Latest Update on Our Work in Guatemala
The Guatemalan government has set up shelters in 2 different regions to provide basic emergency relief and shelter to local civilians. La Alianza (as we are known in Guatemala) staff members have been visiting these sites since Monday June 4th. La Alianza National Director, Carolina Escobar traveled to several devastated areas last week to visit 4 of these shelters in addition to the principal health center in the region, bringing them medical supplies. At the health center, Carolina was also able to provide training to police officers and firefighters in stress and trauma management for themselves (first responders), and civilian survivors.
There are still many people missing. Over 100 are dead, but the government has now halted all rescue efforts. There is grave concern that traffickers and other exploiters will see this moment as an opportunity to act. In response to this, our staff members are supporting shelter personnel to collect and register families and individuals’ information to create comprehensive lists in each of the shelters they are visiting. These lists will help shelter personnel stay in in contact with all the families and individuals seeking relief in the shelter.
La Alianza has become a collection center and has seen a tremendous generosity from Guatemalans. Yesterday, we were able to deliver donated food, clothing, and other basic necessities in addition to medical supplies. In addition to delivering basic necessities to various shelters, we were able to carry out a two workshops in trauma informed cared to shelter coordinators and first responders.
We are doing specialized training this week for staff members so they are prepared for any future emergencies of this nature.
Our girls at La Alianza have also expressed their intentions to make a difference and have an impact on the families that have lost everything. In an effort of solidarity, our young girls responded to this tragedy by writing and sending notes of love and support to all the children that are currently in the relief shelters hoping their message bring them some comfort.