The Blog: Update 5

Thank you all for the support you’ve offered. You may have heard that earlier this week, on Monday afternoon, mud, rocks and debris (a lahar) came pouring down from San Miguel Los Lotes and toward El Rodeo, entering homes and covering roadways.

The Vamos Adelante community education promoter, Maide, lives in El Barrio, between San Miguel Lots Lotes and El Rodeo. There she shared a simple little house with her aunt. Although Maide’s house was not destroyed, this whole area is now considered a “red zone” for volcanic activity. As a precaution, authorities told everybody who lived in the zone they need to relocate permanently. Nina shared: “Staying in the shelter and hearing these news is a huge blow. Of course everybody is happy to have escaped the disaster, but where are they supposed to go now and what about their belongings? How will they be able to afford the transportation, moving and rebuilding cost?”

Rocio is another community education promoter for Vamos Adelante. She lives in Santa Rosa, right behind the little Vamos Adelante school and she is in the same situation as Maide. She, her husband and their three children are getting very frustrated staying in the overcrowded shelter and, like everybody else, have been eagerly waiting to return to their home. However, they now will all not be allowed to do this. They must instead quickly pick up their belongings and leave.

Since it is uncertain when housing will be provided by the government, Vamos Adelante will pay to move Maide and Rocio out of their homes and cover each of their rentals of a little house until permanent housing is decided on and available. This way they will have some stability and these promoters can return to work. Nina reported, “When the community education promoters received this news today, both became very emotional and are so very thankful to see a bit of light on the horizon!”

Maide went yesterday morning to her house to pack up (see photos). She said the smell of the eruption debris and general area was horrible. It was very hard to leave her house as she had worked so hard and saved over the years to build it. Yesterday afternoon Maide and Rocio looked at several houses available in Escuintla and will hopefully both live in places they can call a “temporary home” before the weekend is over.

Many families in shelters plan to move in with friends or family that live outside the red zone, but do not have the money to pay for moving costs. Many of these families, who have been connected to Vamos Adelante since its start approximately 20 years ago, have contacted Nina looking for support. Vamos Adelante is helping to cover their moving costs.

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