Volcano affects students from Guatemala

Volcano affects students from Guatemala


By Katelyn Allred

Staff writer



EPHRAIM—Snow College students Dina Lopez, David Mazat and Adriana Salazar are grateful their families were not harmed by the deadly volcanic eruptions in their home country of Guatemala.

When she first received news of the deadly eruptions on June 3, Lopez said she didn’t give it much thought because in Guatemala, volcanic eruptions are “so normal… it happens every day.”

“But two or three hours later, I started to hear that a lot people were killed,” she said. “When I found that out, I called my family and all my friends from the area.”

None of the students’ families were harmed in the eruptions. Their hometown of Chimaltenago is on the opposite side of the mountain from the destructive pyroclastic flows. The worst damage it received was a layer of ash.

But other parts of Guatemala have been ravaged by fast-moving flows of hot gasses and volcanic matter. Satellite photos showed towns covered in floods of brown, as if the lush green foliage has been painted over with mud. The death toll was estimated at 109 as of June 9, and there are over 200 people missing.

“In some ways you feel impotent, because you cannot help your people—some people that you know, your neighbors, your family,” Mazat said.

Though far from the damage, the students are still finding ways to help. On Saturday, June 16, they will hold a car wash in Ephraim, with the proceeds going to the Mesoamericano Foundation, which is located right in the middle of the destruction and will be able to put the funds where they’re needed most.

The car wash will be in the parking lot of Risk Managers in Ephraim, at 110 N. Main St. from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

Alex Peterson, director for the Snow College Center for Global Engagement, said the goal is to raise to $5000 with the car wash, online donations and other fundraising efforts.

Donations can be made at https://www.snow.edu/advancement/foundation/index.html and should be checked as going to “other” and specified for the Guatemala fund.

Lopez, Mazat and Salazar will all be sophomores at Snow College this fall. They are all majoring in engineering.