The “Welcome Home” project will officially open on July 3rd in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, with the presence of our volunteer Ambassador Gina Paredes. After three years of work, more than 30 families who lost their homes during the Volcán de Fuego eruption in 2018 now have a better and safer place to call home.
The eruption killed hundreds of people and left a tragic trail of destruction. In response, several groups came together to provide a solution for the surviving families, and “Solidaridad por Guate” (Solidarity for Guatemala) came to be. Several Vincentian branches take part in the group: the Daughters of Charity, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, AIC , VMY, Association of the Miraculous Medal, Luisas de Marillac , Congregation of the Mission). The local San Francisco de Asís Parish, HAGUA (Brothers and Friends of Guatemala), CONFREGUA (Conference of Religious of GuatemalVincenta) and Volunteers of Antigua also take part in “Solidaridad por Guate”. The UNDP also supported the initiative.
They designed houses for different family sizes, but all with a backyard. The project goes beyond just providing houses, and Solidarity for Guate, has been accompanying the affected families since the beginning: delivering food, clothes and basic necessities and lodging; listening and facilitating the grieving processes, elementary medical attention and educational support for children and seeking training and work opportunities for the adult population. The families have also helped in the construction of the roads and green areas as part of their community work.
Guatemala was one of the first countries to join the “13 Houses” Campaign, shortly after it was launched in November 2018. These new houses and families sheltered represent a step forward in our journey to end homelessness, one house at a time!