Tropical Storm Agatha Emergency Appeal

Guatemala Emergency Appeal after Tropical Storm Agatha

Housing collapse
Searching for survivors in a mudslide. Photo by Mercado Global

Dear AIDG Friends and Supporters,

Tropical storm Agatha, the first major storm of the 2010 Hurricane season has slammed Guatemala with devastation not seen since Hurricane Stan in 2005. The destruction has hit every department in Guatemala. According to Guatemalan government, tens of thousands of people are now homeless. Roads, bridges, water and food distribution have been severely disrupted. AIDG immediately responded by helping dig out houses in the Quetzaltenango department where we are based, but most of the damage has happened near Lake Atitlan.

AIDG is sent a team down last week to work with the Lake Atitlan based organization Mercado Global to assess damage and coordinate repairs on water systems for communities. Water is a critical need as pipes have been washed away and local water systems have been damaged. Here is a quote from Steve Crowe our Technology Director about the water system in Xaquijya.

“Things got a little more complicated when we walked the pipeline from the distribution tank to the springs. They had just assumed that it was broken in one part near the springs, but as we walked we passed 5 landslides where the pipe had broken . . . The complicated part would be in protecting the pipe that we put in; we’d have to cross those same landslide areas, which would be high risk for sure.”

He estimates a need for an immediate $30,000 to aid in water system rebuilding and another $15,000 for us to help repair hydro-electric systems damaged in the storm.

For AIDG, the twin disasters in both Haiti and Guatemala present the greatest challenge we have ever faced. We are supporting responses to both a once-in-a-decade storm and a once-in-a-century earthquake within a few months of each other. As most of you know, AIDG is not a direct relief agency so we have no budget for emergencies like this and rely on gifts at the time of the event to respond. But in our focus on infrastructure, we play a vital role in disaster response and development of community resiliency. We look to you to help us continue this work.

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We need your help to respond to this disaster.

If you cannot give now, we ask that you consider giving a little bit of time to AIDG. One major source of funding for AIDG’s disaster response in Haiti has been corporate donations. This comes largely based on employee recommendations to a corporate giving department or to a small business owner. Please consider giving a lunch break to call your company’s charitable division to see if they have funds ($500 – $10,000) you could recommend to AIDG. Email us an introduction and we will be glad to send them detailed information on our programs. Corporate giving departments largely operate based on employee suggestions.

Thank you all for everything you have done over the years to help us build this program, and our capacity to respond in these emergencies. Please hold the families affected by this tragedy in your hearts and thoughts.


Peter Haas

Aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha
Photo by Mercado Global

Aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha
Photo by AIDG

Aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha
Photo by AIDG

Aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha
Photo by Mercado Global

Related Posts

Tropical Storm Agatha: AIDG responds – Xaquijyá Update [06/12/10]
Tropical Storm Agatha Update: AIDG’s response in Xaquijyá, Guatemala [06/09/10]