This Memorial Day is not at all like the last. Long story short, my nine traveling companions and myself are stuck in Guatemala, somewhat indefinitely. We worked last week in Santiago Atitlan, and arrived in Antigua on Thursday night. We planned to leave last Friday out of Guatemala City, which is about thrity miles from where we are staying.
On Thursday night, the Pacaya Volcano erupted in the city, causing ash to cover everything, shutting down the airport. After being bumped to flights on Monday (today) and then to Wedneday, we still are not sure when we´ll get out. Following the eruption, Tropical Storm Agatha ripped through the country as well, causing the government to declare National Disaster. The combination of the volcano and the storm has turned the ash on the airport runways into a cement-like mixture. Flooding and mudslides have devestated several areas of the country on a level similar to the recent flooding in Nashville, except that here, cars and homes are buried in mud instead of water, and the appropriate clean up machinery does not exist.
The town we are in, Antigua, is gorgeous and unharmed. I wish I could upload pictures from here to share with you what we´ve been up to, but unfortunately I cannot. We´ve adapted very quickly to living here, and have become quite comfortable with the area. Besides a few hiccups here and there, which I´m sure you´ll read about in posts to come, we are all safe and sound.
But please keep the Guatemalan people in your prayers. It seems the world is shifting a little, as just today another volcano erupted in the Pacific Ocean, and the Phillipines have been hit with a 6.0 earthquake. Please pray for all of these people devestated by natural disasters, and for all who are trying to get in or out of the country. I doubt these disasters will get much press in the states, but they are in fact very real.
Hope to be writing to you all under better circumstances soon.
Peace and love,
Eruption of Pacaya Volcano:
Damage from Tropical Storm Agatha:
Antigua, where we are staying:
Check out this video from the Weather Channel over here.