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Guatemala Volcano Eruption Relief

$7,455 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 6 months
On June 3rd, el volcán de fuego located just south of Antigua let off a massive eruption unlike any seen before in Guatemala. Entire communities once populated by thousands of people were  enveloped with scalding ash and volcanic debris  and essentially wiped off the map in a matter of minutes. The current confirmed death toll hovers at 100+, but thousands more or presumed to be missing or perished. Many surviving individuals have lost their homes, loved ones, pets, neighbors, and crops and face significant acute medical problems. The long-term impact is impossible to calculate but will be felt for some time.

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(This section has been updated to better reflect the current state of events as they develop)

When the severity of the eruption became clear, I initially hoped to assist those affected by purchasing items of critical need and sending them to the designated shelters and directly to those in need. My promise was to ensure that every dollar donated would help directly support affected individuals. That promise still stands.

However, I have been speaking with contacts in the area and there has been an overwhelming outpouring of support Guatemalans and neighboring countries in the form of basic supplies (food, clothes, medicine, etc.) and most of the shelters are actually overstocked with goods and will continue to be at least for the immediate future. With the help of my friends and contacts in the local non-profit/development scene, we are all working to provide a clearer picture of this tragedy and figure out where your thoughtful donations can best be utilized. At this time, I will save every last dollar raised until we have reliable data and a clear action plan to go off of, and then, will put your dollars into action. Once that happens, I will again use any and all of my contacts to keep costs low and will provide receipts along every stop of the way. I have not (nor will I) take advantage of a single cent raised on this platform for myself nor will it get swallowed up by overhead costs. Guatemala was the center of the news cycle in a lot of places around the world last week, but will it continue to be in the coming weeks? Months? Years? I highly doubt that. That's where the money raised here can truly be of great help.

Currently, the consensus is that the communities most affected were San Miguel Los Lotes (which was home to 350-400 families and was completely destroyed), El Barrio and El Rodeo. There have been 100+ confirmed deaths, but thousands are missing and presumed to be dead. The government has proven to be an unreliable conduit, with the president of Guatemala actually saying that the people shouldn't "count on a single cent" from his administration. Your help is greatly needed and will stand to go a long way in assisting the thousands of men, women and children trying to peace together their lives once more.

I am still doing this entirely independently and unaffiliated from any institution. Your amazing support has only motivated me to continue to work even harder.

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If you have any questions, please contact me. Otherwise, thank you and God bless.

-Michael Estill
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Here's a video from Al Jazeera giving a brief update on what families here are currently going through:
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Hey everyone.

First off, I want to thank you all for your generous support of this initiative. Your generosity has been inspiring and has motivated me to make the most out of this chance to help so many people that have lost everything.

A few updates:
Due to work obligations, I personally have been many hours away from the areas affected by this disaster since it first ocurred, but I am currently en route and have already reached out to many different contacts and begun to explore ways in which we can most effectively make use of your aid dollars. As soon as I get home, the work begins.

The local government finds itself embroiled in a very serious scandal stemming from their entirely pathetic response to this tragedy. Up until yesterday (5 days after eruption), foreign aid had been denied entry into to country causing a lot of indignation all around. Local shelters are just about fully-stocked with material aid (food, water, medicine, etc) but there are many questions about the efficacy of how the government is managing said aid. As such, many individuals and non-profits find themselves forced to side-step local authorities and self-identify affected families and communities. The current official death toll stands at more than 100, and officials suggest that only 197 are missing. This claim is simply offensive as there are thousands unaccounted for and still believed to be buried underneath the scalding pyroclastic flows that wiped at least two communities off of the map.

I will be meeting with people whose judgement I personally trust the most in the next day or so and will share more info as it comes in.

Thank you.

-Michael
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A somber reality:

"According to census data and testimonials... approx. 8,500 people lived in the areas in the path of the eruption and at least 2,000 people are likely buried."
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The volcano is once again erupting and first responders have had to evacuate the area. Heavy rains and clogged storm drains as a result of accumulated ash have created flash flooding with potential risk of acid rain in neighboring (including where I live). Please keep Guatemala in your thoughts and prayers.
Flash flooding in my town
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$7,455 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 6 months
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