have been working closely with the Guatemala national agency for disaster reduction. 
 
How you can help:
  1. Invite members to visit our Guatemala page: www.shelterboxusa.org/guatemala
  2. Make a donation from the District in support of ShelterBox or offer matching funds to clubs who give
  3. Invite clubs to make a year-end donation to ShelterBox
  4. Invite people to donate at www.shelterboxusa.org/donate

 
 
ShelterBox Operations have been working closely with the Guatemala national agency for disaster reduction.  DG Julio Grazioso told us:
 
“The situation here is very sad and dramatic. This is very different to any other emergency I have experienced because of the burns and sand everywhere.  RI Director Jorge Aufranc, other Rotarians and I have been to the disaster area to assess the situation there. The affected communities are: Alotenango in the Southeast and El Tablón, La Reyna, El Rodeo and San Miguel los Lotes in the South. There are 80 families without homes, half of them in the temporary shelter in the school. In the other communities there are hundreds more families without homes. This is the number of families displaced so far.  
 
The National agency for disaster reduction is leading the government efforts, other government entities are also involved. Fire department and the Army are conducting rescue operations.   The local communities are responding extraordinarily contributing with food, water, mattresses, blankets and some medicine. Rotary is working in coordination through the Rotary Emergency Committee with the participation of many different clubs. The Rotary clubs closest to the disaster are having a key role in logistics and contacts.”
 
A ShelterBox response team is making its way to Guatemala now.  The team includes Tim Hedges, ShelterBox Operations Rotary Liaison as the Team lead and Jeff Deatherage, a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, USA.  This will be Jeff’s sixth deployment as a Response Team volunteer, his previous responses include USA, Philippines, Paraguay and Peru.  The team will work with our contacts and Rotary partners in the country to understand how we can help. We will provide more updates when the team has arrived in Guatemala.  The team is meeting with local organizations and with Rotary to understand how and if ShelterBox can help.
 
Our immediate response to this disaster was made possible by the past support of Rotarians including those in your District.  We are currently also active in Syria, Iraq, Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Somaliland, Dominica and Barbuda, ShelterBox also has a team in Kenya following devastating flooding and landslides where over 330,000 people have had to leave their homes.
 
 
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