As of June 5, the US Embassy in Guatemala updated its travel advice. They wrote: “The Guatemala governmental agency for natural disasters (CONRED) has ordered an evacuation of some of the Escuintla area and strongly urges against travel to Chimaltenango, and Sacatepequez, including Antigua.” GV’s Guatemala office and homestay sites are located in the Sacatepequez region of Guatemala.
Billy, GV Guatemala’s Program Director, shared the following regarding travel: “In case of an emergency [while in Guatemala] we will not be in a immediate danger, but we will take the precautions and evacuate the group to a safe place. As soon as flights are available we will evacuate the group. If something similar happens in the next days we will cancel the trips. GV staff will not risk the health and lives of the students.
Summer & ETHS Cohorts: as of June 7 we are still planning to travel to Guatemala. We will continue to monitor the situation and will make a final decision regarding travel prior to Friday, June 15.
Intensive Cohort: we will continue to monitor the situation and will update you as we get more information. At this time, we plan to continue with the program as scheduled.
Updates from Guatemala
GV Seattle and Guatemala staff remain in constant communication. Our Guatemala staff have reassured us that, San Miguel and the GV Guatemala office are not in danger. The governments and people in San Miguel and the surrounding area have shifted their focus to cleaning the streets of the ash that fell on Sunday.
GV Guatemala staff are now focusing on supporting recovery efforts in the nearby town of Alotenango. Many of the individuals and families displaced by the eruption on Sunday have been evacuated to temporary shelters located in Alotenengo. Our staff have been working to collect food and emergency supplies to support the organizations working in this town. If you would like to help donate to support these efforts, click on the link at the top of the page.
On Sunday, June 3, Volcano Fuego erupted sending ash into the sky and triggering mud slides and rock flows down the slope of the volcano. On Tuesday, Fuego erupted again, sending gas and rock down the south slope of the volcano. As of Thursday, June 7, there have been 99 reported casualties and more than 200 people reported missing from towns located on the southwest slopes of the volcano. Over 3,000 people have been evacuated from the communities on the southwest slope of the volcano.
Volcano Fuego is located about 25 miles southwest of Guatemala City and about 10 miles southwest of our host town, San Miguel (see map here). Historically, and with this eruption, the communities toward the Pacific coast (southwest of the volcano) have felt the direct impact of the eruption, rather than the area near our host town (northeast of the volcano).