It has been a busy two weeks for Guatemala. As many of you know by now, Guatemala has been hit pretty hard in several different aspects. The rainy season began back in the beginning of May, though the country has been experiencing very heavy rains over the past several weeks. On Thursday, May 27th, there was the added excitement of the Volcano Pacaya erupting, causing several deaths, a lot of structural damage and created a rain of ash for areas near and far from the volcano (some reports indicate that the ash reached as far as Petén, at the Northern tip of Guatemala, thanks to wind currents. Two days later, on Saturday, May 29, a sinkhole formed without notice in Zona 2 (a short ride from the Kairos House), causing a building to disappear and spur reports of a few people missing since the event (For more information as to possible causes for this and other sinkholes, follow this link Geologists explain cause of hole in Guatemala Thursday June 4 2010 to an article that discusses a geologists findings and points of view.
During these events, the Pacific was storming and creating what appeared was going to be a bad hurricane. However, by God’s grace, the storm turned into a “Tropical Depression” when it hit land on Sunday, May 30, sparing the country some damage, though Agatha still left quite a negative impression on the people of Guatemala.
In terms of damage, CONRED (The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction) stated in its most recent report that Agatha killed 174 people, left 113 missing and injured 154 individuals. The report also indicates that there are 133,102 people in “at risk” environments, 162,857 have been evacuated from their homes, and 27,823 are taking shelter in the 218 shelters throughout the country. The majority of the damage, from Agatha, was seen in the south up to the northwest regions of the country (information taken from Prensalibre http://www.prensalibre.com/noticias/Agatha-causo-danos-Q1-millones_0_278372191.html )
As for the Kairos House, minor damage resulted from ash seeping into the pipes which caused the laminate roof to have to be removed in some areas so access could be made to the pipes. Praise God that a local women funded salary of two laborers who fixed the problem within a short period of time. Chiquimula, fortunately, was not affected by the Volcano or Agatha, though they too have had heavy rains over the past month.
Though the news may have lost interest in these events, we cannot forget the damage that has been caused. Driving through Guatemala, you can still see ash in the streets or it may be found in the crevices of people’s homes. However, while some are trying to clean the ash out of their home, some have been hit with the reality that they no longer have a home. There is one family, staying in the Kairos House, who live in the southern part of Guatemala, and lost everything from Agatha. Now, in addition to worrying about their ill child, they now have to worry about where they can now call home.
We, in Kairos, know we cannot solve the problems of everyone whom we come across, but we do want to try to make an impact in areas where we can. We would like to do this by helping some families with quintales (100lb bags) of corn and beans so they will not need to think about their next meal while they are rebuilding their lives. We would also like to help the family staying in the Kairos House who lost their home by purchasing the materials to build a new roof.
The family most probably could find the materials needed to build the walls of a home by finding old trees or pieces of wood, but would not be able to purchase new laminate sheets. Below are the prices for these ítems:
4×8 galvanized lamínate sheets (calibre 28) = Q130/1 ($16.25/1) x12 = Q1,560 or $195USD
Quintal of Corn = Q225.00 or $28.13
Quintal of Beans = Q500.00 or $62.50
*we would love to have at least 10 bags each of corn and beans
Thank you all for your continued prayers! We do value them and know it is through your prayers that God sustains us each day.
For Kairos Ministries, Elizabeth Valdez
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