Hurricane Stan Relief

In the beginning of October 2005, Guatemala and several other Central American countries were hit by Hurricane Stan leading to the worst natural disaster in over 30 years for Guatemala. More than 8 days of solid rain fell, which combined with the steep slopes of the highlands resulted in over 250 reported mudslides. These mudslides, as of Oct. 12th, 2005 had affected over 150,000 people, placed over 90,000 people in homeless shelters, damaged over 412 towns and killed more than 800 people. Of course this does not include the data from towns not yet reached by rescue personnel. Nor does it include towns that have been completely buried like Panabaj at Lago Atitlan, where approximately 1400 people were buried and has now been declared an official burial site. No further rescue operations are underway there.

Those of us here at Old Town Outfitters are very committed to supporting our Guatemalan neighbors, friends and families in their time of need. Up to this date, donations have amounted to:

· $12265 in costs
· 211 work hours to relief efforts

We are also giving folks like you a chance to explore Guatemala and at the same time assist in its recovery. Sign up for a trip online between Oct. 15th and Dec. 31st and 10% of your trip cost goes to the Hurricane Stan Relief Fund. Some of the projects that we are currently working on are:

1) Buying a first batch of 200 mature chickens which can lay eggs for the folks in San Andres Itzapa, – these will be distributed to 200 families. More will follow later.

2) Reconstruction of housing in the communities of San Andres Itzapa, Pastores & Jaibalito. We will start by buying lamina, corrugated iron, wood and blocks.

3) Cooking utensils as they all got washed away. So we are buying pots, plates, knives and forks, cups etc.

4) Seeds…a lot of folks lost all of their crops so we are providing new seeds – obviously these will take time to grow so we will continue to provide basic foods (maseca for tortillas, frijoles, milk, salt, sugar, coffee etc).

5) Materials for weaving clothes. Unfortunately, many folks lost their clothes. Donated clothes are good as a quick fix, but normally they wear indigenous clothes, “cortes” and “huipiles”. We can’t let a storm make them loose traditions and cultures. So we will buy materials to make the clothes and donate to a women’s group who will make the clothes. We will then buy the new traditional clothing from the women and distribute them to those in need.

We appreciate your interest and efforts in helping us to help our Guatemalan community.