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Guatemala Situation report – Volcán de Fuego

Fuego Volcano in Guatemala erupted on 3rd June 2018. It was the volcano’s most violent eruption since 1974, causing widespread chaos and destruction. A number of coops/farms in the area have been affected; we source coffee from FEDECOCAGUA and Transcafe who have given us an update.

The latest update from the National Coffee Association notes that losses of high quality coffees produced in the Alotenango region have reached an estimated 100,000 bags of 46-kilo bags (77,000 60-kilo bags), this is according to the entity´s second evaluation. This volume represents 2.27 percent of the total exportable production for the 2018-2019 coffee season, estimated at 4.4 million 46-kilo bags (3.37 million 60-kilo bags).

Within FEDECOCAGUA, Unión Huista cooperative has been evacuated as a preventative measure because they are so close to the damage caused by the volcano, and eight other cooperatives have been affected with ash falling on their coffee plantations.

Some people from Unión Huista decided to stay in the village to avoid their houses being robbed. However most people are staying in four shelters in Escuintla and one in Palín. FEDECOCAGUA have provided food for those people from an ongoing US AID project, which was delivered on 15th June. They will provide food for six months for 300 families in the community to compensate for the loss of subsistence crops and water filters. They are still waiting on test results to see if the water quality has changed.

The seven other cooperatives affected are Acatenango, El Pensativo, San Pedrana, CODEPA, Union Victoria, COFEAG and ARUBUCAMO. It is estimated that the loss of Cooperative Unión Huista (Prime and Extra Prime) is about 80%. The losses for the other cooperatives are estimated to be a maximum of 20% as a preliminary figure.

Within Transcafe no one has been hurt but they are of course still feeling the affects. They have financed three burns units to help children in the local community who have been burnt by the volcano, through the Guatemalan Children’s Burn Foundation which are already full.

The Foundation was founded in 2007 and has been healing children with burns, helping them with both their physical and psychological pain as well as prevention campaigns. In Guatemala burns are a common issue – on average every 10 minutes a child suffers a burn from things like hot liquids, fire and electricity. Since the volcanic eruption sadly there is even more need for their services.

Here at DRWakefield, we have decided to donate some bags of Guatemala green coffee to raise money for the foundation; Monte Flor, Monte Cristo and Laurina – they will be ‘sold’ at cost price and 100% of the money paid for the coffee will go to the foundation.

We have the following:

Monte Flor – 8x 69kg bags at £235 per bag

Monte Cristo – 4x 69kg bags at £295 per bag

Laurinas Monte Rosa – 8x 35kg bags at £350 per bag

Basis, ex-warehouse CWT, Tilbury UK.

Please get in touch trade@drwakefield.com to place an order.

We are also looking into a more long-term program to help the cooperatives we work with re-build after this disaster, more information will be released in the coming months.