How To Help Guatemalans Affected By The Fuego Volcano Eruption From Wherever You Are

by Caitlin Cruz
Luis Soto/AP/REX/Shutterstock

On Sunday, about 25 miles southwest of Guatemala City, Guatemala, the Fuego volcano erupted for 16 and a half hours. According to the Associated Press, 62 people have died and 3,000 others are in need of temporary shelter. As the natural disaster unfolds, you may be wondering how to help Guatemalans affected by the Fuego volcano.

The eruption shot ash, rock, and gas into the sky from one of Latin America's most active volcanic sites, according to the BBC. The last major eruption at the Fuego volcano was in 1974, but the news wire service reported zero deaths in that instance. The volcano erupted back in February as well, with ash reaching 1.1 miles into the air. Reuters reported Monday that smoke and volcanic ash was shot about 6.2 miles into the sky in this latest eruption, coating several surrounding regions.

As Gizmodo reported, the eruption also triggered a pyroclastic flow — that's a combination of hot and quick-moving rock and gas — that covered homes, cars, and villages at the southern edge of the volcano. Experts are concerned the volcano may erupt again and trigger a similar flow over the already ravaged region.

Beyond the question of structural safety, missing people and properties, and mud slides near the volcanic site, Guatemalan authorities also are warning citizens about lahars, a quickly moving volcanic mudflow. Newsweek reported that the mudflows can reach speeds as high as 120 miles per hour, while also bringing objects like a car into its rushing wake.

CNN estimated that 1.7 million people will be affected by the eruption. Rescue operations are now underway, but those living nearest to the volcano did not have much advance warning, CBS News reported. Many organizations and fundraisers are looking for aid to help those local residents most affected.

Donate To Those Impacted Via GoFundMe

The original goal for the "Helping Guatemalan Volcano Victims" campaign was to raise just $1,000 to help those affected by the Fuego volcano, but within 24 hours, it's already surpassed $10,000.

Ben Powless, who is working with Red Tz'ikin, Prensa Comunitaria, and Festivales Solidarios, is collecting funds through The National Federation of Cooperatives (MICCOPE). Funds will be used to answer local calls for unprocessed foods, clean water, toilet paper, sanitary napkins, diapers, hygiene products, and much more. Clean water is essential after a disaster.

GoFundMe has also compiled a list of verified campaigns you can donate to as a way to help those affected by the Fuego volcano eruption, with the security of knowing your money is going into the right hands.

Donate Money To Cruz Roja Guatemalteca

Cruz Roja Guatemalteca — the Guatemalan division of the Red Cross — is on the ground running blood drives, collecting supplies, and providing medical care. If you're not in Guatemala but still want to provide help, Cruz Roja Guatemalteca published banking information for international donations early Monday morning.

Donate Blood

Cruz Roja Guatemalteca is taking blood donations, should you meet the donation criteria. It has posted callouts with locations and hours on its Twitter account.

Bring Goods To A Collection Center If You're Already In Guatemala

The Antigua Guatemala Fútbol Club shared collection centers for donations on their official Twitter account. The club is based about 10 miles away from the eruption site. Parts of the historic and restored colonial city Antigua were covered in volcanic ash, as seen in these Getty images.

Gather Specific Food Items For Donation If You're In Guatemala

Sometimes it can overwhelming to know what is best to buy, if you don't feel comfortable donating cash to relief organizations. For those already in the country, Cruz Roja Guatemlateca shared specific foods and cooking materials that the organization is seeking as they provide aid.

Help Out Furry Friends, Too

Arca de Noé is the largest pet store chain in Guatemala, and they are collecting donations for furry friends and humans alike at their shops. Donate food (dry, wet and nonperishable) as well as blankets for animals and pets affected by the eruption.

Raise Awareness On Social Media

#PrayForGuatemala and #AidGuatemala are already popular hashtags that are spreading the word about the devastation from the volcanic eruption. Add your voice, and follow along at #VolcánDeFuego.