Helping Guatemala “No Matta What”
Tonight, the death toll from the volcanic eruption in Guatemala has risen to 77 - while nearly 200 are still missing. More than 1 million people were affected by the volcano and presently 3,319 of those are in shelters.
Countries and organizations are coming together to assist Guatemala by donating money and supplies to those in need.
Belize is one among the many but our Red Cross can only give money as they don't have space to store supplies. But, one Belizean didn’t feel like money was enough, she wanted to give more. We met her today and heard more about her generous gesture.
Volcano Fuego has always been an active volcano that would occasionally gush out lava, but on Sunday the volcano did justice to its fiery name. Fuego had its worst eruption in more than a century, turning villages into ash and women, men, and children buried in it.
Many children no longer have someone to call mom or dad and many parents no longer have children to boast about. But the Guatemalans are not alone in fighting this horrific battle.
Thousands of people from all walks of life have come together to lend a much needed helping hand. Donations big and small have been pouring in from organizations all over the world.
The Belize Red Cross has set up an account for monetary donations. But many Belizeans want to give more than just money, they want to donate supplies. Raquel Escobar is one of them.
Escobar felt she could not wait for someone else to come up with a way to get in-kind donations and take them to Guatemala, so she took on the responsibility. Transportation seems uncertain but that is not phasing her.
Raquel Escobar - Philanthropist
"Well like I said I wanted to take my bus and a team there to assist me in getting the stuff there so I want to do that but I am just not sure if the bus will be able to go out of the country but any assistance would be good from a person in a high position so I can get permission to take the bus there and my team. Well, I have people in Melchor that I can contact and see who are the teams that are traveling there so I can get the stuff. If the bus is not able to go I will take my personal vehicle and deliver it to Melchor but to a person who will take it there."
She says she found a list of things that the victims need. They have enough adult supplies but not much for children.
"So supplies like?"
"Pampers, baba, face mask, baby shoes, baby clothes, alcohol, peroxide, more medical things."
Belize and Guatemala are not on the best terms but for Escobar that is a non-issue. She is not concerned about what Guatemala has done to Belize or how much money she will have to spend. She just wants to help.
"I see people hurt and many nights I just think how could I live and go through all of that. I don't picture myself in that scenario. Money comes and goes and a person only lives once so I am willing to help anyone. Well, it is just an act of kindness, today is for them. We don't know what can happen to us tomorrow so it just comes from the bottom of my heart.”
If you would like to donate anything you can drop it off at Escobar's store in Ladyville, which is named Infiniti or you can call her at 633-6306.
And it seems Escobar is not the only good Samaritan. On Saturday Radio Bahia in Corozal will be an all-day having a radio-thon. The public is invited to come out and donate whatever they can. For more information, you can call 634-3498
The Guatemalan embassy also sent out a release today urging donors to give cash donations to the bank accounts of the Red Cross in Belize - which will transfer those funds to its Guatemalan counterparts.
You can see the banking details on our website.
San Pedro Unites For Guatemala, Over $10K Pledged
El Volcan de Fuego eruptionin Guatemala on Sunday, June 3, 2018, has resulted in 86 deaths and at least 300 injuries, 2,000 missing persons so far, including the evacuation of many neighboring residents. Without any hesitation island residents of Ambergris Caye, Beilze united in the spirit of humanity to assist, in any way possible, our neighbors in Guatemala.
On Monday, June 4, 2018, Island Warriors Football Team, spearheaded a dollar drive and collection of canned foods and clothing at the Hon. Louis Sylvestre Football Field. The group had a tremendous turnout of support having collected $1,158 in the dollar drive and three truckloads of clothing in just one night. Their fundraising efforts continued on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 and the entire community of San Pedro united for a grand radiothon and food/clothing drive on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
The San Pedro Town Council, San Pedro Lions Club, the Belize Red Cross, Communidad Salvadorena and Projects Abroad, united to raise fund for the Volcan de Fuego Victims. Dollar drives throughout the streets of San Pedro and the radiothon gathered a total of $10,400.69 all for our brothers and sisters in Guatemala.
A contingency from San Pedro will be personally delivering the items collected and monies to Guatemala on Thursday, June 7, 2018. Once again our little island has proven that when it comes to lending a helping hand we always join hands and assist. Kudos to everyone who helped out in making this relief effort a total success!