The Words of the Bessell Family
An Urgent Request Concerning Our Work In Guatemala
October 8, 2005
As a consequence of Hurricane Stan and other natural phenomena it has rained continuously in Guatemala for the past 10 days. This continuous rain has caused almost all the rivers in the country to swell beyond their borders and has transformed little streams into powerful rivers that have destroyed many roads and communities. The worst effect of the rain are the mudslides -- avalanches of dirt and debris -- that have wiped out entire sections of villages and covered them with several meters of earth and mud.
One of the worst affected areas is Santiago Atitlan where a section called Panabaj has basically been wiped out. Over a hundred people are confirmed dead and many hundreds are still missing.
I went to Santiago yesterday and because of destroyed streets could only get two thirds of the way by car; the rest I had to climb and walk. The situation in Santiago is disastrous. There are no functioning access roads and help has only been able to come in by helicopter. The city is running out of drinking water and food.
Currently all able people in the town are working on opening the access road and finding and burring the dead. Since we are currently in the rainy season it keeps on raining and therefore the possibilities of more mudslides is still very high.
As many of you know we have a small school with 185 elementary school children in Santiago that also has been damaged and the mudslides and rains affected many of our students and teachers' homes and families. Nevertheless our teachers and parents are heavily involved in the ongoing recovery and rescue operations.
We are presently putting together a plan to restore and reopen the school and help with reconstruction efforts in Santiago.
I would like to ask that if you can to please give a donation. With the money you donate we will purchase needed tools, food and materials in Guatemala city and transport them to Santiago.
Please also forward this note to people that may be interested in supporting the efforts here in Guatemala.
Please send your donations in form of check to:
125 Walnut Street Bridgeport, CT 06604
Or contact me for bank wire information.
All the best
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