April 23, 2020| Lester Yat
Powerful volcanic eruption wiped out entire villages in Guatemala
On June 3, 2018 the Volcano Fuego erupted. At 6:55 am, it began to spew burning fine ashes continuously. At 2:00 pm, it furiously thundered and expelled volcanic gases and burning rocks and ashes for over 600 degrees of temperature. This filled Guatemala with mourning, with many dead, many people seriously injured or missing, villages buried and many evacuated and left homeless. Julio López, who was inside, said he saved his 2-year-old daughter and 4-month-old baby but lost eight other relatives. López, like many others doesn´t know where he will go after the shelter: “My house is gone, my land is gone”, he said.
Juan José Chávez, a rescue worker said: “We´ve found dead children and entire families hugging each other who tried to take shelter in their home.”
After hearing about the devastation news of hundreds of families affected by this tragedy, we were moved to take action. Many of the victims are still housed in educational centers: overcrowded, without privacy, and lacking basic needs, creating a loss of human dignity. We decided to start a donation campaign resulting in generous response; which included diapers, powered milk, toys, blankets, first aid supplies, clothing, shoes, hygienic products, etc. Donations came from customers, friends and mostly from Angels for Action Foundation – Plainfield NJ. Thank you!
The Lemus Construction team donated time and funds to provide for the shipping of all the donations. The first shipping was sent on June 10 and the following on July 14.
Many thanks to our family and friends that help us with the distribution to the families in need.
Besides providing for the shipment and delivery of the boxes to the families, with your support Lemus Construction was able to go beyond that.
Lemus Construction created a GoFundMe campaign where they asked families, clients, suppliers, subcontractors and friends to support this cause, pledging to match the amount raised. They responded quickly and exceedingly generously.
Donations were received in the amount of $15,995.00 Since Lemus Construction has matched this amount , the total amount collected was an amazing $31,990.00.
How was this money used?
Looking for the best option to make a real difference with the donated money, Lemus Construction heard about a foundation called Adentro (Inside) in Guatemala, created by Ricardo Arjona, a Guatemalan singer-songwriter.
Adentro had created an aid plan to support sheltered families. With this project Ricardo Arjona hoped that it would become an initiative through which individuals and businesses will adopt and help many more families affected by the disaster of the Fuego Volcano recover their lives.
Upon hearing about this, Lemus Construction decided to support the construction of two more houses for families affected by the disaster. They will each have a house with a living room, dining room, and two bedrooms. The property is in a community with immediate access to school and potential employers.
López Ramírez Family
The López family consists of two grandparents, their daughter and her four children (ages 9-11 years old). Before the disaster they lived in a house that was passed down from the family. They had a plot of land where they planted corn and beans. They lost everything: house, furniture, and their land. The day the volcano erupted, the family had left early in the day to shop in another town – that´s why they survived!
At this moment they are living in the wooden government sponsored shelters for refugees where the children also attend school. The grandfather said: “The problem of being here is there is no electricity, clean drinking water, and the bathroom facilities are communal and located far away.”
What does it mean to have your own house?
It is a joy! Where we were temporally wasn´t safe and not appropriate for small children.
The Velásquez family includes a single mother and her only daughter of 12 years old. She was able to rise her daughter with her firewood business. They lost family members and everything they had during the tragedy. Mom said: “That day I was in a retreat in another village. When we saw that many ambulances arrived, we began people saying that our village had disappeared. Then they took us to the shelters. A month later I found a job in Guatemala City as a maid so my daughter can continue school”.
By your great generosity we have been able to bring some joy-showering some of those affected by this catastrophe by basic necessities and even a new home for some. May God bless you abundantly!
Thank you so much!