Just over three weeks ago Tropical Storm Agatha slammed into Guatemala killing close to 200 people and leaving thousands homeless. Roads around the country were covered in mud and washed away. Then a giant sink hole in Guatemala city took over the headlines and now that the giant sinkhole has passed from the news it seems as if Guatemala is back to normal. As far as conditions for tourists go, that is all very true. You can now safely board a shuttle in Antigua and reasonably expect to get to wherever your destination is in good time with little hassle. The roads into places like San Pedro La Laguna and San Marcos have had the mud scraped off of them and, though repair work continues, they are good to go.
The people left homeless and injured, with villages washed away and water systems in ruins have a very different perspective. The country of Guatemala has very little in the way of aid and reconstruction to offer the members of its poor and indigenous population. A lot of help is still needed in Guatemala and around Lake Atitlan! Organizations providing relief in the form of food, potable water, clothing and housing are still desperately short of funds and material.
In the last few days I have received emails from several of the groups doing good work in Guatemala and around Lake Atitlan. Sharon of Mayan Families sent me the following email which does a good job of summing up the current needs to help relieve the suffering caused by Agatha in Guatemala. Mayan Families is one of several highly reputable groups collecting money and doing good work in the Lake Atitlan region. I will provide links to other groups doing a wonderful job at the bottom of this page. Read their pages and needs, and please pick one to help, if you haven’t already.
“Natural disaster has devastated Guatemala, and the area served by Mayan Families is among the hardest hit. We need your help now more than ever before.
Tropical Storm Agatha caused significant destruction with flooding and landslides, and the eruption of Volcano Pacaya spewed thick, black ash around the region. Lives have been lost, several hundred injured, homes and possessions destroyed, thousands of victims evacuated to shelters, crops washed away, and livelihoods severely impacted by the reduction in tourism.
You have probably read our reports over the last few weeks and seen stories in the news. Even though this Guatemalan crisis is no longer in the U.S. and international headlines, the disaster continues as many communities are being evacuated and hundreds of families are living in emergency shelters.
Together, we can make a difference!
We are determined to help the people of the Lake Atitlan area recover and rebuild. As a friend of Mayan Families, you know our resources were spread thin even before this disaster struck. Thanks to the compassion and generosity of supporters like you, we have been able to supply many communities with food, clothing, blankets and
medical attention. We are doing all we can, but the need here is very great.
Even families that have not lost their homes are suffering because they have lost their jobs. Many of the villages have lost all the crops that they would sell to be able to feed their families in the coming months. Even worse– many families have gone days without eating.
There is an incredible need for clothing, shoes, and blankets.
We need your help. Please consider supporting the Mayan Families disaster relief effort in Guatemala. There are important ways you can help by donating on our website.
$150 US Feeds a basic diet to a medium size family for a month
$35 US Large Basket of Food
$90 100 lb of Black Beans
$5 Carton of 30 Eggs
$54 Baby Formula for babies 12 months and under for 1 month
$30 Milk for infants 12 months and older for 1 month
$45 Double Mattress
$170 Bed and Mattress
$110 Wooden Table & Chairs
$110 Sink for Washing
$95/$100 Traditional Clothing
$8 Traditional Belt
$30 Leather Shoes
$5 Plastic Shoes
$18 Extra Large Golf Style Umbrella
$115 Pila-two sided cement wash basin sink for washing
$170 Family Wardrobe
$45 100 lb bag of Corn (This makes tortillas for a family of five, 3 meals a day, for approximately two weeks)
$85 100 blocks to help rebuild.
$25 Per tin sheet for roofing.
$50 Water Filter for clean drinking water.
$160 Give a Fuel Efficient Onil Stove.
$60 Give an Ecomal portable stove.
$20,000 Build a school or add additional school rooms (depends on location, distance and size required) Land not included.
$90 Buy traditional clothing for a child or woman
$20 Buy a blanket
Even a small gift can make a big difference with the Mayan Families response to this urgent disaster. And if you have already given, please consider another donation.
The people of the Lake Atitlan area in Guatemala are counting on you, and they have nowhere else to turn.
Small donations can make a big difference.
It’s your time to give hope.”