Melany* and two of her children, Danny* (5) and Daylin* (2) survived the explosion because they were visiting family in a nearby village. Photo credit: Save the Children 2018.

Over 4,000 Living in Temporary Shelters in Guatemala

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 8. 2018) – Across 21 emergency shelters in Guatemala, families are struggling in the aftermath of the two volcanic eruptions that have caused 99 deaths and left almost 200 missing. 

At least 4,100 are now living in shelters—nearly 50 percent of whom are children. 

Save the Children's staff on the ground have reported today that the volcano is still regularly spewing ash and lava, and many fear another eruption.  

Emely*, 12, who is in a shelter in Alotenango with her mother and sister said: “When I saw that smoke coming over us, I got quite scared and ran out into the street. I was unable to grab anything—I got into a car with only the clothes I was wearing. I feel sad because we don’t know if we are going back home and because we don’t know if we will be able to return to school to study.” 

Most temporary shelters are currently set up in schools—leaving thousands of children without on a chance to learn. Many parents have also lost their way to make a living and provide for their families because of the volcanic ash that descended on their villages, fields and crops.

Melany*, a mother of three in one of the Save the Children-supported shelters, said: “We will never see our loved ones again, but thank God we are alive to tell the story. At times my body trembles. My children are asking me when are we going back home and I can’t tell them there is no home to go back to because I don’t want to upset them more.”

Save the Children is working in emergency shelters providing psychosocial support to children, while working to reunify unaccompanied children with their families. 

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