Help Guatemala Families Now

On October 1st, heavy rains caused a landslide in the community of El Cambray, just outside of Guatemala City. Over 250 residents have been killed, but that number is expected to rise as they clear the rubble of this already struggling community.

PCI was just beginning work in El Cambray to upgrade houses and roads to prevent such a tragedy, and ten of the women who lost their lives were part of our Women Empowered (WE) group, leaving only three surviving members of the group.

El Cambray is prone to landslides given the poorly constructed buildings and infrastructure in such a steep terrain. The community had recently been selected to participate in PCI’s USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance-funded Barrio Mio project to transform high risk informal settlements into safe, healthy, and more prosperous neighborhoods.

Since the landslide, PCI has been providing full-time support to national, municipal, and community leaders. This includes working with surviving community members to provide logistical support and assistance in temporary shelters, developing GIS maps for the response, collecting data, and doing assessments.

And PCI is mobilizing other WE groups from the surrounding communities to help the survivors of this tragedy; care for the children who lost their mothers and fathers; provide educational supplies; and secure emergency shelters, clean water, sanitation and health supplies.

The women in our WE group in El Cambray were saving money to move themselves, and their families, out of the landslide- and disaster-prone areas of the community into safer homes before tragedy struck. Their long-term hope was to establish a safer, more resilient community for their families, and then help other WE groups in the region to do the same.

They are part of the more than 425,000 women around the world who are a part of our WE initiative.

We are working with our partners and communities on the ground to care for the survivors and get them back on their feet. If you would like to help, contribute to our efforts, you can do so here.

And check back for more updates on our response in the wake of this tragedy.