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Diary of the response

Ever wondered what it's like for our response teams to fly to a disaster zone at a moment's notice? Follow Simon and the rest of the team's journey to Guatemala in these video diaries.

In this first episode, Simon gives us a taste of what it's like having to leave his family and the comfort of his home at a moment's notice, to fly to a disaster zone.

Emotional, however excited and determined, Simon is off to a journey he has never taken before. But goodbyes are never easy.

In episode two of this video diary we follow Simon as he meets his new team-mates. However, the complexities of this response soon emerge.

How will the team tackle some of the unique challenges caused by the volcano, and what are some of the more delicate issues and considerations facing them as they visit the communities affected by the eruption?

Having to leave their home behind, all these families have now is a patch of ground. 

In the last episode of his video diary, Simon shares with us some thoughts and reflections before he departs from Guatemala.

Simon and the rest of the team have been speaking to families currently sheltered in overcrowded collective centres. Our tents will provide families with much-needed privacy and safe spaces. Nothing prepares you for when it happens in real life.

Nothing compares with having to run just to keep your family safe in the face of a devastating volcano eruption. We’ll do anything to help devastated families get back on the road to rebuilding their lives and homes.

Facts about Fuego and volcanoes

How active is the Fuego volcano?

Why do people live near active volcanoes?

Did we know about the Fuego volcano in advance?

How is the volcano in Guatemala different to the recent Hawaii volcano?

We spoke to Earth Science expert Dr Zoe Mildon and the Earth Sciences department at the University of Plymouth to find out the answers.

Learn more

Working in Guatemala

Woman and child
Family from the devestated parish of Bilbao, Equador

Our response teams are not new to Guatemala.

We've deployed to Guatemala on four occasions – to an earthquake in 2012, to flooding and a tropical storm in 2010, and to flooding in 2005.

Elsewhere in the region, we've responded to volcanic eruptions in Ecuador in 2006 and Chile in 2015.

We're also currently helping the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, where a volcano has directly affected 11,000 people on Ambae Island.

See where we're working