The Blog: Update 8

The rain continues to fall and Fuego continues to rumble and spit lava. The village of Ceylan and La Rochela – a small community even higher up the volcano, are still nervous about the potential threat of the volcano on their side of the mountain. This week, Nina and the Vamos Adelante team discovered there are more than 30 cases of diarrhea in Ceylan. Contaminated water seems to be the likely culprit. As a result, Vamos Adelante is using some of the funds generously donated here to purchase water filters to widely distribute in Ceylan and Rochela.

Thanks to the generous support of World Central Kitchen, the Vamos Adelante team continues picking up ~1,000 meals/day in Escuintla and delivering them to the isolated village of Ceylan, high up on the side of Fuego.

Two Vamos Adelante promoters have spent this week visiting families in the shelters to learn their imminent needs. Many families had simple requests (underwear, flashlights, etc.) which Vamos Adelante purchased for them. The promoters also learned that some families are living with relatives who offered them a spot to stay. Vamos Adelante is helping these families with their requests for tin sheets, cement and other materials so they can build temporary shelters for themselves on their relatives’ land. Of course, everybody is still waiting for more precise information about the official plans the authorities have for their future.

In the “Prensa Libre” newspaper yesterday (21 June), it was announced that, within the next 6 months, 250 houses will be built with support from the private sector on the Finca La Industria in Escuintla. Later, 750 more houses will be built with support from other sources. The houses will be approximately 38 square meters (400 square feet). In the meantime, the shelters are very crowded so the government is setting up a large shelter for temporary housing.

Vamos Adelante promoter, Maide, continues to look for a rental home, but it is really hard to find something as so many are currently looking. She is staying with a cousin for the time being. Rocio also did not find anything adequate, but a pastor offered her and her family a piece of land for a year. Vamos Adelante provided her family with tin sheets, posts, cement and other small construction materials to build a small temporary house in the meantime (see photo).

Official data estimate that 112 people have died, 197 are still missing, and 3,636 remain in shelters due to Fuego’s eruption. At this point, four villages are categorized as “uninhabitable”. The government is still deciding if the disaster zone will be designated as a “sacred ground,” which would mean no one will ever be allowed to return there.

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