Thank you everyone so very much for your donations! It is an incredible amount of support and everyone here is grateful.
Rescue workers active in the disaster zone of the community of El Rodeo, Escuintla. June 5, 2018. Photo: Red Tz'ikin.
Many have asked about how the funds are to be spent and we want to clarify that as well. Due to the nature of GoFundMe and international transfers, the money is still not available in Guatemala yet. It looks like early next week will be the earliest it arrives, unfortunately there's little we can do about that.
In the meantime, we are visiting the shelters for those evacuated, and talking to rescue workers to determine what the situation is and what the current needs are. Thanks to an incredible amount of local support, the shelters seem to have enough food and clothes for now.
What we have heard is still necessary is hygiene products and medicine. Rescue workers have also made it clear that they don't have adequate equipment either to carry out their work. Once we have funds available, we will be looking at how best to support them. We have also heard from many people who are concerned that donations will dry up in a few weeks, while many of the evacuees may be displaced for months.
The situation in Guatemala is still dire. While the official death count is now at 75, rescue workers told us yesterday there are communities they can't access because the ground is still hot. They believe there are hundreds of people missing from those communities. And there remains the risk of continued volcanic activity. So we ask your patience as the situation develops and we work to figure out how best to respond.
Red Tz'ikin / Guatemala June 6th 2018