On Sunday, June 3rd 2018, Volcan de Fuego erupted in Guatemala. Information about the number of people impacted continues to change. It is estimated that 1.7 million people were impacted, and 12,000 evacuated. As of June 26th, 112 people were confirmed dead. Many people remain missing, and very few bodies have been identified.
On Tuesday, June 5th, CWB – USA was contacted about an emergency tour. This tour is in response to an active emergency—the itinerary may continue to change.
CWB – USA is thrilled to return to Guatemala for the first time since 2010, when our tour focused on HIV/AIDS education, and visited remote, rural communities. This year, the tour will last from August 16–29 and is in collaboration with our colleagues at CSF – Canada. We have partnered with Ricardo Bamaca, who has worked with PSF – Spain.
In addition to the impact of the volcano, many Guatemalans are displaced by economic and political forces. On June 25th, 2018 Guatemalan officials requested that the U.S. grant asylum-seekers Temporary Protective Status. This would (temporarily) prevent them from being deported. Currently, this measure is not in place. In many instances, families that crossed the border together are being separated by deportation.
It is hard to fathom the chaos and fear in these communities. The CWB team has been invited to perform at a number of shelters, and we will also perform in hospitals. The third part of this tour includes giving workshops to responders and aid workers.