On the 3rd of June of this year, Guatemala experienced its most devastating volcanic eruption for 45 years.
Volcano of Fire
The Fuego, or ‘volcano of fire’, exploded and rained down on nearby villages, blanketing them in a dense layer of molten rock and ash. Inevitably, over 100 people died, (many of whom are still unidentified), and a further 200 are still missing.
It’s thought that around 1.7 million people have been affected by the tragedy. Evacuation attempts, along with search and rescue efforts, were hampered by scorching volcanic material and poor weather, leaving many people homeless and in distress.
The two main villages of San Miguel Los Lotes and El Rodeo were the worst hit. Consequently, an estimated 400 homes were destroyed leaving 2000-2,500 people with absolutely nothing. The villages had been erased.
Coffee & Community
No matter where or when they occur, natural disasters cause a wave of destruction, leaving scars not only across our landscapes, but in people’s minds and hearts too.
Although the Guatemalans affected are over 5,000 miles away from our base here in Brigg, Lincolnshire, it resonates as if they were our neighbours just next door.
Having worked closely to the Guatemalan coffee communities for over 25 years, the media footage being relayed back to our TV screens and smartphones has had a sobering impact. It’s for these reasons that we decided, as a company, we had to react.
Compassion & Collaboration
Human nature compels us to help others. Unfortunately, in times gone by, such chaotic events have taken time to prompt a reaction or source a solution. Luckily, we now live in a digital era where almost everything is instant, so we knew we could instantly join forces with others who wanted to help.
Whilst the Guatemalan government and several NGOs are focusing on providing basic first-aid, food and water for the masses of evacuees, our aim was to provide additional support to the people of coffee by contributing to the reconstruction of their homes and rebuilding their communities. To raise the funds, we have agreed to donate 10p of every Guatemalan coffee we sell, over a period of 6 months. With the price of a small house (26m²) at approximately $5,000, we hope our efforts can re-home and reconnect our friends in the coffee communities of Guatemala.