Following a powerful eruption on Sunday, Guatemala is in dire need of help. Volcán de Fuego erupted for 16 and a half hours, making it the volcano’s most intense activity in more than four decades. Initial reports stated that 25 died and hundreds more were injured. As expected, the death toll has since increased, reaching 75. At least 192 more are missing, according to BBC.
It affected more than 1.7 million people, but those El Rodeo, Alotenango, and San Miguel los Lotes were hit particularly hard, with some saying that El Rodeo was “buried.” Boris Rodriguez, 25, is one of those who lost his home and family members on Sunday. “I saw the children’s bodies,” he tearfully told BBC. “They were huddled together in bed, like they were trying to hide from what was happening.” Many of his neighbors have similar harrowing stories.
As rescue efforts are underway, responders must practice caution. On Tuesday, the volcano sent ash 16,000 feet in the sky. Smoke rose from the volcano this morning. Firefighters parked their cars facing downhill just in case the volcano erupted once again. “There’s hope,” Rigoberto Ramirez, a firefighter, told CNN. “But it’s dangerous for us to go up there. Water has been trapped under the ash and vapors could come out any time.”
For those of us watching from afar, the situation in Guatemala can make us feel helpless. But while we can’t all physically be there, we can support them right from our homes. The easiest way is perhaps to donate money to one of the few online campaigns accepting money on behalf of the survivors (here’s one). Another way is to head to a local establishment serving as centros de acopio and donating additional supplies, including water, canned goods, diapers, and clothing. We rounded up a few donation centers. Check them out below.
Los Angeles, California
Guatemala Restaurant, 3330 Hillcroft St. in Houston, Texas, is collecting donations until Friday, June 8, 2018. The restaurant is seeking canned goods, water, and items for personal hygiene.
The Civic and Cultural Society of Guatemala in Chicago is collecting food, clothes, and money at Latin Patio restaurant, 3114 N. Central Ave. in Chicago, on June 9.
Five donation centers have popped up in Miami, FL. According to el Nuevo Herald, these locations will collect items from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tikal Bakery, 1255 N.W. 1st St., Miami, FL 33135
- Guate Cargo, 1418 N.W. West Flagler St., Miami, FL 33135
- Jakalito Restaurant, 33 N.W. 27th Ave., Miami, FL 33125
- Zuleta Miami, 8061 N.W. 67th St., Miami, FL 33166
- Dorita, 20328 N.E. 16th Place, Miami, FL 33179