Volcano Relief – Guatemalan Women’s Sector

By now many Canadians have heard of the horrendous eruption of the Fuego (Fire) Volcano that began Sunday June 3,destroying several Guatemalan communities, killing at least 110 – hundreds more are still missing – and displacing thousands.

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Women from AFEDES prepare emergency packages for communities displaced by the Fire Volcano in Guatemala

There has been considerable controversy regarding official aid from the Guatemalan state for the disaster. Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales initially announced that there were no emergency state funds available for victims of the eruption. Although later state officials began to deliver aid, there are also several reports of soldiers or other state officials confiscating donations gathered at voluntary collection centres and then delivering them to emergency shelters as if they came from the local mayor or the national government. These actions have sparked distrust among the population. On June 9, tens of thousands took to the streets in Guatemala City in a torchlight march to protest the perceived ineptitude and corruption of the Guatemalan government during this crisis.

Since the Fire Volcano continues to be active, the displaced still don’t know if and when they can return to attempt to rebuild their homes and replant crops.

Help from Canada
Solidarity groups and members of the Guatemalan community are organizing activities across Canada to support those affected by the eruption. Contributions can also be directed through CoDevelopment Canada. CoDev is sending all donations to our partner the Guatemalan Women’s Sector, a national alliance of women’s organizations. The Sector is collecting and purchasing food, clothing, bedding and shelter materials to be distributed by their member organization, the Women’s Association for the development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES) in Alotenango, one of the municipalities most affected by the eruption.

Women from AFEDES prepare food and emergency packages for communities displaced by the eruption of Guatemala’s Fire volcano.

To support this work, either click here: “Canada Helps” and choose “Guatemala Volcano Relief” in the “Apply Your Donation” section; mail a cheque to CoDev with the same words in memo line; or give our financial director Jeffrey a call at 778 874 0539, ext 111 to donate with a credit card. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations $25 and over.

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